John Garvey is president of the Catholic University of America. He is a former dean of the Boston College Law School and a former president of the Association of American Law Schools.


I first met Amy Coney Barrett from behind a veil of academic anonymity.

I was teaching a First Amendment class at Notre Dame Law School. She was a student, just a face in the crowd. On the final exam, someone — the bluebooks were anonymous — had written an answer so impressive that I rushed to share it with one of my colleagues. This student, I said, gave a response to my own question much better than the one I had come up with myself. That student was Amy Coney.

I hired the future judge as my research assistant. It was in that capacity that she co-wrote with me a 1998 Marquette Law Review article on Catholic judges and the death penalty — the article that stirred controversy during the confirmation hearing for her current position on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit in September 2017.  …

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