Protesters Confront Justice Barrett While She Speaks At U of M

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 07: United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett poses for an official portrait at the East Conference Room of the Supreme Court building on October 7, 2022 in Washington, DC. The Supreme Court has begun a new term after Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson was officially added to the bench in September. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett poses for an official portrait at the East Conference Room of the Supreme Court building on October 7, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

OAN’s Taylor Tinsley
11:58 AM – Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Protesters confronted Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett while she made an appearance at the University of Minnesota.


The conservative justice stepped onto the Twin Cities campus on Monday after the law school invited her to speak as part of a lecture series with Robert A. Stein.

Barrett was nominated to the court by 45th President Trump and was on the bench when the Supreme Court ruled to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision that legalized abortion nationwide, in 2022.

On Monday, her remarks were quickly interrupted by pro-choice protesters.

Hidden in the audience balcony, protesters stood up and shouted “Reproductive rights are under attack. What do we do? Stand up, fight back.”

Police eventually escorted the protesters out but demonstrations continued outside of the auditorium.

Hundreds of students signed a petition demanding the University to rescind Barrett’s invitation. 

“If she’s taking away our basic human rights she shouldn’t be allowed to speak here on campus,” a student protester told KMSP.

The schools interim dean, William McGeveran, told CBS News that it’s a college or universities job to show students how to speak and listen to one another effectively, especially in a politically polarized country. He also pointed out the school had other court justices speak on campus in the past.

“The fact that we had Justice Kagan, Justice Sotomayor and Justice Roberts and Justice Scalia in past lectures is reflective of the fact that the Supreme Court justices just like the rest of America have different points of view and we want to hear from all of them over time,” McGeveran said.

Back inside the auditorium, Barrett mentioned that she favors the Supreme Court implementing an ethics code. 

“I think it would be a good idea for us to do it,” Barrett said. “Particularly so that we can communicate to the public exactly what it is that we’re doing and clearer way, in perhaps, that we haven’t been to do so far.”

Barrett went on to say that there’s no lack of consensus between Supreme Court Justices and all nine agree that they should hold themselves to “the highest ethical standards possible.”

Barretts sentiments echo calls for the nation’s highest bench to adopt ethical standards following a string of recent scandals. 

This includes previous reports that liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s staff pushed institutions that were hosting her “Book Talk Events” to buy extra copies of her books. 

Sotomayor has gained more than $3.5 million in sales since being appointed to the court in 2009.

Conservative Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito have also been in the ethics controversies spotlight.

Thomas came under fire after his annual financial disclosure revealed he took multiple trips on a private jet with GOP megadonor Harlan Crow, coming under scrutiny from Democrats and judicial watchdog groups.

It was also revealed that Alito went on a luxury vacation to Alaska in 2008, paid by hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer. Alito did not report the trip on his annual financial disclosure, which ethics law experts argue violates a federal law Supreme Court Justices are supposed to follow.

Alito later published an op-ed with The Wall Street Journal slamming calls to regulate the nation’s highest court.

Both of the justices have shared their opposition to adopting an ethics code, with Alito back in July saying that Congress has “no authority to regulate the supreme court, period.”

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