Barrett does have ties through her and her family’s work in corporate law firms to multi-national oil giants like Royal Dutch Shell, new research from the nonpartisan watchdog Accountable.US shows. Her father spent most of his career working as a lawyer for Shell Oil, and Barrett worked at the firm Baker Botts while the firm represented major oil corporations like Exxon and Shell. She has included Shell on her recusal list, according to Accountable.US, but the research also shows that as a judge she ruled in favor of corporate interests over people 76 percent of the time. “Amy Coney Barrett’s record and views prove that she is anti-science, anti-environment, and an outright climate denier,” Accountable.US spokesperson Jayson O’Neill said in a statement.
86 percent of President Trump’s nominees to federal appellate courts, including Barrett, have been members of the influential right-wing legal network the Federalist Society. Barrett, whom Trump appointed to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017, was an official member of the Federalist Society from 2005-2006 and 2014-2017 and continues to be affiliated with the organization.
The Federalist Society notably has ties to climate deniers and polluting interests like Koch Industries and ExxonMobil. As DeSmog’s database profile on the Federalist Society notes, “the Society has consistently published articles and hosted debates that frame investigations into ExxonMobil and think tanks that question the existence of man-made climate change as attacks on free speech. The group has also regularly hosted talks by individuals who oppose the mainstream consensus on manmade climate change including Willie Soon, Oren Cass, Steven Hayward, and others.”
In particular, Sen. Whitehouse cited The Washington Post‘s 2019 investigation that found a $250 million, mostly dark-money effort by conservative activist Leonard Leo to push for conservative judges and causes. “Two hundred and fifty million dollars is a lot of money to spend if you’re not getting anything for it,” he said. “So that raises the question: What are they getting for it?”Amy Coney Barrett’s Remarks on Climate Change Raise Alarm That a Climate Denier Is About to Join the Supreme Court | DeSmog