RACHEL MALEHORN VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
The Constitution makes it abundantly clear that it is imperative for the Senate of the United States to fulfill its lawful duty by advising and consenting to a president’s Supreme Court nominee. After the death of judicial icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the need for this law is especially relevant. Senate Republicans have every right to push the nominee through as quickly as possible.
Democrats have strongly contended that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his Republican colleagues’ actions are nothing short of hypocritical. In 2016, following the death of the legendary Justice Antonin Scalia, former President Obama nominated Merrick Garland to the court during an election year.
The Senate, controlled by Republicans, refused to bring a vote to the floor because the people elected a Republican Senate majority to uphold conservative values. Adding Garland to the bench would be adding a judge famous for judicial activism, contrary to the constitutional role of the court.
McConnell said in a Washington Post op-ed, “It is today the American people, rather than a lame-duck president whose priorities and policies they just rejected in the most-recent national election, who should be afforded the opportunity to replace Justice Scalia.” So for those shouting hypocrisy at McConnell, the American people elected a Republican Senate majority to fulfill a Republican agenda, not the one of the Obama administration. Ultimately, this is unequivocally a power grab and Democrats would surely do much of the same if the roles were reversed.
Four years later, enter Amy Coney Barrett.
President Trump nominated Barrett, a judge he also appointed to the United States 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017, on Saturday, Sept. 26. Barrett’s selection is a major win for conservatives. As an originalist as well as a former clerk of the late conservative icon Antonin Scalia, Barrett fits the mold of exactly what most conservatives want to see on the bench: a judge who sees the Constitution as a “dead” document and will interpret it as such instead of using it to fulfill the norms of modern society.
Democrats have already gone on the attack against Barrett, her legislative record and, most sickening of all, her faith.
This decision has been met with hostility by Democrats and they have threatened to pack the court with liberal justices to do their legislative bidding. Legally speaking, this goes against the purpose of the Supreme Court as highlighted in Marbury v. Madison which, aside from deciding on the legality of statutes and hearing cases, is to determine the constitutionality of laws. A packed court would all but guarantee that Democratic leaders will attempt to use the court as a second arm of legislation, an idea many of their Democrat colleagues have been opposed to.
Democrats have already gone on the attack against Barrett, her legislative record and, most sickening of all, her faith. The media has been quick to pounce on Barrett’s self-proclaimed orthodox Catholic faith. In just another example in a long line of media malpractice, articles even denoted People of Praise (PoP), the Catholic organization Barrett is a part of, as a “Handmaid’s Tale”-like group due to its rules that mimic those of the Bible, specifically the New Testament.
In its report on Barrett, Religion News Service breaks down PoP, which is also a papally recognized group: “Every member of People of Praise receives practical advice and spiritual direction from another member. This is often referred to as ‘headship.’”
In the past, these leaders were called “handmaids,” a reference to the Virgin Mary who called herself “handmaid of the Lord” in Luke’s Gospel. The media has successfully misconstrued this to represent some sort of oppressive state in which women are subservient to their husbands.
On its face, the group Barrett claims membership to is nothing but clear-cut and biblical. However, media narratives that have been accompanied by images of the Handmaids from the hit Hulu series and novel it was based off of have dominated the conversation.
The reality is that Barrett’s Catholicism has been the main topic of discussion, as opposed to Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s Catholicism, because of her stance on abortion.
Democrats have notoriously advocated for access to abortion with the claim that abortion is a right for women. As the party has become more progressive, some have even advocated for late-term abortions when the fetus is as old as 24 weeks, a scientifically viable stage, in cases where the mother’s health is in jeopardy.
Barrett’s judicial record clearly does not indicate that she decides cases based on her faith and her stances on issues have been made quite clear. She, like millions of other Americans and Christians, however, believes that abortion is an immoral practice. “A judge must apply the law as written. Judges are not policy makers and they must be resolute in setting aside any policy views they might hold,” Barrett said at her nomination ceremony.
In a win for conservatives and other pro-lifers, her conservative judicial values give credence to her belief that no judge is bound by precedent and is only obligated to read the law as written, allowing wiggle room for a possible overturn of Roe v. Wade.
“I don’t think the core case, Roe’s core holding that women have a right to an abortion, I don’t think that would change,” Barrett said at Jacksonville University in 2016. “But I think the question of whether people can get very late-term abortions, you know, how many restrictions can be put on clinics, I think that will change.”
Under no circumstances do Democrats want Roe v. Wade overturned. Instead, Democrats believe that access to abortion is a federal issue that should be publically funded. It should come as no surprise that Democrats would go after Barrett at any angle that they can to save access to abortion because to them, destroying the reputation and life of a dedicated public servant is a small price to pay to get their way.
Barrett’s likely confirmation to the Supreme Court is the first step Republicans need to take to stop Democrats from destroying the systems that have governed us since 1789. With measures being attempted by Democrats to add more states to the union, pack the court and even infiltrate religious liberty, a strong conservative woman soon to be on the bench like Barrett will force Democrats to come to a grinding halt.