Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump’s nominee to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court, signed a newspaper ad in 2006 that supported overturning Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision establishing the right to abortion.
The ad, which ran across two pages in The South Bend Tribune and was first reported by The Guardian on Thursday, quoted Justice Byron White’s dissent in Roe v. Wade, and called the decision “an exercise of raw judicial power” and urged overturning its “barbaric legacy.”
Judge Barrett’s opposition to Roe is in line with a pledge by President Trump to appoint justices to the court who would overturn the ruling. On Tuesday, during his first debate with Joseph R. Biden Jr., Mr. Trump sought to walk back that promise, disputing that abortion was “on the ballot” and telling Mr. Biden of Judge Barrett, “you don’t know her view on Roe v. Wade. You don’t know her view.”
But with news on Thursday that Judge Barrett had signed the open letter, which was also signed by her husband, Jesse Barrett, a fellow lawyer and former federal prosecutor, the nominee’s view on the ruling became clear. Though the judge’s participation in other groups had indicated her personal opposition to abortion, her stance on the court decision specifically had not been widely known.
Some supporters of her nomination, however, had already expressed confidence in how she might rule. “I think her record’s awfully clear,” Senator Josh Hawley, Republican of Missouri, said on Tuesday. “I think that’s one where she meets my standard of having evidence in the record, out there in public, on the record that indicates that she understands Roe was really an act of judicial imperialism and wrongly decided.”
Judd Deere, a spokesman for the White House, pointed to Judge Barrett’s statements at her confirmation hearing in 2017. “As Judge Barrett said on the day she was nominated,” Mr. Deere wrote in an email Thursday, “‘a judge must apply the law as written. Judges are not policymakers, and they must be resolute in setting aside any policy views they might hold.’”
Most Americans support keeping abortion legal. In a recent New York Times/Siena poll, 56 percent of likely voters said they would be less likely to vote for Mr. Trump if his appointee would help overturn Roe v. Wade, while 24 percent said they would be more inclined to vote for him.
The poll found that 71 percent of independents believed abortion should be legal all or most of the time, and 31 percent of Republicans said the same. A third of the country said it should be illegal all or most of the time.
Ms. Barrett lives in South Bend, Ind., and has extensive ties there, having graduated from Notre Dame Law School in 1997 and taught there since 2002. The ad in question was placed by a local anti-abortion group called St. Joseph County Right to Life.
“Please continue to pray to end abortion,” the ad urged.