Girl Scouts Deletes Social Media Posts Congratulating Justice Barrett

Girl Scouts Deletes Social Media Posts Congratulating Justice Barrett
Then-Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the third day of her Supreme Court confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on Oct. 14, 2020. (Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images)
Janita Kan

The Girl Scouts of America deleted a post on its social media channels that congratulated Justice Amy Coney Barrett for her appointment to the Supreme Court after it generated an angry response.

The group’s post, which was placed on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, featured an image of Barrett along with Justices Sandra Day O’Connor, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, to celebrate the appointment of a fifth woman to the court.

“Congratulations Amy Coney Barrett on becoming the 5th woman appointed to the Supreme Court since its inception in 1789,” the group posted on Oct. 28, according to screenshots of the now-deleted item.

The Scouts deleted the post later that day, and issued a statement explaining that they had not intended it to be construed “as a political and partisan statement.”

“Earlier today, we shared a post highlighting the five women who have been appointed to the Supreme Court. It was quickly viewed as a political and partisan statement which was not our intent and we have removed the post,” the group said in a statement.

“Girl Scouts of the USA is a nonpolitical, nonpartisan organization. We are neither red nor blue, but Girl Scout GREEN. We are here to lift up girls and women.”

The post had generated widespread criticism from social media users who oppose Barrett’s judicial philosophy and her appointment to the bench. Many liberals see Barrett’s appointment as a threat to a number of progressive causes such as ensuring access to abortion as well as health care in America.

Senate Democrats made the issue a focus of Barrett’s confirmation hearings because they claim the justice would overturn former President Barack Obama’s signature health care law, the Affordable Care Act, in a pending Supreme Court case challenging the law.

Barrett has repeatedly said she has no animus or hostility toward the law.

Despite removing the post, the Scouts continued to receive criticism from social media users who were opposed to the original post, as well as those who were opposed to the group relenting to the pressure.

“I was a Girl Scout for years. I think it is shameful that you supported a woman installed to tear down women’s rights and the hard work of the four women who came before her,” a social media user wrote.
“There are clearly many girl scouts and parents who share Barrett’s views,” Shapiro Chair of Public Interest Law at George Washington University Jonathan Turley wrote in a post reacting to the Scouts’ decision. “More importantly, this is a moment where civility and decency could prevail over partisanship and pettiness. Indeed, the Girl Scouts are supposed to foster such values. Instead, it yielded to pressure. ... It is a terrible lesson for young girls.

“Like Kappa Delta, the Girl Scouts showed that it will yield to a mob rather than stand on principle. Congratulating Barrett is not an endorsement of her views, it is a reaffirmation of basic principles of decency, civility, and respect.”

Barrett was confirmed as an associate justice of the Supreme Court by the Senate on Oct. 26, becoming the 115th justice on the nation’s highest court. She took her first oath a little over an hour after being confirmed and her second oath at the Supreme Court the next day.

The full Senate, which convened for a rare weekend session, voted 52–48 largely along party lines to confirm Barrett.

The 48-year-old justice addressed the audience after she was sworn in, saying, “It’s a privilege to be asked to serve my country and this office. And I stand here tonight truly honored and humbled.”

She spoke about the importance of federal judges to remain unbiased by their personal politics and policy preferences.

“It is the job of a judge to resist policy preferences. It would be a dereliction of duty for her to give into them. Federal judges don’t stand for election, thus they have no basis for claiming that their preferences reflect those of the people.

“This separation of duty is what makes the judiciary distinct among the three branches of government. A judge declares independence, not only from Congress and the president, but also from the private beliefs that might otherwise move her,” she added.

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