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coney-barrett.jpg

Donald Trump Nominates Amy Coney Barrett to Replace Justice Ginsburg

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | September 26, 2020 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | September 26, 2020 |


coney-barrett.jpg

There are generally two kinds of judges: You got your letter of the law judges (Anton Scalia, Clarence Thomas), and you’ve got your “spirit of the law” judges (William Brennan, Thurgood Marshall). Basically, they are political positions disguised as judicial principles. Conservative justices rely on the actual text of a 230-year-old document to make determinations, while the spirit of the law folks argue that the Constitution is a living breathing document and that rolls with the times. Amy Coney Barrett, nominated to the Supreme Court by President Trump today, is an originalist, a letter of the law judge, which is a fancy way of saying that she’s super conservative and she’s found a way to interpret the law to support her religious conservatism.

Now, if you ask me, there are two kinds of bad people in the world. There are the kinds of people who come about their bad beliefs honestly but subscribe to beliefs that result in the unequal treatment of people on the basis of gender, race, sexual orientation, etc. These are bad people, but not necessarily corrupt. Then there is pure evil. Trump is evil and corrupt and chaotic, and everything that he does is only to serve his own interests. He’s also an idiot. Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who Trump nominated to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg today, has an honest belief in bad positions. She’s also very smart.

You cannot find a bigger threat to Roe vs. Wade than Amy Coney Barrett, and if she is confirmed to the bench, abortion in red states is done. But she is not corrupt. And neither is Roberts, or Gorsuch (Kavanaugh on the other hand …). They won’t do Trump’s bidding, unless it is within the letter of the law. My guess is that people like Amy Coney Barrett and Neil Gorsuch and John Roberts actually loathe Donald Trump, because they see him for what he is, although — like Mitch McConnell — they are more than happy to exploit Donald Trump’s corruption, as though it absolves them. “I’m not evil. I was just appointed by an evil man!” I don’t believe, however, that they will feel any fealty whatsoever to Trump once they’re in — Gorsuch, or instance, has not.

Amy Coney Barrett is an originalist. She belongs to a religious group known as the People of Praise, a largely Catholic ecumenical sect that believes the highest office a woman can hold in the community is “woman leader,” which used to be called a “handmaid,” although contrary to popular opinion, the sect did not inspire The Handmaid’s Tale. It’s just a really appropriate coincidence. This is not an attack on her religion, however. Joe Biden is a Catholic. On the other hand …

I am given to understand from a well-meaning white liberal man who has little to lose here, however, that Barrett’s religious beliefs will not influence her decisions on the bench, just like Scalia’s religious beliefs didn’t influence his decisions, it’s just that all of his decisions conformed to his religious beliefs. Funny, how that happens, huh?

Some say that this fight will be nastier than Kavanaugh’s. That may be true, as we learn more about her, but I don’t think so based on what we know now. For one, Amy Coney Barrett did not sexually assault anyone. The Democrats’ chief argument right now is that it is hypocritical for the Republicans to nominate her when they wouldn’t give Merrick Garland an up or down vote. The Republicans do not care about hypocrisy and neither, apparently, does Barrett.

The other argument is that Amy Coney Barrett will overturn Roe, and while there are more people who would rather maintain the right to choose, Republicans in the Senate do not believe that, and because there are just as many Senators in California as there are in Wyoming, the Senate — and the Supreme Court — are essentially ruled-by-minority institutions. They do not work for the people; they work for their voters. Voting Barrett in, however, may cost the Republicans the Senate, at least for the next two years. It will give them the Supreme Court, however, for a generation.




Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.



Header Image Source: NBC News