Just when we thought the tenor of the nation’s political diagolgue couldn’t grow any more heated, enter the confimation hearings for Amy Coney Barrett set to begin this week.
With the Republicans on the cusp of gaining another conservative voice on the court, the stakes couldn’t be higher. Judge Barrett’s confirmation will begin despite two Republican Senators being sick with Covid-19, and despite the protests of Democrats who have cited the coronavirus pandemic, as well as the proximity to the election as reasons to hold off on any hearings.
Nontheless, as the President has pointed out — he was elected by the people for a four year term and intends to fulfill his constitutional duties, which includes nominataing a Supreme Court justice for the vacancy left by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.
As such, Amy Coney Barrett runs the risk of becoming a political football in this environment. Sources say she’s prepared for that and understands the venom that may come her way…including scrutiny over her Catholic religion.
Her confimration process could be politically risky for both sides as it emboldens the base of both parties, including galvazinzing the left and the right over issues of abortion, the second amendment, and an overall conservative interpretation of the constitution.
Senate Republicans intend to portray Judge Barrett in the mold of Justice Scalia, a leading conservative for whom clerked. Judge Barrett is known as a “textualist” who reads statutes based on their language alone without trying to discern the intent behind them. Like Scalia, Barret is said to be someone who sees the Constitution as fixed in its meaning, instead of a document that is designed to change and evolve as our society progresses.
Democrats are expected to ask her about this “originalist” philosophy as they fear she may use it to determine future decisions that could possibly reverse Roe v. Wade; the Affordable Care Act; and gun restrictions.