Amy Coney Barrett reveals her dark traits: Opaque, disingenuous, and frightening
Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett spent much of her hearing day refusing to answer any difficult question with any specificity, even when her past writings and speeches spoke loud and clear. The kinds of things we heard from her: "If I give off-the-cuff answers, then I would basically be a legal pundit. […] I don't think we want judges to be legal pundits. I think we want judges to approach cases thoughtfully with an open mind"; and, "If I express a view on a precedent one way or another […] it signals to litigants that I may tilt one way or another on a pending case."
As Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal said, she's "so far perfected the art of non-answers." This rampant, blank-slate disingenuousness from Barrett proved to be as irritating throughout the day as Brett Kavanaugh's fake outrage and crocodile tears in his hearing, and just as unbelievable. When she held up a blank notepad, she wasn't demonstrating what Sen. John Cornyn, who asked her about it, was saying she was. He called it "impressive" that she was there without notes. What it was was insulting. She came to that hearing prepared to do nothing but obfuscate and refuse to answer questions, without even bothering to prepare because she knows the fix is in and Republicans are going to jam her onto the bench no matter what. Her blank sheet of paper was the perfect, albeit unwitting, metaphor for this entire sham of a process, some of the lowlights of which were rounded up here at Daily Kos and are recapped below the fold.
Mark Sumner detailed how she refused to answer the most basic, important of questions, proving that she's willing to ignore the Constitution to elect Trump:
So, when Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy asked Barrett if she would recuse herself from any dispute over the outcome of the presidential election, her pat repetition of earlier statements was a hurricane warning for democracy. Leahy even pointed out that Donald Trump has directly told his followers that he is attempting to seat Barrett quickly expressly because he wants her in place before the election.
She had another swing at that ball, and flatly refused to do the right thing, again, after being pressed by Sen. Cory Booker.
Justice Barrett refuses to answer whether a president should commit to the peaceful transfer of power. She says tha… https://t.co/aFSPsGhJmH— Kyle Griffin (@Kyle Griffin)1602624656.0
From a social standpoint, only someone stuck in the mindset of last-century anti-LGBTQ dogma would embrace use of the term "preference." Gay individuals don't wake up one day and decide they prefer dating people of the same sex like they prefer chocolate chip cookies to oatmeal raisin. Did Barrett wake up one morning and decide dating men was a choice for her?
I wrote about how she was as unbelievably—and literally—as opaque on the Affordable Care Act as on Trump's reelection.
We're supposed to believe now that Barrett is a total blank slate. That nothing she has said and nothing she's previously written has anything to do with what she'll be on the Supreme Court. That's simply a lie. Trump's litmus test for a Supreme Court nominee was overturning Obamacare. That's why she's sitting in that seat.
Laura Clawson covered the most important, most illuminating part of the day, which not surprisingly didn't include Barrett at all. It was Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse's tutorial on how she happened to be sitting in that seat.
Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett isn't going to answer any of the big questions truthfully, and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse knew that. So instead of inviting Barrett to be dishonest, Whitehouse explained the forces that put her in that Senate hearing room with the specific agenda—killing the Affordable Care Act, ending marriage equality, overturning Roe v. Wade—she is on the record as having (but is currently pretending not to have).
Gabe Ortiz pointed out Barrett's association with a radical, anti-LGBTQ hate group:
Donald Trump's illegitimate Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett not once, not twice, but on five separate occasions made paid speeches for an anti-LGBTQ organization that has been classified as a hate group for supporting recriminalizing being LGBTQ and defending the horrific state-sanctioned sterilization of transgender people abroad, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) said.
And I detailed how Barrett's teaching colleagues at Notre Dame publicly tell her to stop what she's doing:
They congratulate her on the nomination and pretty much inevitable confirmation. That part of it—the inevitability—is why they write this open letter. "That is why it is vital that you issue a public statement calling for a halt to your nomination process until after the November presidential election." Because "while we are not pundits, from what we read your confirmation is all but assured." That's a problem for several reasons, which they clearly delineate and which all come down to the fact that this seat is sullied by circumstance and will forever have an asterisk attached.
Finally, Jen Sorenson kicked the day off with a darkly funny look at the whole process.