Amy Barrett Delivers 1st Opinion

( Justice Amy Coney Barrett, the Notorious ACB who was nominated by President Donald Trump just before the 2020 presidential election, has delivered her first opinion.

It’s good news for the Supreme Court, but likely bitter-sweet for conservatives who had hoped she had been more willing to accept cases relating to voter fraud and misconduct in the 2020 election.

On Thursday, Barrett wrote a ruling for a 7-2 vote stating that draft documents do not need to be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act. It took some four months for the opinion to be released, with two liberal justices on the bench, Sonia Sotomayor and Stephen Breyer, dissenting.

Traditionally, new justices are assigned to court cases in which the bench votes unanimously for their first opinion, but it didn’t happen this time.

Barret’s first written opinion related to the Sierra Club, an environmental group that sued to gain access to federal government documents relating to structures used in industrial cooling facilities, and the potential harm done to wildlife as a result of the structures. Barrett’s opinion explained how the Freedom of Information Act makes records available to the general public upon request, “unless those records fall within one of nine exemptions.”

Barrett explained that the exemptions include any document that is “generated during an agency’s deliberations about a policy,” and not just documents that explain or embody a policy adopted by an agency.

Barrett wrote that the documents the Sierra Club was seeking access did not need to be disclosed as they were only draft documents and that the concerns the group raised over classifying documents as “drafts” to avoid publication were not a good enough argument to change the rules.

Justice Barrett said that if there was evidence that an agency had “hidden a functionally final decision in draft form” then those documents would not be protected from disclosure requirements under the Freedom Of Information Act.

Regardless of what happens over cases relating to fraud in the 2020 presidential election, Justice Barrett is expected to be a constitutionalist Supreme Court Justice who will defend conservative values.

Which is exactly why President Joe Biden is exploring ways to change the make-up of the Court.