ACB Hearings Day Two: Barrett's Real Agenda
Try as they might to exploit emotional issues, Democrats' attacks fell flat.
The second day of the confirmation hearings for Amy Coney Barrett were much like the first. Democrats gave ridiculous stump speeches that tried ever so carefully to scare voters about Barrett while not being seen as unduly attacking a very qualified woman. How’d they do?
Judging by these questions from Hawaii Senator Mazie Hirono, not so well. “Since you became a legal adult, have you ever made unwanted requests for sexual favors, or committed any physical or verbal harassment or assault of a sexual nature?” Hirono asked Barrett. “Have you ever faced discipline or entered into a settlement related to this kind of conduct?”
Unbelievable. Disgraceful. Par for the course with Democrats. In any case, the answer to both questions was, of course, “no” — just as it was for Justice Brett Kavanaugh, we might add.
Democrats exploited emotions regarding what they insist will be Barrett’s inevitable rulings against the victim class on healthcare, homosexuals, “gun violence,” and abortion, even trotting out heart-grabbing photos of all the new victims Barrett would create by opposing Democrat policy preferences.
Senator Dianne “The Dogma Lives Loudly Within You” Feinstein demanded to know whether Barrett would “be a consistent vote to roll back hard-fought freedoms and protections for the LGBT community.” Barrett responded much like she did for every other case on which Democrats tried to preemptively pin her down — that she has “no agenda” on the issue. “I do want to be clear that I have never discriminated on the basis of sexual preference and would not discriminate on the basis of sexual preference.”
That was too much for Senator Hirono, who chastised Barrett, “I don’t think it was an accident” to use the words “sexual preference,” which the senator declared is an “offensive and outdated term.” Hirono continued, “Sexual orientation is a key part of a person’s identity. If it is your view that sexual orientation is merely a preference, as you noted, then the LGTBQ should be rightly concerned whether you would uphold their constitutional right to marry.”
How quickly did leftists get the memo? Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary changed the definition of “preference” to include “offensive” when applied to sexual “orientation.” The edit seemingly happened yesterday. Of course, Joe Biden last used the term in May, and the patron saint of women’s and LGBT issues, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg herself, used the term in 2017. There are countless other examples. But the goalposts move when there’s a SCOTUS seat on the line.
Regardless of the issue, however, Barrett stuck with the “Ginsburg Rule” — don’t comment on specific cases during hearings. “I’m not going to express a view on whether I agree or disagree with Justice [Antonin] Scalia for the same reasons that I’ve been giving,” Barrett said regarding Feinstein’s probe on same-sex marriage. “Justice Ginsburg with her characteristic pithiness used this to describe how a nominee should comport herself at a hearing: no hints, no previews, no forecasts. That has been the practice of nominees before her, but everybody calls it the ‘Ginsburg Rule’ because she stated it so concisely and it’s been the practice of every nominee since.”
She likewise gave a nod to another leftist justice. “Senator, I do want to be forthright and answer every question so far as I can. I think on that question, I’m going to invoke Justice Elena Kagan’s description, which I think is perfectly put. When she was in her confirmation hearing, she said that she was not going to grade precedent, give a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down. … It would be wrong and a violation of the canons for me to do that as a sitting judge.”
Barrett spoke so well and effectively that, for the sake of keeping it short, we can only quote a few more gems:
“I certainly hope that all members of the committee have more confidence in my integrity than to think I would allow myself to be used as a pawn to decide this election for the American people.”
“I am not hostile to the [Affordable Care Act]. I am not hostile to any statute that you pass. … I apply the law. I follow the law. You make the policy.”
“If I express a view on a precedent one way or another, whether I say I love it or I hate it, it signals to litigants that I might tilt one way or another in a pending case.”
“If I give off-the-cuff answers, then I would be basically a legal pundit. And I don’t think we want judges to be legal pundits. I think we went judges to approach cases thoughtfully and with an open mind.”
“Judges can’t just wake up one day and say ‘I have an agenda. I like guns; I hate guns. I like abortion; I hate abortion,’ and walk in like a royal queen and impose their will on the world. … I have an agenda to stick to the Rule of Law.”
Oh, and there was the brilliant and immediately signature moment when Senator John Cornyn of Texas asked Barrett to “hold up what you have been referring to in answering our questions.”
Barrett raised her blank notepad and smiled.
“That’s impressive,” Cornyn concluded. Indeed it is, and it’s also indicative that you don’t need notes to keep it straight when you’re telling the truth and following the Constitution.