The selection, nomination, and swearing in of Justice Amy Coney Barrett took place amid an already tension-ridden political and cultural landscape. As a figurehead of women’s rights and equality, Ruth Bader Ginsburg did not want President Trump to choose her successor. Her dying wish was for her seat to be replaced after the 2020 presidential election. Nevertheless, Trump moved his Supreme Court nominee through the process at an unprecedented rate, and within six weeks of Ginsburg’s passing, a conservative constitutional originalist named Amy Coney Barrett took her place.
The nature of the Supreme Court position, the contrasts between the two women, and the way in which the events unfolded wield an opportunity to compare the ways in which Ginsburg and Barrett were discussed on Twitter during the six-week transition period. This project utilizes feminist critical discourse theory and the study of intertextuality to uncover trends and patterns that may speak to larger observations about how women of power are discussed on social media platforms. The ways in which Ginsburg and Barrett are connected, through position and title, allow for careful comparison and analysis of Twitter discourse that will ultimately reveal the ways in which the women are linked rhetorically. Twitter users, whether aware or not, created a database of firsthand accounts, reactions, and personal retellings of a historical moment.
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English Language and Literature
Durham, Lauren, ""You Can Disagree Without Being Disagreeable": A Rhetorical Study of Tweets about Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Amy Coney Barrett" (2022). Honors Theses. 350.