Amy Coney Barrett: The Most Dangerous Woman in America
The Democrats cannot stop the proceedings, and it seems Amy Coney Barrett is all but destined to be confirmed as a Supreme Court justice. Republicans have already set it for a vote to take place on October 22nd. If this goes through, they will have managed to install a new justice on the Supreme Court a mere 12 days prior to the election.
This is unprecedented, and can drastically alter how Constitutional Law is interpreted for decades, all due to a court of people who are appointed to their lifetime positions of power, and not elected by the public that their decisions will hold sway over.
During the hearings, Amy Coney Barrett has been unmovable in her adherence to her approach to the lines of questioning from the Judiciary Committee. Her responses have been mostly robotic refusals to answer hypothetical scenarios or indications to her personal biases, and stiff rebuttals that she must review each situation according to the written law. She refused to state that she would need to recuse herself from cases she has been critical of in the past, such as the Affordable Care Act, or Roe v. Wade. She would not even comment on whether or not she believes a sitting president can pardon himself, as Trump has alleged he would try to do if prosecuted.
It’s been a frustrating and disheartening display this week, with Barrett apparently well aware of the pointlessness of the hearings, and appearing to just be going through the motions to get her seat on the bench.
Putting Aside Zealotry
Amy Barrett has stated that she can put aside her religious beliefs as a Catholic when making rulings as a member of the judiciary. However, her previous statements about her beliefs, past affiliations with religious groups, and stances she has taken on key issues, seem to contradict this.
It’s already been widely reported that during a speech at a Notre Dame graduation ceremony, Barrett told the graduating class that they should make sure every decision is in service to “creating the kingdom of God.” She also went on to tell them that they should only associate with those who share their beliefs, and that they should give a portion of their income to the church. This was in 2006.
When being questioned about the same-sex marriage decision, something she was vocally critical of in the past (agreeing with the dissent) as recently as 2016, she used the term “sexual preference,” which greatly offended the LGBTQ community. Although she apologized for saying it, this slip of the tongue grants a key insight as to how she views those who do not identify as heterosexual.
For further insight on this issue, look no further than her affiliation with the People of Praise, an extreme religious group that could very well have been the inspiration for The Handmaid’s Tale. This group punished gay members with expulsion, and stands vehemently against same-sex marriage and abortion, both key issues that could come before the Court again in the future.
Although Barrett has tried to establish that her religion doesn’t affect her decision making process with the law, looking at her past and her decisions seem to suggest otherwise, but it should also bear mentioning that Barrett doesn’t really consider this an issue anyway since she doesn’t think separation of Church and State matters much at all. She previously praised Antonin Scalia for a dissent arguing against keeping prayer out of public schools.
Barrett has also worked with the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which is a religious freedom oriented organization that promotes, among other things, the right for people to discriminate based on their beliefs, hiding behind a bigoted interpretation of the First Amendment. Barrett trained legal students at the Blackstone Legal Fellowship, which is a subsidiary of the group in question. The ADF is considered a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
This is all very disturbing information to learn about someone standing mere centimeters away from being in one of the most powerful positions the American government offers among its three branches of government.
A History of Bad Decisions
Besides her obvious ties to religious extremist views, Barrett also has a disturbing history of questionable legal opinions and decisions that should raise more than a few eyebrows.
She has ruled that someone being called the N-word by an employer isn’t grievance enough to prove the employee suffered a hostile work environment.
On the issue of abortion, Barrett has previously ruled in favor of Indiana laws requiring buffer zones trying to deter them. She has also was in favor of laws requiring fetal remains to be buried, and laws requiring parents be notified of abortions. These views, when taken in conjunction with her stated religious beliefs, indicate that given the chance, she would undoubtedly vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.
In 2017, Barrett upheld a ruling that allowed work environments to be segregated based on race. Let me repeat, this took place in 2017.
In the article linked here, you will also find that Barrett has made some arguably bad decisions in regard to voting rights, gun rights, immigration rights, and basic human rights.
To any person paying attention, there should be red flags flying all over the place telling you that Amy Coney Barrett is anything but an objective practitioner of the law.
An Exercise in Futility
The people of America are powerless to prevent this from happening. Amy Coney Barrett will be placed on the Supreme Court of the United States. In all likelihood, Trump’s promise to overturn Roe v. Wade could very well happen. As could the legality of same-sex marriage at the federal level. With a court so heavily skewed to the right, the GOP could have a green light to bend the Constitution to their very will.
The Democrats have options to try and re-balance the scales, but all of those options are Hail Mary’s that require huge shifts in voter preferences. Basically, the “blue wave” that has been predicted for six years, would need to come to fruition in an unmistakable way, giving the Democrats a mandate to accomplish their goals.
A lot needs to be done. Any law that can be drastically re-interpreted due to the subjectivity of personal perspective is a law that needs to be rewritten in a way that its application remains undeniably objective and fair. Yes, the Constitution and its amendments and laws are supposed to be living documents, but with an ever-evolving society, its impossible for those documents to adapt equivocally to that society’s needs.
Especially when you have communities of people who would prefer to keep progress at a standstill. Amy Coney Barrett is an enemy of progress, and a danger to individual freedom. Let’s just hope that when all is said and done, it’s not her vote that gets to decide if Donald Trump gets another four years in the White House.