‘2 Years, 10 Months, 23 Days. The Length of Time Amy Coney Barrett Has Been a Judge.’
On September 27 2020, a number of Facebook posts claiming that Amy Coney Barrett had been a judge for “2 years 10 months [and] 23 days” began circulating:
All three of the posts above read:
2 years, 10 months, 23 days.
The length of time Amy Coney Barrett has been a judge.
Occasionally, a person sharing the post added to the text:
All of the examples we found utilized Facebook’s text-based status update image generator, creating a colorful and highly shareable post without the ability to easily add a citation. Commenters frequently opined that Amy Coney Barrett’s time on the bench was insufficient, but none appeared to be verifying the accuracy of the viral posts.
At 7:28 PM EST on September 18 2020, NPR reported that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died of metastatic pancreatic cancer; the Supreme Court issued a press release:
Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died this evening [of September 18 2020] surrounded by her family at her home in Washington, D.C., due to complications of metastatic pancreas cancer. She was 87 years old. Justice Ginsburg was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Clinton in 1993. She was the second woman appointed to the Court and served more than 27 years.
At 8:15 PM EST on September 18 2020, Amy Coney Barrett was named in articles about who might be Ginsburg’s possible replacement on the bench:
The line to succeed the late Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court likely starts with these federal appeals court judges:
Amy Coney Barrett
A finalist for Trump’s second high court nomination, which ultimately went to Brett Kavanaugh in 2018, Barrett, 48, is a favorite of religious conservatives.
Barrett rocketed to the top of Trump’s list of potential nominees after her 2017 confirmation hearing for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, when Democrats cited her deep Catholic faith not as an advantage but an obstacle. She was confirmed, 55-43.
By September 19 2020, Coney Barrett was described as a front-runner in ongoing coverage of Ginsburg’s death. Politico reported:
President Donald Trump is expected to nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, setting in motion a likely sharp shift toward a more conservative court.
If confirmed, Barrett would take the seat vacated after the death of the liberal-leaning Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Trump indicated that he intended to nominate Barrett on September 19 2020:
Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a federal appellate judge and Notre Dame law professor, is a proven conservative with a compelling personal story who has long been atop President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court short list.
Trump announced Saturday [September 19 2020] he is nominating Barrett to be the new high court justice during a ceremony at the White House Rose Garden. The Senate Judiciary Committee will begin confirmation hearings on Barrett’s nomination on October 12 .
Barrett, the mother of seven children and a former law clerk to the late right-wing beacon Justice Antonin Scalia, Barrett, now 48, was a finalist for the Supreme Court spot that went to Brett Kavanaugh in 2018.
She met with Trump to discuss the nomination on Monday [September 21 2020], sources close to the process told CNN.
Amy Coney Barrett’s Resume and Time on the Bench
On September 21 2020, SCOTUSBlog.com profiled Amy Coney Barrett’s career, detailing her “prolific” academic career and adding:
Barrett spent a year as a law and economics fellow at George Washington University before heading to her alma mater, Notre Dame, in 2002 to teach 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 was named “distinguished professor of the year” three times.
During her 15 years as a full-time law professor, Barrett’s academic scholarship was prolific. Several of her articles, however, drew fire at Barrett’s confirmation hearing, with Democratic senators suggesting that they indicate that Barrett would be influenced by her Catholic faith, particularly on the question of abortion.
On the University of Notre Dame’s website, a biography page described Barrett’s career in academia further. A subsequent section on SCOTUSBlog.com read in part:
Trump nominated Barrett to the 7th Circuit on May 8, 2017. Despite some criticism from Democrats, she garnered bipartisan support at her confirmation hearing … On Oct. 31, 2017, Barrett was confirmed to the 7th Circuit by a vote of 55 to 43.
On September 26 2020, the White House published a briefing (“Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Exceptional Legal Experience, Expertise, and Judicial Record Make Her the Right Choice to Serve on the Supreme Court”) and addressed Barrett’s qualifications. That section noted she had served as a judge since 2017:
Judge Amy Coney Barrett brings a wealth of experience from her time in private practice, academia, and public service.
- Since 2017, Judge Barrett has served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit after she was nominated by President Trump and confirmed on a bipartisan vote.
- Judge Barrett was appointed by Chief Justice John Roberts to sit on the Advisory Committee on Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, where she served from 2010 to 2016.
- After graduating from law school, Judge Barrett clerked for D.C. Circuit Judge Laurence Silberman and for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
- Judge Barrett practiced both trial and appellate litigation in Washington, D.C. at Miller, Cassidy, Larroca, & Lewin, and at Baker Botts.
- Judge Barrett worked for more than 15 years in academia, shaping the next generation of legal minds and supporting the professional development of her students.
As noted, Amy Coney Barrett received her commission on November 2 2017:
Federal Judicial Service: Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
Nominated by Donald J. Trump on May 8, 2017, to a seat vacated by John Daniel Tinder. Confirmed by the Senate on October 31, 2017, and received commission on November 2, 2017.
2 Years, 10 Months, and 23 Days
The “2 Years, 10 Months, and 23 Days” posts appeared around September 27 2020, but they were later shared in screenshots on later dates.
Two years, ten months, and 23 days after November 2 2017 was either September 25 or 26 2020, according to a “time between dates” calculator.
Several Facebook posts (and tweets) simply read “2 years, 10 months, 23 days, the length of time Amy Coney Barrett has been a judge”; we found no variation of the claim that included a citation. Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on October 31 2017, and received commission on November 2 2017. Although the calculation was oddly specific and therefore slightly inaccurate, Barrett took the bench roughly two years, ten months, and 23 days before the posts began circulating.