A recent edition of “The 901” column headlined “Should Rhodes College Disavow Amy Coney Barrett?” reported on a cliché-filled and rather dishonest letter signed by more than a thousand alumni demanding that Rhodes Co President Marjorie Hass “disavow” President Donald Trump’s nomination of distinguished Judge and Rhodes alum Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.
The signatories urge President Hass to repudiate one of Rhodes’ most accomplished graduates. They claim Judge Barrett’s career and the nomination process “are diametrically opposed” to the three words on Rhodes’ seal: Truth, Loyalty and Service.
And, yet, I would say she upholds those tenets better than her accusers.
Unfortunately, in the hands of the authors of this letter, truth is less important than ideological conformity. The signatories have every right to say that they want the Supreme Court to set social policy and, therefore, oppose any nominee who may not share their political viewpoints. Why don’t they just truthfully state that position and cut the sanctimony?
They claim that Judge Barrett has “dutifully sidestepped direct questions about how she would rule on a challenge to the right to abortion that the Supreme Court protected in its landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.”
Even if it were appropriate to ask a Supreme Court nominee how she would rule on a specific case, it isn’t possible to answer, as it would be difficult to predict unclear what particular legal principles might arise in a particular case.
Some of signatories claim that they are former sorority sisters of Barrett. So much for their sense of loyalty. As for service, who could have led a life of greater service than Judge Barrett and her husband, who are raising seven kids, including two adopted from Haiti, and who have served in civic and religious organizations?
The signers of the letter are caught up in the heady power of bullying and char assassination of an honorable woman.
I hope President Hass stand firm on pillar of truth and refuses to bend to pressure and “cancel” Judge Barrett, currently Rhodes’ most famous graduate.
I was so proud of Rhodes College when I learned that Judge Amy Coney Barrett had been nominated to the highest court. I have a strong feeling that I am not alone.