Biography

A Lifetime of Service

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Personal History

Background

Born: January 28, 1972 in New Orleans, Louisiana

Education:
Rhodes College (B.A. 1994), magna cum laude; Notre Dame Law School (J.D. 1997), first in her class, executive editor of the law review

Husband: Jesse Barrett, Partner at SouthBank Legal, South Bend, Indiana

Children: Seven children (5 biological children, 1 with Down syndrome, 2 adopted children from Haiti)

Clerkships: Judge Laurence Silberman, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (Second Highest Court in the Land) (1997-98); Justice Antonin Scalia, Supreme Court of the United States (1998-99)

Private Practice: Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin, Washington, D.C. (1999-2002)

Academia: Professor of Law, Notre Dame (2002-17); Visiting Associate Professor of Law, George Washington Law School (2001-02)

Current Position: Circuit Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (2017 through present)

Confirmation Vote: 55-43

NOTE: All Republican senators and Three Democrats — Donnelly (Indiana), Kaine (Virginia), and Manchin (West Virginia) — voted to confirm Judge Barrett; Senators McCaskill (Missouri) and Menendez (New Jersey) did not vote

Judicial Record

Notable Cases As Seventh Circuit Judge

Kanter v. Barr
Judge Barrett dissented from the majority in a Second Amendment case that held the firearm dispossession statute, which barred convicted felons from possessing a firearm, was not unconstitutional. In her dissenting opinion, Judge Barrett stated that the statute was overly broad as it could be used to take away the constitutional rights of individuals like Kanter (convicted of mail fraud) where there was no evidence he posed a risk to society.

Doe v. Purdue University
Judge Barrett wrote the opinion for a three-judge panel that reversed a district court’s decision to dismiss the appellant’s case against Purdue University for violation of his Fourteenth Amendment rights and for Title IX sex discrimination. The appellant had been suspended by the University for alleged sexual assault and the administration chose to believe his accuser without ever hearing from her beyond a letter. Further, Judge Barrett and the other judges held that a letter from the Department of Education in 2011 pressuring schools to thoroughly investigate sexual assault accusations or lose federal funding, was factual evidence that could support a Title IX claim. Therefore, the appeals court held that the appellant was entitled to proceed with his lawsuit at the district court.

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