After the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Judge Amy Coney Barrett was nominated by President Donald J. Trump to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court. On Oct. 26, the Senate voted 52-48 to confirm Judge Barrett for the Supreme Court.
Due to the unprecedented nature of this nomination, history teachers at Clark discussed the hearing with their students during class. AP United States History teacher Eric Kursinski frequently discusses current events that define the future of the U.S. with his class. “I appreciate hearing my students’ observations about events that impact our country and have them build on one anothers’ thoughts,” Kursinski said. “I typically assign my students to watch the hearings or debates as homework because soon they will be filling out ballots and potentially leading our country.”
After watching the hearing, junior Nina Simonyan said that Barret’s Supreme Court confirmation ahead of the election was appropriate. “Elections have consequences and the Republicans who control Congress are only doing what their voters elected them to do,” Simonyan said. “We can’t blame them for pushing their party’s agenda forward.”
Kursinski encourages his students to speak their mind and begin forming their political views. “I enjoy watching my students develop opinions on issues, and want to create an environment where they feel comfortable expressing their political thoughts,” Kursinski said.
Junior Ayk Hagopian said that Barret’s nomination should have been postponed until after the election. Hagopian said that the rushed nomination is an attempt to solidify conservative control over the Supreme Court. “It would’ve been fair to wait until after the election, so the people of this country could have a say in the selection,” Hagopian said.
United States History teacher Patrick Davarhanian constructs a similar assignment for his class. “For every one of my class periods, I design an outline of historical events that took place to give a brief overview and comparison of what is happening in current day politics,” Davarhanian said. “The same standard has not been applied to the current open seat on the Supreme Court with less than one week until the 2020 presidential election.”
Junior Janet Jong said she is concerned about the hyperpartisan political environment in the United States. “Opponents of filling the seat argue that we should not break established precedent simply because it is beneficial in the short term for one political party,” Jong said. “This degrades our democratic institutions and loses trust in the system that has been established.”