News

Law & the Courts

Senator Ed Markey Slams Judicial ‘Originalism’ as ‘Racist,’ ‘Sexist,’ and ‘Homophobic’

Sen. Ed Markey (right) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hold a news conference for their proposed “Green New Deal” at the U.S. Capitol, February 7, 2019. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Senator Ed Markey (D., Mass.) slammed judicial originalism in a Senate floor speech hours before the expected confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court on Monday.

Originalism is a mode of legal interpretation by which a judge considers a legal document’s original meaning at the time the document was written. Conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, for whom Judge Barrett clerked in the late 1990’s, was considered one of the foremost exponents of this judicial philosophy.

Democrats have vociferously opposed Barrett’s confirmation to the Court, which would give conservatives a 6-3 majority on the bench. Senator Markey on Monday criticized Barrett’s adherence to Scalia’s originalism.

“Originalism is racist. Originalism is sexist. Originalism is homophobic. Originalism is just a fancy word for discrimination,” Markey said on the Senate floor, in a line he later posted on Twitter. Markey added in his floor speech, “For originalists, LGBT stands for ‘let’s go back in time.'”

In additional tweets, Markey also called for Democrats to “abolish the filibuster” and to “expand the Supreme Court,” i.e. expand the number of justices appointed to the bench.

Throughout Barrett’s confirmation hearings, Democrats portrayed her looming confirmation as threatening abortion rights as well as the viability of the Affordable Care Act. Markey returned to these points in his floor speech.

“We can have the ACA or we can have the ACB, but we can’t have both,” Markey said.

Senator Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) mocked those concerns as unfounded during the opening hearings for Barrettt.

“Democrats and their allies shouldn’t claim to know how any judge would rule in any particular case,” Grassley said earlier this month, noting that Justices John Paul, Anthony Kennedy, and David Souter were criticized for alleged sexism. “Ultimately, the Left praised these justices that they [previously] attacked.”

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

Most Popular

Immigration

What Now for Trump’s Border Wall?

The verdict on the U.S.–Mexico border wall President Trump promised to construct is decidedly mixed as the year comes to a close. The “big, beautiful wall,” as Trump referred to it, reached 400 miles in length by the end of October, when the Department of Homeland Security held a ceremony hailing the ... Read More
Immigration

What Now for Trump’s Border Wall?

The verdict on the U.S.–Mexico border wall President Trump promised to construct is decidedly mixed as the year comes to a close. The “big, beautiful wall,” as Trump referred to it, reached 400 miles in length by the end of October, when the Department of Homeland Security held a ceremony hailing the ... Read More
Culture

New England Journal of Medicine Pushes Reparations

Reparations would grant African Americans government benefits not paid to other Americans to rectify the awful sin of slavery and the "peculiar institution's" residual harm. It is a favored policy of hard progressives, so of course, the New England Journal of Medicine -- which regularly promotes left-wing causes ... Read More
Culture

New England Journal of Medicine Pushes Reparations

Reparations would grant African Americans government benefits not paid to other Americans to rectify the awful sin of slavery and the "peculiar institution's" residual harm. It is a favored policy of hard progressives, so of course, the New England Journal of Medicine -- which regularly promotes left-wing causes ... Read More
Books

Three Cheers for the Quiet Ones

People often dismiss shy, quiet characters in literature. Readers prefer to identify with Jo March, Elizabeth Bennett, or Anne Shirley -- those delightful, bold, and charming characters who made a deep impression on us when we first encountered them. While there’s nothing wrong with emulating or admiring these ... Read More
Books

Three Cheers for the Quiet Ones

People often dismiss shy, quiet characters in literature. Readers prefer to identify with Jo March, Elizabeth Bennett, or Anne Shirley -- those delightful, bold, and charming characters who made a deep impression on us when we first encountered them. While there’s nothing wrong with emulating or admiring these ... Read More