An alumni group from Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s alma mater, Rhodes College, is planning to ask school officials for her removal from the college’s Hall of Fame.
The Rhodes College Alumni for Reproductive Rights group shared a letter and petition on Thursday, Aug. 4, that says her testimony during the Supreme Court confirmation hearings was a breach of the Rhodes College honor code.
The letter, signed by alumni Rob Marus and Katherine Morgan Breslin, details how the group believes Barrett’s written and court opinions have been “deeply inconsistent” with her testimony, including what the group says were “misleading statements” on constitutional protections for abortion during her confirmation hearing and her “likelihood to shred decades of precedent in the future.”
The letter comes after Barrett was one of five justices who overturned Roe v. Wade, a 1973 Supreme Court decision that held the Constitution protects the right to an abortion. The recent decision left the issue up to the states to regulate.
Barrett graduated from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, with her undergraduate degree in 1994 before attending law school at Notre Dame in Indiana. She was nominated as a Supreme Court justice by former President Donald Trump after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and was confirmed by the Senate in October 2020.
“We believe it is time to take her at her written, rather than spoken, word. And we believe that Justice Amy Coney Barrett is one of the biggest current threats to our fundamental rights, the stability of our nation, and our democracy,” the letter states. “Simply being one of our most famous alumni is not a sufficient reason for the College to continue honoring someone thus who has very publicly breached the most fundamental Rhodes values.”
McClatchy News reached out to the Supreme Court for comment from Barrett and did not immediately receive a response.
In a statement to McClatchy News, Rhodes College said the school is “aware that some alumni are soliciting signatures for a letter regarding Justice Amy Coney Barrett,” but that it has no comment at this time because it has not yet been delivered.
Marus, the lead author of the letter, told McClatchy news that the group plans to officially send the petition and letter to the college after its signing deadline of Aug. 19.
The Rhodes College Alumni for Reproductive Rights group was initially created in 2020, Marus said, as “Rhodes Alumni Against Amy Coney Barrett’s Nomination” to oppose her confirmation to the Supreme Court.
It was later reactivated, Marus added, “after she joined the majority opinion in the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey,” a 1992 ruling from the Supreme Court that also upheld the constitutional right to an abortion.
Following her nomination to the Supreme Court, a congratulatory statement was posted on the Alumni for Amy website, which read, in part: “Those of us who attended Rhodes with Amy remember her as someone with high intellect, strong leadership skills, and exceptional character, and knew her as a thoughtful, calm, respectful, and principled woman, genuinely interested in those around her. …We congratulate Amy on her nomination and are proud of the honor it brings to the College.”
McClatchy News reached out for comment on the recent petition from Alumni for Amy, but did not immediately receive a response.
Several students and alumni voiced their support on the website, including Ryan Sullivan.
“Regardless of political ideology, our community should feel a great deal of pride in the fact that a Rhodes alumna has been nominated for one of the most prestigious and revered positions in our country,” said Sullivan in the comments. “Furthermore, as a fellow Catholic, I find it inspiring to see a woman who lives out her faith with conviction while simultaneously fulfilling her civic duty to America.”
In an Aug. 9 post on its Facebook page, the reproductive rights group said its organizers “have been subjected to threatening calls from nuts who somehow obtained our personal cell phone numbers, and we have also been targeted in our professional lives” in the days since the letter was posted.
“We will not be deterred in our efforts by any backlash. Unlike her apologists, we are motivated solely by upholding the Rhodes values of truth, loyalty, and service that our alma mater taught us,” Marus said. “We believe — and our letter explains why — Justice Barrett clearly has violated the Rhodes Honor System with her swift action not only to remove an established right to bodily autonomy for millions upon millions of Americans, but also to endanger the very foundation of other hard-earned rights for millions of other Americans, including rights to privacy and equality for LGBTQ people, the right to contraception and countless others.”