A tweet by the Girl Scouts congratulating new Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett drew such outrage from Barrett’s critics that the youth organization swiftly deleted it – only to draw a new backlash from Barrett’s supporters.
The original tweet, posted Wednesday evening, said, “Congratulations Amy Coney Barrett on becoming the 5th woman appointed to the Supreme Court since its inception in 1789.”
The post featured an image of Barrett, who was confirmed Monday and sworn in at the court on Tuesday; along with currently serving justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor; former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor; and Barrett’s predecessor, the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
The post was quickly attacked by critics who view Barrett, a conservative, as a potential threat to civil liberties and women’s rights.
“What kind of patch does one earn for uplifting a woman who is the antithesis of justice?” tweeted U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass.
Actor Amber Tamblyn tweeted that the Girl Scouts’ post is “really disappointing and won’t age well when access to safe abortion and the healthcare needs of millions of women and girls is gutted in this country because of Barrett’s addition to the court.”
Actor Zach Braff was among numerous people who tweeted about seeking alternatives to Girl Scout cookies due to disenchantment with the Barrett posting.
“(asterisk)Googles ‘How do you make your own thin mints,’” Braff tweeted.
As the online criticism mounted, the Girl Scouts deleted their original tweet and posted a new statement.
“Earlier today, we shared a post highlighting the five women who have been appointed to the Supreme Court. It was quickly viewed as a political and partisan statement which was not our intent and we have removed the post.... Girl Scouts of the USA is a nonpolitical, nonpartisan organization. We are neither red nor blue, but Girl Scout GREEN. We are here to lift up girls and women.”
The retreat by the Girl Scouts was quickly assailed by many of Barrett’s conservative supporters.
“Of course the @girlscouts caved to the mob and deleted this tweet congratulating Amy Coney Barrett. SAD,” tweeted the Independent Women’s Forum.
“This is pathetic,” TV personality Megyn Kelly tweeted to the Girl Scouts. “It’s not ‘partisan’ to generically congratulate the 5th woman ever to join the High Court. It’s patriotic. Taking your tweet down (asterisk)is(asterisk) partisan, however, and a real disappointment."
There was no immediate reply from the Girl Scouts' media spokeswoman to an Associated Press request for additional comment and for any details on whether Barrett had been in the Girl Scouts.
The Girl Scouts have been entangled in the culture wars as far back as the 1970s, when some conservatives became irked by the prominence of feminists such as Betty Friedan in the organization’s leadership.
More recently, in response to criticism from religious conservatives, the Girl Scouts insisted that they had no partnership with Planned Parenthood, and did not take positions on sexuality, birth control and abortion.
The Girl Scouts, along with the Boy Scouts of America and other youth organizations, have experienced membership declines in recent years, for reasons ranging from busy family schedules to the lure of online games and social media. According to 2018 data, the Girl Scouts had about 1.76 million girls and 780,000 adult members — down from about 2.9 million girls and 900,000 adult volunteers in 2003.