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Judge Amy Coney Barrett speaks after President Donald Trump announced Barrett as his nominee to the Supreme Court, in the Rose Garden at the White House on Sept. 26, 2020, in Washington. (AP) Judge Amy Coney Barrett speaks after President Donald Trump announced Barrett as his nominee to the Supreme Court, in the Rose Garden at the White House on Sept. 26, 2020, in Washington. (AP)

Judge Amy Coney Barrett speaks after President Donald Trump announced Barrett as his nominee to the Supreme Court, in the Rose Garden at the White House on Sept. 26, 2020, in Washington. (AP)

Tom Kertscher
By Tom Kertscher September 30, 2020

No proof Amy Coney Barrett said a woman needs a man’s permission to own property

If Your Time is short

  • There’s no evidence President Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court made such a statement.

Widely shared social media posts attacking Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, have fallen short on our Truth-O-Meter.

We rated False a claim that, like Al-Qaeda and ISIS, Barrett has said her "end goal is to end the separation of church and state and build a ‘Kingdom of God’ in the United States." Also False was a claim that Barrett said that "gays have a right to be discriminated against because they are against God’s wishes" and that "white people are God’s chosen ones."

Now comes this attack, posted on Facebook: 

"Amy Coney Barrett has said that a woman should not be able to own property, buy or sell without the permission of her husband or a male relative."

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

We contacted nine legal experts and organizations familiar with Barrett’s record, including two organizations that oppose her nomination and have researched her background. None said they were aware of any evidence to back the post. 

"We have not seen that statement attributed directly to Barrett," said a spokeswoman for the National Women’s Law Center, which opposes Barrett’s nomination and has suggested that adding Barrett to a conservative-leaning court could increase the risk of discrimination against women in property rights and other areas.

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Said a spokesman for the Alliance for Justice, a progressive group that opposes Barrett’s nomination: "Our researchers have never seen any quote to that effect."

Added Ilya Shapiro, director of the Center for Constitutional Studies at the libertarian Cato Institute: "I’ve never heard that, and it’s a ridiculous assertion."

Barrett, a conservative judge on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago who has described herself as a devout Catholic, was chosen by Trump for the seat that opened when Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Sept. 18. 

Several experts said the claim likely emanates from perceptions about  the Christian group People of Praise.

Barrett has close ties to the group, which holds that men are divinely ordained as the "head" of the family and faith, the Associated Press reported.

Our ruling

The Facebook claim said, "Amy Coney Barrett has said that a woman should not be able to own property, buy or sell without the permission of her husband or a male relative."

Finding no evidence to back the statement, we rate it False.

Our Sources

Facebook, post (archived here), Sept. 26, 2020

Email, Gillian Branstetter, media manager, National Women’s Law Center, Sept. 29, 2020

Interview, Ediberto Roman, professor of law at Florida International University, Sept. 30, 2020

Email, Adam White, resident scholar in constitutionalism at American Enterprise Institute, Sept. 29, 2020

Email, Kim Wehle, professor of law at the University of Baltimore, Sept. 29, 2020

Email, Ilya Shapiro, director of the Center for Constitutional Studies at the Cato Institute, Sept. 29, 2020

Email, Zack Ford, press secretary for the Alliance for Justice, a progressive group, Sept. 29, 2020

Email, Timothy Johnson, professor of political science and law, University of Minnesota, Sept. 29, 2020

Email, University of Virginia law professor Saikrishna Prakash, Sept. 29, 2020

Email, John Culhane, Widener University Delaware Law School professor, Sept. 29, 2020

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Tom Kertscher

No proof Amy Coney Barrett said a woman needs a man’s permission to own property

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