The confirmation hearings for President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, resumed on Tuesday morning and immediately produced more evidence why the extremist judge should be not only prevented from ascending to the Supreme Court but disbarred entirely.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) began the questioning and upsettingly largely stuck to softballs and failed to conduct any follow-ups for the answers that she did receive, prompting observers on social media to wonder if the 87-year-old was up to the task. But one question Feinstein did ask cut to the heart of one of the principal controversies around Barrett’s confirmation — whether or not she believes federal law would allow Donald Trump to attempt to steal, delay, or otherwise interfere in the election.
Barrett refused to answer, claiming that she needed to “consult” and “consider” in order to not become a “legal pundit” and would approach the case with an “open mind.”
Quite the moment between Feinstein and Barrett:pic.twitter.com/zwGQSwVk0y
— The Recount (@therecount) October 13, 2020
This is an outrageous refusal on the part of Barrett, who is obviously signalling to the President and the rest of the conservative world that she would not stand in the way of any attempt to subvert our democracy. According to the Constitution, only Congress has the power to change election dates — though for some reason, the self-proclaimed “constitutional originalist” doesn’t agree.
It is an automatically disqualifying moment for her and should, in a just world, lead to her losing the judge’s seat that she currently holds.
But not only would she refuse to answer that key question, Barrett made several other disqualifying remarks, including a telling use of the phrase “sexual preference” instead of orientation that clearly indicates she harbours concealed homophobia. On top of that, she refused to state whether the SCOTUS ruling on gay marriage and abortion were properly decided, opening the door to possibly reversing those monumentally important civil rights rulings.
"Sexual preference," a term used by Justice Barrett, is offensive and outdated. The term implies sexuality is a choice. It is not. News organizations should not repeat Justice Barrett's words without providing that important context.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 13, 2020
During her US Senate confirmation hearing, Amy Coney Barrett declined to say whether she believes rulings legalizing abortion and gay marriage were properly decided.https://t.co/LRayADzfFu
— Thomson Reuters Foundation News (@TRF_Stories) October 13, 2020
While these hearings are mostly a farce and there’s little that can be done to stop her from being rushed through the confirmation process, it is important that we see for ourselves who and what Amy Coney Barrett really is — and take that into consideration when we consider drastic options like packing the court to keep radical and undemocratic extremists from dictating law in this nation for the next generation.
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.