The Corner

Law & the Courts

The Judicial Branch Ragnarök Is Upon Us

Judge Amy Coney Barrett reacts as she is nominated to the Supreme Court during a ceremony at the White House, Washington, D.C., September 26, 2020. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

As expected, President Trump selected Amy Coney Barrett as his third nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, and now the Judicial Branch Ragnarök and Related Festival of Catholic-Bashing is upon us.

Senate Democrats could argue that based upon Barrett’s past decisions, they don’t agree with her legal philosophies and perspective on the law and don’t want her on the Court and leave it at that. Perhaps Senate Democrats will take that path, but judging by the preemptive discussion of Barrett, we’re likely to see more criticisms along the lines of Dianne Feinstein’s “the dogma lives loudly within you.” In the past week, we’ve already seen an effort to paint Amy Coney Barrett as a brainwashed Handmaid’s Tale religious drone, with those attacks debunked herehereherehere, and here. Democrats and their allies will attempt to paint Barrett as a dangerous, unhinged extremist and also some sort of ill-informed theocratic maniac. Anyone who has watched a Barrett speech will know that she is sharp-minded, eloquent, and compelling.

On Friday Caitlin Flanagan of The Atlantic, who wrote that she believed Christine Blasey Ford and opposed the Brett Kavanaugh nomination, warned Democrats that they were in danger of “failing the Amy Coney Barrett Test.” It is unlikely that Senate Democrats will heed Flanagan’s warning. We have already seen criticism of Barrett’s adoption of minority children, the number of children she has and questions about whether she could adequately raise her children while being on the court, and whether her Catholic faith is incompatible with a role on the Supreme Court.

Also note that Senator Josh Hawley declared last month that he would  “vote only for those Supreme Court nominees who have explicitly acknowledged that Roe v. Wade is wrongly decided. By explicitly acknowledged, I mean on the record and before they were nominated.” Last week, the senator told CNN’s Manu Raju he believes Barrett has met that standard.

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