President Trump has announced Rhodes College alumna Amy Coney Barrett ‘94 is being considered to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the United States Supreme Court.
“It is an honor for a graduate of Rhodes to be considered as a possible nominee for the nation’s highest court,” says President Marjorie Hass. “Judge Barrett excelled as an English major on campus, just as she has in her professional and academic law career.”
Barrett, originally from Metairie, LA, graduated from Rhodes magna cum laude with a B.A. in English. As a student, she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa, Mortar Board, and Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society. She was a member of Kappa Delta Sorority, participated in Model United Nations, and was elected to serve on the Honor Council. Barrett was also chosen to be inducted into the Rhodes Student Hall of Fame.
After graduating from Rhodes, Barrett attended law school at the University of Notre Dame, where she graduated first in her class in 1997. Following law school, she worked as a clerk for Judge Lawrence Silberman on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Following a one-year clerkship for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, she joined the Washington, DC, law firm of Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin.
In 2002, Barrett joined the faculty at Notre Dame Law School, where she was named a professor of law in 2010. She was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in October 2017.
If confirmed, Barrett would be the second Rhodes College graduate to serve on the Supreme Court. Justice Abe Fortas graduated from Rhodes (then Southwestern) in 1930. Dr. Timothy Huebner, the Irma O. Sternberg Professor of History at Rhodes, recently wrote an article for Rhodesmagazine detailing how Fortas’ time in Memphis shaped his future career.
Rhodes has a long track record of graduates entering the legal profession. The college has a nationally renowned Mock Trial program, and students studying a wide range of majors decide to pursue law degrees.