Donald Trump’s sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, has been making the news lately as her brother weighed his options for making his first Supreme Court nomination. So who is Maryanne Barry, and what role did she play in her brother’s decision to nominate Neil Gorsuch to fill the spot vacated by conservative justice Antonin Scalia?
1. Maryanne Trump Barry Sits On The Third Circuit Court of Appeals
As Law Newz reports, Barry is a federal judge on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, which is seated in Philadelphia and includes Delaware, New Jersey, and parts of Pennsylvania.
Appointed to the job in 1999 by Bill Clinton, Maryanne Trump Barry has developed a reputation as a conservative-leaning moderate, often putting herself at odds with conservatives. For example, Barry once ruled against a New Jersey partial-birth abortion ban for being too broad, leaving Senator Ted Cruz to label her a “radical pro-abortion extremist.”
2. She “Has Her Brother’s Ear” When It Comes To Supreme Court Nominations
As the older sister of the President of the United States, she reportedly had, and has, access to him when it comes to advising Supreme Court nominees. And she used that access to suggest her colleague on the bench, Thomas Hardiman.
Hardiman, according to Appellate attorney Matthew Stiegler, had Barry to thank for his rise through the ranks of the U.S. Attorneys Office.
“They are regularly sitting together, deciding cases together, participating together in oral arguments.”
3. Her Brother Ignored Her Advice And Nominated Someone Else For The Supreme Court
Unfortunately for Mrs. Barry, her younger brother Donald didn’t take her advice, and instead nominated Neil Gorsuch, of the Tenth Circuit Court. The Tench Circuit Court is seated in Denver and includes Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, and parts of Oklahoma.
4. Barry’s Views Don’t Necessarily Align With Her Brother’s
As mentioned a few paragraphs above, Barry’s reputation in the judicial world is one of a conservative-leaning moderate – a reputation that may have put her at odds with conservatives. In addition to her controversial abortion ruling that put her on Ted Cruz’ list, she’s made some other rulings and written some other opinions, that may not necessarily jibe with the conservative party line, according to The National Law Journal.
For example, in J.S. v. Blue Mountain School District, Barry sided with the majority in a First Amendment case involving a high school student who had accused his principal of being a pedophile on MySpace. Barry, via the majority, wrote that punishing the child for his off-campus speech activities “would vest school officials with dangerously overbroad censorship discretion.”
Similarly, in United States v. Mitchell, Barry sided with the dissenting judges in a law & order case. The majority of judges ruled in that case that arrestees who haven’t been convicted of a crime can be compelled to provide DNA samples for a federal database. Siding with the minority, Barry agreed that arrestees’ privacy rights are not so weak that they can be compelled to “hand over highly sensitive information” just because the government demands it.
5. Some Basic Biographical Information You Need To Know
Maryanne Trump was born April 5, 1937, in New York City. When she was 9-years-old, her brother, Donald, was born (June 14, 1946). While her brother went into the real-estate and business worlds, Maryanne found her calling in law. She earned her J.D. from Hofstra University School of Law in 1974 and began working her way up the judicial ladder. In 1982 she married her second husband, John Barry, and took his name. In 1983, she was appointed by Ronald Reagan to the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, a position she held until 1999 when then-President Bill Clinton promoted her to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, where she remains behind the bench to this day.
[Featured Image by Julie Jacobson/AP Photo]