In 2019, Barrett dissented alone when a 7th Circuit panel majority rejected a Second Amendment challenge from a man found guilty of felony mail fraud and prohibited from possessing a firearm under federal and Wisconsin law.
Barrett concluded, “Holding that the ban is constitutional … does not put the government through its paces, but instead treats the Second Amendment as a second-class right.”
In June, Barrett dissented as a 7th Circuit panel left intact a US district court decision temporarily blocking a Trump policy that disadvantaged green card applicants who apply for any public assistance. In dispute were federal immigration regulations regarding when an applicant would be deemed a “public charge” and ineligible for permanent status in the US.
In her dissent, Barrett wrote that the Trump administration’s interpretation of the relevant “public charge” law was not “unreasonable.”
“At bottom, the plaintiffs’ objections reflect disagreement with this policy choice and even the statutory exclusion itself. Litigation is not the vehicle for resolving policy disputes. Because I think that DHS’s definition is a reasonable interpretation of the statutory term ‘public charge,’ I respectfully dissent,” she wrote.
In 2018, when the full 7th Circuit declined to reconsider a dispute over an Indiana abortion regulation requiring that the post-abortion fetal remains be cremated or buried, Barrett dissented with fellow conservatives. They began by focusing on a more contentious provision that had been earlier invalidated and not subject to the appeal.
“None of the Court’s abortion decisions holds that states are powerless to prevent abortions designed to choose the sex, race, and other attributes of children,” the dissent added.
Affordable Care Act
“Chief Justice Roberts pushed the Affordable Care Act beyond its plausible meaning to save the statute,” Barrett wrote. “He construed the penalty imposed on those without health insurance as a tax, which permitted him to sustain the statute as a valid exercise of the taxing power.”
At another point, Barrett refers to “Roberts’ devotion to constitutional avoidance.”
CNN’s Ariane de Vogue and Dan Berman contributed to this report.