The conventional wisdom about the confirmation hearings for President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barett is that this is merely a formality in order to afford the president the illusion of normalcy and cover up the fact that this is a last-minute power grab to reshape our nation’s highest court for a generation by an illegitimate president on the precipice of a historic electoral defeat.
But it is still infuriating to see the lack of seriousness with which our Republican Senators are treating the entire affair. Yesterday, Sen. Ted Cruz gave a line-by-line recitation of his 2016 Iowa stump speech and today accused Democrats of wanting to give serial killer Charles Manson, who is dead, the right to vote.
Lindsey Graham used his time on Tuesday to complain about how he was being victimized by his opponent’s fundraising and this morning quipped about the “good old days of segregation.”
But it was Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska who truly disgraced himself by launching into a long-winded baseball metaphor that turned out to be just an excuse to complain about the Houston Astros’ 2018 cheating scandal.
.@SenSasse: "I'd like to talk about the Houston Astros who are miserable cheaters…all baseball fans know that the Houston @Astros cheat. They steal signs. They bang on cans…they deserve to be punished probably more than they have been."#SCOTUS #SCOTUShearing #ALCS pic.twitter.com/uBBUOOA84J
— CSPAN (@cspan) October 14, 2020
To add insult to injury to the millions of Americans who believe the next president should choose to fill the Supreme Court seat left vacant by the untimely death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Amy Coney Barrett couldn’t even name the five freedoms protected by the First Amendment — one of the most basic things any lawyer in the United States should know, let alone one about to be promoted to a lifetime position on our nation’s highest court.
Under questioning by Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE), Amy Coney Barrett is unable to name the five freedoms protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. pic.twitter.com/U3KFm5FA97
— The American Independent (@AmerIndependent) October 14, 2020
Barrett already disqualified herself when she refused to say whether or not the president could legally delay or otherwise interfere in the election, but this inability to recall one of the most important parts of the First Amendment should be the nail in her coffin in a sane world.
Sasse and Barrett are both making a mockery of these confirmation hearings with their behavior, but sadly we know by this point that there is literally nothing that she could say or do to prevent Republicans from ramming her through despite refusing to confirm President Obama’s SCOTUS nominee during an election year.
It is imperative 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.
Colin Taylor is the 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.