FACT CHECK: Did The US Military Place Amy Coney Barrett Under House Arrest?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook claims the U.S. military has placed Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett under house arrest based on a sealed indictment.

Verdict: False

There is no evidence Barrett is under house arrest. The claim stems from a website that says it publishes “humor, parody and satire.”

Fact Check:

Former President Donald Trump nominated Barrett for the Supreme Court in September 2020, and she was sworn in on Oct. 27 last year after her Senate confirmation, CNN reported. Now, a post on Facebook alleges personnel from the Navy JAG Corps and Army Criminal Investigation Division went to Barrett’s house in Washington, D.C. on May 15, 2021, and placed her on house arrest.

“Acting on a sealed indictment, the U.S. military has placed Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett on house arrest and fitted the mother of 7 with an ankle bracelet to ensure she does not abscond while JAG decides whether to show compassion or schedule a military tribunal,” the post states.

The post further claims Barrett was informed by investigators that they had the authority to “detain or arrest citizens who stand accused of treason or present a threat to national security” under the 1807 Insurrection Act, which had supposedly been invoked by Trump while he was still president. The Insurrection Act allows for a president to deploy military forces into a U.S. state without approval from state authorities to protect constitutional rights in particular situations, according to CNN.

There is, however, no evidence Barrett was placed under house arrest by the military. Check Your Fact searched the Department of Defense’s (DoD) website, but found no mention of the Supreme Court justice being arrested. Nor has the DoD posted about any such incident on its social media pages. Had Barrett been arrested, media outlets certainly would have reported on it, yet none have, except to debunk the claim.

When asked if Barrett was placed on house arrest by the military, a DoD press operations duty officer told Check Your Fact in an email: “That is not true.” The Supreme Court has also not released any statement confirming the supposed action, either.

Furthermore, Check Your Fact previously reported Trump did not invoke the Insurrection Act before leaving office. (RELATED: Did Gen. David Petraeus Author This Essay About The Military?)

The text in the Facebook post appears to have been lifted nearly word-for-word from a May 19 article published by Real Raw News that bears the headline: “Military Puts SCJ Amy Coney Barrett on House Arrest.”

While Real Raw News includes a disclaimer stating the website “contains humor, parody, and satire,” some social media users have shared the claim that Barrett was placed under house arrest without including such a notice, seemingly believing it to be true.

This isn’t the first time a false claim about Barrett that’s circulating on social media has stemmed from a Real Raw News article. In early April, Check Your Fact debunked the baseless claim that Trump authored an indictment charging Barrett with “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Elias Atienza contributed to this report.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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