She went to Rhodes College a small liberal arts college in Memphis Tenn. She graduated magna cum laude She went to Nortre Dame Law school in Indiana graduating with her Juris Doctorate
While attending law school she was executive editor of the Notre Dame law review and was awarded the schools highest award for scholarship and achievement.
As a graduate of Nortre Dame she served as clerk to Judge Laurence Silberman a well known conservative in Washington. Following Silberman Judge Barrett was a law clerk to the conservative Justice Antonine Scalia one of the foremost literalists and constitutionalist on the supreme court who died in 2016.
She dissented with her piers on 7th circuit panel over the Clinton-era welfare reform and existing immigration laws that the trump administration is enforcing that if immigrants come to the USA and are a burden to society, needing welfare, don’t work, need housing assistance that “could” jeopardize their status.
She wrote that existing immigration law and Clinton-era welfare reform had already limited public assistance to noncitizens. The administration was just using leeway those laws had given it, Barrett wrote. The objections of immigrants and their advocates “reflect disagreement with this policy choice and even the statutory exclusion itself. Litigation is not the vehicle for resolving policy disputes,” she wrote.
Campus Sexual assault
Barrett authored a decision of a 3-judge panel in 2019 basically requiring evidence if a person is accused of sexual assault or sexual assault allegations are brought against them.
This stemmed from a case in which female student at Purdue University said her Boyfriend sexually assaulted her. Identified in court documents as John and Jane Doe.
Based on the accusation alone John Doe was suspended for a year and lost his Navy ROTC scholarship. The case against him as Barrett wrote, “…boiled down to a he said/she said. Purdue had to decide whether to believe John or Jane.” She later criticized the university official who ended up siding with the female student. “Her basis for believing Jane is perplexing given that she never talked to jane. Jane did not even submit a statement in her own words.” The ruling made it easier for a student accused of sexual assault to challenge the accusation before losing their scholarships or being suspended or expelled based on an accusation alone.
On abortions she has continually upheld the standard of life. She dissented with her colleges after a 3-judge panel blocked an Indiana law that would require a minor to get permission from her parents before getting an abortion. Barrett then voted to have the case reheard by the full court.
She said the law signed by Gov. Mike Pence House Enrolled act 1337 was probably constitutional. Which stated the fetal remains of aborted fetuses would and should be regulated since they are not currently. It also allowed the women the right to dispose of the remains if they so desired. It also had a prohibition on abortions simply because the baby could potentially have a disability, or the baby was not the desired race they wanted. She Joined the dissenting opinions agreeing that since disposal of animal remains is regulated it seemed inconsistent, as Judge Frank Easterbrook writing for the dissenters said; “The panel held invalid a statue that would be sustained had it concerned the remains of cats or gerbils.”
1997-1998 Clerkship with Judge Laurence Silberman
1998-1999 Clerkship with Justice Antonin Scalia
Practicing lawyer Miller, Cassidy, Larroca and Lewin. A prestigious Washington D.C. litigation law firm.
2000 -2001 Baker Botts, a Texas based law firm
2001 George Washington University as law and economics fellow
2002-2016 Notre Dame, teaching federal courts, constitutional law and statutory interpretation. Barrett was named a professor of law at the school in 2010; four years later, she became the Diane and M.O. Research Chair of Law. Barrett twice received a “distinguished professor of the year” award, in 2010 and 2016.