Swamp Rabbit basked in the autumn sunshine and snapped open a beer. “”What’s up, Odd Man, you look even more bummed out than usual.”
I told him last week’s Judiciary Committee hearings were still making me sick. Republican senators rushed through the four-day farce so they can confirm Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, whose lies and evasions can’t disguise the likelihood that she will side with Donald Trump if the outcome of the presidential election is disputed. Her confirmation will be another victory for corrupt government.
“You’re assumin’ too much,” Swamp Rabbit said, making himself at home on the front porch of my shack. “She didn’t make no deals with Trump before she got nominated. She never promised him nothing.”
“She didn’t have to promise, ” I replied. “Trump is too lazy and stupid to choose a nominee on his own, but he knew the Federalist Society and Mitch McConnell’s gang would groom and vet the judge most likely to protect his ass and advance the Republican agenda. Barrett was chosen for him.”
“Okay, but don’t diss that holy woman. She got seven kids and wants to save all the fetuses in the world. You make it sound like she’s worse than them other nominees who duck questions.”
She is worse, I told him. Most nominees for the federal courts duck questions because they don’t want to trigger the antagonism of senators who might not share their views on existing laws. But Barrett went way beyond the usual evasiveness. She refused to say whether Trump had the right to postpone the election, or whether she would recuse herself from any post-election cases involving Trump in order to avoid the appearance of conflict of interest. She wouldn’t even take a stand on voter intimidation, or on whether climate change is real.
Instead, she behaved as if such relevant questions were beneath her dignity. She argued, vaguely, that judicial rulings should always be in line with the original meaning of the Constitution; that the text should never be reinterpreted to reflect societal changes. As if she’s certain her narrow interpretations reflect the intentions of the guys who wrote the text. She’s the worst sort of hypocrite — a zealot who pretends to be objective.
“Now I get it,” Swamp Rabbit said. “You hate her because she’s one of them originalists.”
“I do,” I admitted. “Originalism makes no sense. Any judge who insists on upholding the original public meaning of the Constitution would necessarily have to reject the legislation that outlawed slavery, discrimination against women and other foul practices that were acceptable to the so-called founders.”
“That ain’t fair,” my mangy friend shouted. “Amy is a self-satisfied fundamentalist just like her mentor, Antonin Scalia, but that don’t mean she won’t make a good Supreme Court justice. She says she ain’t a racist and she likes puppies. And don’t forget the kids.”
“Yes, the kids,” I said. “She wants to kill the Affordable Care Act in the middle of a pandemic, but the kids are alright — especially if they’re unborn.”