Annotating the News: The Amy Coney Barrett SCOTUS Hearings

October 15, 2020


Today is the final day of the Supreme Court confirmation hearings in the United States Senate for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, and much of the hearings have touched on Barrett's judicial opinions on the U.S. Court of the 7th Circuit as well as her academic writing in law journals. Read on to find out how to access many of these opinions and articles through the State Law Library.


SCOTUSblog is the official blog of the Supreme Court of the United States and has provided thorough coverage of the Barrett confirmation hearings over the past week, including links to Barrett's nomination materials, writings, and speeches, information on the background and process, and more. If you're unfamiliar with how the confirmation process of a Supreme Court justice works, SCOTUSblog has an excellent overview of this process in detail within the context of this year's hearings. Additionally, SCOTUSblog has a full list of Barrett's opinions from the 7th Circuit, including the 11 opinions Barrett identified as most significant to her in the questionnaire she completed for the Senate Judiciary Committee. We'll use the list provided by SCOTUSblog to locate these opinions through the SLL's resources. 

Barrett's Opinions from the U.S. Court of the 7th Circuit 

Here are citations for the most significant cases Barrett identified in her Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire: 

  1. Kanter v. Barr, 919 F.3d 437 (7th Cir. 2019)
  2. Yafai v. Pompeo, 912 F.3d 1018 (7th Cir. 2019)
  3. Cook Cnty. v. Wolf, No. 19-3169 (7th Cir. Jun. 10, 2020)
  4. Doe v. Purdue Univ., No. 17-3565 (7th Cir. Jun. 28, 2019)
  5. Rainsberger v. Benner, 913 F.3d 640 (7th Cir. 2019)
  6. Grussgott v. Milwaukee Jewish Day Sch., Inc., 882 F.3d 655 (7th Cir. 2018)
  7. Wallace v. Grubhub Holdings, Inc., No. 19-1564 (7th Cir. Aug. 4, 2020)
  8. A.F. Moore & Assocs. v. Pappas, 948 F.3d 889 (7th Cir. 2020)
  9. Casillas v. Madison Ave. Assocs., Inc., 926 F.3d 329 (7th Cir. 2019)
  10. Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n v. Costco Wholesale Corp., 903 F.3d 618 (7th Cir. 2018)
  11. Schmidt v. Foster, 891 F.3d 302 (7th Cir. 2018)

These opinions and Barrett's additional 7th Circuit opinions can be located by searching the citations in the library's legal research databases. A case citation is made up of three parts and includes the volume number, case reporter, and page number that the case is published in. For instance, Schmidt v. Foster's case citation is 891 F.3d 302. 891 is the volume number, F.3d refers to the Federal Reporter, 3rd series, and 302 is the page number for the case, so this case can be found on page 302 in volume 891 in the Federal Reporter, 3rd series. If you need more help with case law research, please check out our research guide on the subject. 

SCOTUSblog links to Barrett's 7th Circuit opinions in CaseText, a case law database. The State Law Library does not offer access to CaseText, but we do have several other options for case law research that are available to the public. Fastcase is a great database for case law research and can be accessed by Texas residents with a current library account. Searching a specific case citation in Fastcase should take you directly to that case's opinion. 

You can also search case citations in Westlaw. The library is offering access to Westlaw and Lexis on a trial basis in order to encourage social distancing. Please see our Spotlight post on the subject for more info on how to access a trial to Westlaw or Lexis Advance. Additionally, both Westlaw and Lexis Advance's advanced search functions allow the user to search for a specific judge, which may be a helpful resource if you are looking for Judge Barrett's opinions and writings. 

Westlaw also has a feature titled "Profiler" (you can find Profiler under Tools on the home page of Westlaw) that provides biographical information and references for attorneys, judges, expert witnesses, and more. You can find Judge Amy Coney Barrett's profile here (use "Barrett, Amy Coney" as your search term), which contains links to 625 cases as well as several appellate documents and secondary sources. Please note that not all of the resources listed in this profile are accessible through the library's subscription. 

Barrett's Academic Work

Barrett has written extensively on legal theory in a number of different law journals, and many of these articles are available through HeinOnline, a legal research database that is a great resource for accessing law journal articles. HeinOnline can be accessed by SLL patrons with a current library account. Once in HeinOnline, select "Law Journal Library" from "Browse Databases by Name", and select "Advanced Search". Use "Barrett, Amy Coney" as your search term in the Author/Creator field, which will retrieve 13 articles. From here, you can filter by date, relevance, topic, and more. 

Here are several articles by Barrett that are available in HeinOnline

  1. Amy Coney Barrett, Stare Decisis and Due Process, 74 U. COLO. L. REV. 1011 (2003)
  2. Amy Coney Barrett, Precedent and Jurisprudential Disagreement, 91 TEX. L. REV. 1711 (2013).
  3. Amy Coney Barrett, Statutory Stare Decisis in the Courts of Appeals, 73 GEO. Wash. L. REV. 317 (2005).
  4. Amy Coney Barrett & John Copeland Nagle, Congressional Originalism, 19 U. PA. J. Const. L. 1 (2016).
  5. Amy Coney Barrett, The Supervisory Power of the Supreme Court, 106 COLUM. L. REV. 324 (2006).

If you need help accessing any of the resources discussed here, don't hesitate to Ask a Librarian!

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