The U.S. Senate just wrapped up its confirmation hearings for Amy Coney Barrett to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court, and it was the circus you might have expected.
Throughout the hearings, Barrett didn’t alleviate any anxieties we had about her record of extremist stances on women’s reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, people of color, and more. In fact, she exasperated them.
Despite that, and although Barrett is not even qualified to be the federal judge she is now, the Republican-majority Senate prioritized rushing her hearings over passing the coronavirus economic relief bill.
Spoiler: Barrett came to the job interview with the confidence of an unqualified white man, and left us with more questions about her competence than answers.
Here are some highlights from the hearings that would lead any government with reason – which doesn’t include the U.S. Senate – to ensure someone like Barrett doesn’t get confirmed to the highest court in the land.
She would support overturning monumental civil rights rulings in favor of “state rights.”
State legislatures should not have the “right” to discriminate against its citizens. The federal government should guarantee all civil rights nationally. We shouldn’t have to go to the U.S. Supreme Court to desegregate schools or make marriage equality the law of the land, but we did.
And now “originalist” Barrett would go as far as suggesting she’d overturn Brown v. Board of Education, which banned segregation of public schools nationwide, if that’s what states wanted.
She doesn’t know all the rights guaranteed in the First Amendment.
You would think someone trying to make a case for a seat on the Supreme Court would understand the Constitution, right? Guess again.
She wouldn’t commit to supporting a peaceful transfer of power.
The most redeeming quality about the United States is that despite fascism coexisting with democracy, the respect and rules to keep the democracy running smoothly president after president remains bipartisan – sans President Donald Trump, that is.
Given that Trump has hinted at not leaving office even when he loses the election, U.S. Sen. Cory Booker asked Barrett if she was committed to a peaceful transfer of power, which is a seemingly straightforward question. She alarmingly refused to answer whether she’s committed to it.
She referred to LGBTQ people’s love as a “sexual preference.”
So, conservatives are still referring to sexual orientation as a “preference.”
I’ll keep it simple because this is science and not up for debate: LGBTQ+ people are born LGBTQ+. End of story.
She shows no sign of improving her stances on reproductive rights.
Barrett once signed an ad calling Roe v Wade “barbaric.” In her hearings, she made no efforts to protect other women’s reproductive rights.
She kept refusing to answer questions about contraceptives, abortion, and more. Given her lack of transparency, we could only assume she continues to have extremist beliefs that the government should have a say in a woman’s bodily autonomy.
She literally takes no notes.
To further show us she’s not taking her sham of a confirmation hearing seriously, Barrett proudly displayed her empty notepad to reveal she hasn’t been taking notes.
Whether you’re doing a job or taking a class, taking notes is one of the most common ways to learn and remind yourself of important information. It’s discouraging to see someone seemingly not even jotting down concerns senators raised about her views.
These hearings only confirm that Barrett is unqualified, and that she would be serving the interests of Donald Trump and the extremist right-wing rather than the interests of all Americans.
Barring anything unexpected, the Senate is likely to confirm Barrett as the newest Supreme Court justice. However, history will not look kindly on those who rushed this process and supported the nomination of an unqualified judge who lacks understanding for intersectional human rights in a partisan effort to add an extra security blanket to reinforce fascism in the highest court.