Even the Law is Dead in America

Amy Coney Barrett (the one not clapping)

W.J. Astore

This snippet just showed up in my email (courtesy of the Boston Globe):

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett declared Monday that Americans “deserve an independent Supreme Court that interprets our Constitution and laws as they are written,” encapsulating her conservative approach to the law that has Republicans excited about the prospect of her taking the place of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before Election Day.

Now, I know this is coded talk. The idea of a close and literal reading of the U.S. Constitution and related laws is meant to tell conservatives that she is not an activist, that she is not liberal in any way. But it also means that she’s mainly, in a bizarre way, a clerk rather than a judge — if her statement was meant to be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. But it isn’t.

Barrett is spouting half-truths, since conservative judges are just as activist as their liberal counterparts on the bench. They simply disguise their activism using terms like literalism, which is “strict” and “conservative” and allegedly in keeping with what the Founders intended, as if we can be mind-readers. And even if we could be mind-readers, hasn’t the world changed a lot in roughly 250 years?

Look, I’m a historian, not a lawyer. I’m no expert on judging the law, but I can view the law in historical terms. And in those terms the law is organic, not static, as is our understanding of it. Put differently, the law should be made and remade for us, not we for the law. Because we’re human, we’re imperfect, the societies we create are imperfect, and so too are the laws we create.

Our goal should always be to form a more perfect union, to grow in understanding and compassion. Such is also true of the law. If all these judges do is to issue rulings simply on what is written in the documents before them, why do we even need a Supreme Court?

A static system of laws based on the writings of men who lived 250 years ago is not only unwise: it’s inhuman. Even the law is dead in America.

Update (10/13/20):

I used “literalist” when “textualist” and “originalist” seem to be the preferred terms for this judicial approach.

But judicial literalism echoes the Biblical literalism that is consistent with this judicial approach: the idea the Bible, like the law, should be read plainly, literally, based on the text, with no changes based on new scholarship.

It’s a mindset, an alleged quest for certainty through “simple” readings, but what it’s really all about is a deference to authority figures in the here-and-now who claim to know how to make these “simple” readings. And when they do, these readings are always in their favor.

Surprise! God favors a conservative patriarchy, just as the law does. Who knew?

Update 2 (10/14/20)

It beggars belief that an educated adult in America would have no firm opinion on climate change. Heck, even Trump has admitted there’s a human component to the same. But Amy Coney Barrett says she has no “firm views” on climate change; meanwhile, her father has been a lawyer with Shell Oil for decades. And a major case involving Shell on climate change is pending before the Supreme Court. Coincidence? See this article by David Sirota & Co.

https://www.dailyposter.com/p/upcoming-scotus-climate-case-involves

What’s sad about these sham senate hearings is how nominees like Kavanaugh and Barrett end up effectively perjuring themselves with their answers. I know: I’m not a lawyer and technically it’s probably not perjury. But they essentially answer questions dishonestly in their quest to be confirmed. Here’s an example:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/oct/13/kamala-harris-amy-coney-barrett-senate-hearing

Finally, a friend made two fine points about Barrett. The first is she’s smart with the law; the second is she’s a person of faith. But what kind of smarts, and what kind of faith? Smarts that are limited, uninformed by compassion and an appreciation for the human condition, can be sterile. Faith that is rigid and shaped by a patriarchal church can be hidebound, conveying certainty and a holier-than-thou attitude.

71 thoughts on “Even the Law is Dead in America

  1. Her ilk would strip away the incremental progress we have made though generations. They clamor for a new convention hoping they can buy and propagandize their way to a more concrete plutocracy or for some an extremist theocracy. Our nation is far more fragile than I imagined a few years ago. ON TYRANNY by Timothy Snyder has become a must read.

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  2. Ah, we can see the brilliance of her judicial mind!! “Interpret” the Constitution “as [it] is written” is an oxymoron, of course! Let’s turn the clock all the way back to 1789. Look, the Constitution doesn’t say a damned thing about there NOT being a right to purchase and own humans as laborers! (Originally, of course, it didn’t contain a “Bill of Rights,” the idea of which met much opposition.) I absolutely cannot subject myself to listening to these hearings (being carried by NPR) because, as dominant party, the GOP Senators will be pitching the softest, friendliest questions they can cook up. As it always goes. And yes, absolutely, if ever there were “activists” on SCOTUS, they have been and continue to be the rightwingers. Killing what remains of the ACA is small potatoes. These guys are just itching to kill Roe v. Wade. I predict a win for that effort by 5-4 vote, with Chief Justice Roberts jilting his Federalist Society buddies again.

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  3. Conservative icon Judge Scalia promoted the “originalist” concept that the constitution can only be interpreted as the Founding Fathers intended, disregarding the fact that there were huge disputes by the founding fathers over how to interpret it, and that the only valid interpretation was to strictly follow the text which they themselves don’t always do (i.e. “a well regulated militia”). That’s why you will frequently see references to certain judges being Originalist or in Amy Barrett’s case a Textualist. It completely ignores the fact that the world has changed in the last 200+ years and the constitution was flawed from the beginning most notably regarding slavery or the women’s right to vote. The strength of the constitution is that it’s a living document and has been amended a number of times as needed.

    Unfortunately, these Senate confirmations have become a form of Kabuki where Supreme Court nominees skillfully dodge answering most questions honestly. Just another version of “speaking in tongues”.

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    1. Yes, spot-on. As I’ve noted in the past, no less a founding “light” than Thomas Jefferson stated his expectation that the Constitution would be revised every generation or two to meet the needs of a changing world. Now, when it comes to the “little matter” of “Does a woman have a right to choose to terminate her pregnancy?” the conservatives ever so conveniently ignore the fact that the Constitution makes no prohibition whatsoever of that action. In fact, the Constitution offers no “promise” whatsoever of a right of any individual to live, other than to restrain government from unlawfully, excessively acting against individuals. The prosecution of someone committing homicide is a local matter, unless the victim is an officer of the Federal Government.

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  4. “In Oceania, there is no law.” — George Orwell, 1984

    See Julian Assange, now languishing in a maximum security prison on Airstrip One (the UK) for the best possible example of what “law” (not mention, “journalism”) means in the English-speaking regions of “The Oligarchical Collective.”

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    1. Orwell was so often right.

      Put differently, we, the party, say what the law is and what words mean. Not you. So if we say “freedom is slavery,” that’s what it is. And that’s the law.

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      1. “Freedom is Slavery” is the slogan, but…subject to change at the whim of the leadership! Those slogans didn’t vary in the novel, but most everything else got revised. Repetition is one key element. “The United States of America was founded as a Christian nation.” Say it often, say it loudly until it becomes accepted “wisdom.” Thomas Jefferson? To hell with that lousy Commie-atheist!!

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          1. From “Why I write”, by George Orwell
            First published: Gangrel. — GB, London. — summer 1946:

            ” . . .
            I dreamt I slept in marble halls
            And woke to find it true.
            I wasn’t born for an age like this.
            Was Smith? Was Jones? Were you?

            [Author’s footnote1: This poem first appeared in the Adelphi, December 1936]

            “The Spanish war and other events in 1936-37 turned the scale and thereafter I knew where I stood. Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism, as I understand it. It seems to me nonsense, in a period like our own, to think that one can avoid writing of such subjects. Everyone writes of them in one guise or another. It is simply a question of which side one takes and what approach one follows. And the more one is conscious of one’s political bias, the more chance one has of acting politically without sacrificing one’s aesthetic and intellectual integrity.
            . . . ”

            For me, the “Vietnam” war — or Second Indochina War, as the rest of the world knows it — “turned the scale” (or ripped the “patriotic” blinders from my eyes) and alienated me permanently from the country that had indoctrinated me in falsehood and then sent me away to rudely learn the truth on my own. My mother and her WWII generation could never understand. “Who will defend us from our enemies if you don’t?” she would ask me. “Who will defend me against my own government if you don’t?” I would answer. I loved my mother without reservation and respected her utterly, but we never resolved this particular disagreement. And if anything, the decades since her passing have only deepened my alienation from a people and country that will somnolently allow its “government” to flagrantly lie and abuse power on such a monstrous scale. Certainly “Ignorance is Strength,” as Orwell wrote about Oceania (US/UK/EU), but if he lived today he would most likely add a Fourth Slogan of the Party (courtesy of the Treasury plundering, ticket-punching, fuck-up-and-move-up U.S. military): namely, “Defeat is Victory.”

            In any event, reading and studying “The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism” (the book within a book from 1984) will always repay the time and attention invested.

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  5. Strict Constructionism and Originalist these terms can have some meaning. I sometimes think when people use these terms and add in the Federalist Papers they are attempting to use an Ouija Board to communicate with the dead.

    As others point out when the Constitution was approved women did not have the right to vote and blacks were slaves – property.

    You have to wonder what the Originalists would have thought of our many wars since 1945 since we have not had a declaration of war since 1941?? Would the Originalists have approved of Corporate Personhood?? Would the Originalists have approved of the Interstate Highway system??? Would they have approved of Brown vs the Board of Education?? Would they have approved of LBJ’s Civil Rights Act???

    Congress has over the years filled in many of the blanks in the Constitution through their legislation, not all of it survives judicial challenges. ACA is once again being challenged.

    What actions a governor, mayor or school board can take concerning masks, social distancing, size of social gatherings, closing indoor eating in restaurants, or limiting church attendance etc., to contain Corona are now hotly disputed and debated. Does the health and welfare of the many outweigh the “Rights” of the few??

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    1. While I knew of the existence of The Federalist Papers for eons, I only read selected ones (selected by the editors of a slim volume, a paperback I picked up for maybe 50 cents at some point) a few years ago. I recommend anyone interested in US history check them out. There were winners and losers in those debates about what the Constitution should contain. “Strict Constructionism” is, of course, a rightwing argument and flies in the face of Jefferson’s view of the Constitution. It’s just another example of the right’s hypocrisy that they argue for Strict Constructionism yet simultaneously imagine they have a right to outlaw abortion under any and all circumstances.

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  6. ” If all these judges do is to issue rulings simply on what is written in the documents before them, why do we even need a Supreme Court?”

    Ah, but you say, “chair,” and I say, “seat.” Sometimes, semantics involves splitting hairs, sometimes it makes all the difference. That’s why parsing “original intent” is so fraught. As we know, for instance, there are many who assert that the United States was founded as a Christian nation, whereas a number of the founders were deists, at most. Interpretations depend on emphases, viewpoints, and individual agendas. The so-called Textualists, for instance, frequently disregard the entire, “well-regulated militia” clause in the Second Amendment, relegating it to irrelevance, when, linguistically, it prescribes the meaning of the amendment.

    For my part, I’m more afraid of ACB’s religious fanaticism than her views regarding interpretation of the Constitution, because that personal agenda will overpower everything else, no matter how much she insists it will be otherwise.

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    1. Any historian not in the pocket of “Evangelicals” will confirm that the Founders absolutely believed in separation of church and state. “The[ir] Creator” is a phrase that appears in the Declaration of Independence, which has no force of law. It does NOT appear in the Constitution, just an assertion that the state shall not interfere in religious matters of personal conscience. (Which, to be sure, was perhaps the most revolutionary element in the documents concocted by these ex-Europeans, who’d witnessed the abuse of state power by religion.) We shouldn’t be at all surprised that religious groups are suing local governments over pandemic-related restrictions. Hell, it was inevitable in today’s USA. Don’t these people have a personal, one to one relationship with their Lord, which can be exercised anywhere, anytime? No physical place of worship required. But, of course, the issue is just being used as a battering ram against the little that’s left of that “wall of separation.”

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        1. All interest groups are subject to hypocrisy. But religious zealots convince themselves they’re upheld by a higher power in their hypocrisy — and that makes them especially dangerous.

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          1. Well, I’d say all humans are prone to hypocrisy. Again, it wouldn’t be a PUBLIC issue if not for the insistence of the religious right on getting involved in politics. It’s their primary focus these days (years, decades), really. And yes, there is no more dangerous individual on Earth than the religious fanatic who will commit unlimited crimes in the name of an imaginary Deity.

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  7. I used the word “literalist” when “textualist” and “originalist” seem to be the preferred terms for this judicial approach.

    But “literalist” echoes the Biblical literalism that is consistent with this judicial approach: the idea the Bible, like the law, should be read plainly, literally, based on the text, with no changes based on new scholarship.

    It’s a mindset, an alleged quest for certainty through “simple” readings, but what it’s really all about is a deference to authority figures in the here-and-now who claim to know how to make these “simple” readings. And when they do, these readings are always in their favor.

    Surprise! God favors a conservative patriarchy, just as the law does. Who knew?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Valid—and timely, apropos—comparison!

      Back when I was younger and didn’t know any better, I was debating with an evangelical Baptist friend about the Bible’s being the literal word of God. Leaving aside the mystery mechanics of speech between a non-corporeal being and humans, I focused on language. Even in terms of the various writers of the New Testament, given the number of languages and dialects in play in the Middle East 2000 years ago, how cold meanings and nuances remain completely unchanged when the original accounts were translated? Then re-translated into Latin and then into English? Surely, I said, there was no way of knowing how close my friend’s modern version was to the word’s of Christ’s followers. My friend didn’t hesitate. He matter-of-factly declared that God had been supervising every step of the way, causing each translator to put down the correct words. In turn, my friend’s pastor was likewise “directed” to give the correct interpretation. At that point, I gave up. In the face of such fanaticism, logic inevitably fails. Which, again, is why ACB is so dangerous.

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      1. This is called “Faith,” Denise! My definition: “Faith is what rushes in to fill the vacuum when reason abdicates.” Of course you can’t argue logically with a religious fundamentalist! And that applies to all stripes–Hindu, Islamic, Orthodox Jewish, Baptist, etc. Apparently Judge Barrett belongs to a cult, or sect, that’s the Catholic equivalent of a Baptist Fundamentalist! God save the republic!!

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        1. I agree with your definition of faith, although I’d argue that religious people practice the willing suspension of disbelief. I don’t argue with having faith in a higher power, if one is capable of such. The difference between honest awe at unexplained mysteries and dogmatic insistence on a lock on the truth is where the danger comes in.

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          1. As a teenage youth, freshly brutalized by (the local) Baptist Sunday School classes, I would hear of people looking at the less fortunate and saying to themselves: “There but by the grace of god, go I,” which I would translate into the more likely: “There and by the curse of god, go they.” It just seemed to me that the “almighty” (i.e., omnipotent) argument applied both ways: to causing as well as allowing suffering and injustice.

            In time this line of reasoning led to the formulation of my lifelong view of “organized religion,” namely: The Omnipotent Sparrow Theory, which postulates that “Not a god falls to earth but that The Sparrow either causes it to fall or, through willful inaction, allows it to fall.” Or, as Peter Parker’s dying uncle admonished him: “With great power comes great responsibility.” Those moral and intellectual cretins who have long mismanaged the US and UK “governments” — in craven servitude to a transnational global oligarchy — love power for its own sake. Responsibility, not so much, if at all. They clearly see themselves as “gods” and act with all the reckless venality and sense of entitled impunity that the name has implied for time out of mind.

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  8. I guess one should never have expected Graham to keep his word or McConnell to behave honourably. That the smallest and the largest state of the union have two senators representing their citizens is in itself a perversion of “equal law”.
    A very interesting history of “packing the court”….what is happening now should not be surprising!!
    https://theconversation.com/packing-the-court-amid-national-crises-lincoln-and-his-republicans-remade-the-supreme-court-to-fit-their-agenda-147139

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    1. Thanks for another useful link, RS. Sounds as if it would have been difficult to follow all the machinations going on in the 1860s. Interesting that, even now, the rightness of Lincoln’s actions can appear relative. To Northerners, he was justified in appointing justices to preserve the union. To Southerners, perhaps, there was no justification. And as the court packing eventually led to backtracking on civil rights for the recently freed slaves, the issue becomes even more complex.

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    2. “Christian” ideologues have, of course, been “packing the court” with their servants for decades now, since the Reagan years. The issue under discussion is simply expanding the number of justices on SCOTUS, against which the Constitution argues not. I think Biden is being wise to not make a definitive statement on this until post-election.

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  9. In 2016, I started a handwritten journal, but I put it aside on 10/9/16 until today. Reading entries made me reflect on how much America, indeed the world, has changed in those four years, and how much our news and our culture is influenced by one Donald J. Trump and his circle of bullies, lackeys, and fellow travelers.

    I wrote this in my journal today: Hope and change has become the triumph of the swill.

    I think it’s a telling line, though I know Obama’s hope and change was mostly smoke and mirrors. Still, Obama hinted at a better America, a more inclusive, more tolerant, place. Trump, not surprisingly, has worked to turn back the clock to (re)create a less inclusive, less tolerant, place.

    Remember how we Americans tended to think things could only get better in our country? Now we know things can also get worse — and fast.

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    1. Oh, I think it’s been a long, long time since that sentiment of optimism ruled. I’m not a parent myself, but I understand many parents no longer believe their offspring will have a higher quality of life than what they enjoyed.

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      1. My husband often says that the teens 20-somethings of today are SOL. Even more so, the small children who will grow up in the 2030s. We don’t have kids, either, but we watch our nieces and nephews, who range from 22 to 27, and we know that, just as our generation in general doesn’t have it as good as our parents did, following generations will have it even worse. If same-sex marriage isn’t abolished, the younger people may have more rights, but the opportunities to have comfortable lives are dwindling.

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      2. I wouldn’t go quite so far back, Greg. We were optimistic in the 1990s with the end of the Cold War. But that optimism was thrown away by Bill Clinton and his empty rhetoric of feeling people’s pain. OK, you feel their pain, but why can’t you do anything about it, except make it worse?

        Then came 9/11/2001 and forever war, eight disastrous years of Bush/Cheney, and eight disappointing ones of Obama that led directly to Trump being elected. And American carnage has followed.

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        1. I have no argument with your time line and consequences, but I do think that the seeds of today’s disasters date back at least to Reagan, and in some cases, further, perhaps post-Civil War. For instance, the MIC didn’t spring into being, full-blown, in 1960.

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          1. The “Cold War” is considered to have been launched with Churchill’s speech about “the Iron Curtain,” in Missouri of all places (thanks to Truman being POTUS). US machinations against Vietnam started right after WW II, with aid to the French war effort there. And of course the OSS morphed into CIA around same time. I believe US “advisers” were already on the ground in Vietnam when JFK took office (another thing to “thank” Nixon for, I dare say!), and we know how things went from there, plus the endless efforts to overthrow Castro, etc. Allow me to seize this opportunity to point out something else from the Gore Vidal documentary I cited in another comment here: Vidal was virtually a Kennedy clan insider, and he throws very cold water on that notion held sacred by JFK’s worshippers that that president intended to end the war in Vietnam around end of his first term in office. Getting back to the MIC: the US military buildup during WW II was obviously a necessity. That said, I doubt any corporations with contracts to supply the Pentagon starved. As the technology of warfare continued to evolve, the door was opened to outrageous profits in this arena. Need I bring up the infamous $600 toilet seat for jet bombers? And unsurprisingly, things just get more corrupt with each passing year, it matters not who’s in the White House or has majority control of Congress.

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        2. Last week, I watched my DVD “Gore Vidal–The United States of Amnesia” for first time in a while. I was struck by an exchange he had with Gorbachev after collapse of Soviet Union. I will transcribe that exchange and share it here when I get a chance.

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    2. You know its really a shame when all one can do is talk Politics all the time akin to a sort of “one trick pony” I met an old Friend the other day all he wanted to discuss… Trump this, Trump that! Even when I tried to change the subject it inevitably went back to Politics… Sad, and I believe it never used to be this way I.M.O. I try to avoid these people whenever I can now at almost 65! I don’t need this shit in my life…:/ :o)

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      1. Phil, we could all benefit from a lot less of that shit, but Trump’s presidency really has been something “special.” The need to be rid of him is of overwhelming importance.

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  10. It beggars belief that an educated adult in America would have no firm opinion on climate change. Heck, even Trump has admitted there’s a human component to the same. But Amy Coney Barrett says she has no “firm views” on climate change; meanwhile, her father has been a lawyer with Shell Oil for decades. And a major case involving Shell on climate change is pending before the Supreme Court. Coincidence?

    https://www.dailyposter.com/p/upcoming-scotus-climate-case-involves

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    1. Fascinating scenario. Not to go into what some might see as tinfoil-hat territory, but late author Taylor Cadwell suggested decades ago that Royal Dutch Shell had a member or two among the secret cabal that she believed controls world events. I personally have always suspected that she was right.

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    2. Again, I’m not following the hearings at all closely, but I’m pretty sure Judge Barrett is declining to say she’d be willing to recuse herself on ANY issue, of course including the disputes post-election about who really won that Trump has guaranteed are coming. I wasn’t aware of her daddy working for Shell. Interesting. Barring a minor miracle of GOP defections, Barrett will have her seat on “the big bench” in time for Election Day.

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        1. “Weasel answers,” I imagine, is a longstanding tradition among judge-nominees, but when the GOP politicized everything in our society with the launch of their “culture wars,” things got ridiculous and only went downhill from there. Judge Barrett is perhaps being totally truthful when she says she didn’t make any pledge to Trump or anyone else that she’d vote in a particular way on the big issues…because IT’S A GIVEN, IT’S UNDERSTOOD that she opposes abortion, opposes the ACA, supports firearms proliferation, etc., etc. That’s why she was nominated to begin with!

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  11. Two more comments:

    1. What’s sad about these sham senate hearings is how nominees like Kavanaugh and Barrett end up effectively perjuring themselves with their answers. I know: I’m not a lawyer and technically it’s probably not perjury. But they essentially answer questions dishonestly in their quest to be confirmed.

    2. A friend made two fine points about Barrett. The first is she’s smart with the law; the second is she’s a person of faith. But what kind of smarts, and what kind of faith? Smarts that are limited, uninformed by compassion and an appreciation for the human condition, can be sterile. Faith that is rigid and shaped by a patriarchal church can be hidebound, conveying certainty and a holier-than-thou attitude.

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    1. It’s funny, in a sickening kind of way, that the religious extremist crowd is accusing the Dems of trying to subject this nominee to a sort of inquisition and criticize her precisely for being a “person of faith.” Given the opportunity, these very same extremists would be all too happy to wield the instruments of torture shown to Galileo lo those centuries ago. “Jews? Muslims? Atheists? Socialists? Get in line, your torturer is ready for you.”

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    1. Fine sentiments, but SCOTUS is now entirely political, and so too is Amy Coney Barrett. She was picked precisely because she doesn’t have the scruples that will prevent her from leaping quickly into RBG’s seat, as abetted by Trump.

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      1. As was reported, at one point during the questioning a day or two ago, a Dem senator essentially said to Barrett, “I have no doubt of your sincere beliefs [at that point, about the ACA]. That’s what’s so concerning to me.” As Martin Luther King, Jr., said, “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” I think that phrase characterizes most people who support the Occupant. Ms. Barrett is not stupid, but her beliefs and convictions are, shall we say, unproductive..

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        1. But all TOO productive on behalf of the societal elements she represents! I wonder if that lawsuit initiated on behalf of some young people is the one re: climate change said to be approaching its place on SCOTUS docket? Gee, how will the daughter of a Royal Dutch Shell bigshot vote? I’m biting my fingernails! The suspense is killing me!

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          1. I didn’t understand at first why Big Oil would want the case to come before SCOTUS, instead of being heard at the city or state levels, but then I read that in federal cases, discovery is limited and it’s easier to obtain a dismissal.

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          2. Plus the federal courts are increasingly stuffed with corporate-friendly conservatives. I guess because corporations are people and they need friends too.

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          3. When, in the “debate”–I didn’t call it “debate #1” because at this point, the two “heavyweights” may not even go toe to toe again–Trump criticized the Obama admin. for leaving office without filling X number of Federal Judiciary vacancies, I was stunned that Biden failed to retort “Those slots were vacant because the GOP refused to allow them to be filled”!! [Assuming those were the vacancies Trump was referring to; 134 or 174 or some such figure he gave? But he may well have been just spouting nonsense off the top of his warped head for all I know.]

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      2. Barrett is age 48, is she? I think I heard that briefly on a news summary. If she lives as long as RGB and some other SCOTUS members have, she could be on “the big bench” for four decades. Four decades of supporting the most reactionary positions imaginable. We really, really need to expand number of seats behind that bench!! (With this “we,” I boldly speak on behalf of the few sane Americans remaining, not the Democratic Party or Joe Biden personally.)

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        1. Couldn’t agree more. The fact that Uncle Joe won’t even respond to questions about increasing the number of justices speaks to his lack of a spine, as well as his condition of being joined at the hip to Wall Street.

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  12. Is this a record number of comments for one of your articles? I’ll add to the tally with a call-back to your Agony Booth question on why do I think that liberals are behaving barbarically. The Dem antics in the recent hearings are a perfect example. That behavior makes me think of them as barbarians. The why for the behavior? Power, of course. To steal part of one of your comments above…it was just a circle of bullies and lackeys. Screeching barbarians. It was like watching Animal Channel with a bunch of hyenas trying desperately to take down a mother lion, and coming away with some missing hide for their efforts. Interesting to see Amy Klobuchar reduced to a stammering teenager. Also interesting to see K-la attended via wobbly video, most likely because she would have literally shriveled and melted in the presence of ACB. So, barbarianism aside, the Law is not dead in America. It is actually being reborn. And with ACB, there is a far better chance it will survive to serve its purpose, and not be continually aborted in the interest of the social justice flavor of the week : )

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    1. Again, don’t be fooled by this Dem “opposition.” There’s much the Dems could have done to delay ACB’s confirmation process. They chose to do nothing but grandstand. So ACB will be confirmed, and the Dems can blame Trump, but Trump and the Dems do what the owners and donors tell them to do. Trump is simply more of a wild card; they prefer Biden because he’s an easier puppet to manipulate.

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      1. “Time out, Mr. Astore!!” (I’m furiously blowing my referee whistle.) You are not an expert on Constitutional matters or the law in general (nor am I, of course). But I challenge you to lay out for us exactly what tactics the Dems could have employed to delay or (preferably) derail this SCOTUS nomination, given that GOP majority in Senate–only place these hearings and confirmation votes occur, House has no say–allows them to control the timing, the in-chamber proceedings (imposing time limits on questioning, etc.), you name it. I am not a supporter of the Dems, but I object to distorted presentations on, let’s say, “the lameness of their opposition.”

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          1. Given how GOP shut down cold Obama’s nominee to SCOTUS late in that president’s term, if there is a legal option to put the brakes on the Barrett juggernaut and the Dems FAIL to employ it, it will be a betrayal of historic proportion. The “Oh, we’re above hardball tactics, we’re different from GOP” game plan is NOT a winning one.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. I see the notion of Dems trying some kind of tactic bandied about on CNN online, but haven’t followed details. I’m actually puzzled as to why GOP would wait “so long”–Oct. 22–to hold the Judiciary Committee vote on Judge Barrett, with questioning of the nominee now wrapped. Next the matter would go to full Senate for the vote. At this point it looks like smooth sailing for Barrett to be on SCOTUS in time for Nov. 3.

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    2. One more point: that line about the law being “continually aborted in the interest of the social justice flavor of the week.”

      It’s a humorous line. But if you think the law is being twisted to serve the powerless in the interest of social justice in America, I have more than a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Keep that bridge, I wish I had a truckload of virgin MAGA hats–soon to be a great “collectible” item!–I could offer to sell to TJOSTEEN, but alas I own no such thing! Wait, maybe I should defraud him!

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Yeah, a “wall” made out of baseball-style caps would probably be as sturdy as the sections of Trump’s wall that get blown over by the wind from time to time. Beware, the winds of change are blowing!

            Liked by 1 person

  13. Informative article on who funds and supports Amy Coney Barrett, and why. Basically, it’s conservatives and corporations, and they support her because she’s anti-union, anti-Obamacare (a repeal of Obamacare taxes will yield a windfall for the richest among us), and pro-business.

    Of course, being pro-life and religiously conservative are important factors as well, but not to the corporatists. They care about money, and they believe, I’m sure rightly, her rulings will favor them.

    https://truenorthresearch.org/2020/10/snapshot-of-secret-funding-of-amicus-briefs-tied-to-leonard-leo-federalist-society-leader-promoter-amy-coney-barrett/

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    1. This just popped into my overactive head (not related to linked article, as I very rarely have time to follow links): Imagine a future SCOTUS with a majority of “liberals,” or at least reasonably centrist, members. I suspect they would not overturn “Citizens United.” Ever. Corporations will remain “persons” until this wretched System totally collapses, as money continues to rule over us.

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