Ruth Malhotra had just arrived in Florida for a vacation with some girlfriends from high school and their families when President Donald Trump was scheduled to introduce his next nominee for the Supreme Court on Saturday afternoon. A college football game was on the television at their rented beach house. “Turn off football and turn on CSPAN!” she told her friends. “We’ve got to watch this; this is historic.”
Malhotra, 36, a lifelong evangelical Christian who works in communications for a Christian ministry, has little personal affection for Trump. So she was surprised to find herself tearing up as he introduced Judge Amy Coney Barrett in the Rose Garden, describing her as “a woman of unparalleled achievement, towering intellect, sterling credentials, and unyielding loyalty to the Constitution.”
Malhotra’s mother was watching at home back in Georgia, and felt a spark of recognition in Trump’s description of a selfless, family-oriented woman who reveres the Constitution. Her mother texted: “Trump’s description of Amy reminds me of you.”
Barrett’s nomination pleased many conservatives, who see in her legal credentials and judicial philosophy the potential for her to be the next Antonin Scalia, a solidly conservative presence on the court for decades.
But for many conservative Christian women, the thrill of the nomination is more personal. Barrett, for them, is a new kind of icon — one they have not seen before in American cultural and political life: a woman who is both unabashedly ambitious and deeply religious, who has excelled at the heights of a demanding profession even as she speaks openly about prioritizing her conservative Catholic faith and family. Barrett has seven children, including two children adopted from Haiti and a young son with Down syndrome.
“I found some personal inspiration in Ginsburg — you couldn’t not,” said