Amy Coney Barrett: US Supreme Court Nominee Ruled Using N-Word Doesn’t Make Workplace Hostile, Abusive

Amy Coney Barrett, the federal judge nominated by President Donald Trump to fill the Supreme Court seat of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, is under fire for her conservative—and racist—views.

On Oct. 11, the Associated Press published a report on several of her rulings, which included stances on abortion, guns, voting rights and more. One of the most notable ones concerns the use of the n-word in the workplace, which she determined did not “[create] a hostile or abusive working environment.”  

Barrett did say the word was an “egregious racial epithet,” but she does not believe that speaking it in the workplace is enough to win a case. She then added that the Black plaintiff “introduced no evidence that [the defendent’s] use of the n-word changed his subjective experience of the workplace.”

The Associated Press reports:

Barrett wrote for a unanimous three-judge panel in 2019 that upheld the dismissal of a workplace discrimination lawsuit by Terry Smith, a Black Illinois transportation employee who sued after he was fired. Smith’s claims included that he was called a racial slur by supervisor Lloyd Colbert.

“The n-word is an egregious racial epithet,” Barrett wrote in Smith v. Illinois Department of Transportation. “That said, Smith can’t win simply by proving that the word was uttered. He must also demonstrate that Colbert’s use of this word altered the conditions of his employment and created a hostile or abusive working environment.”

Many are sounding off on Twitter about the ruling, especially given the fact that Barrett has two adopted Black children.

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