Progressives in orbit

Amy Coney Barrett in 2018 (Seventh Circuit Court)

Amy Coney Barrett in 2018 (Seventh Circuit Court)

President Donald Trump's nomination of Amy Coney Barrett has launched a fleet of progressives into orbit from where, high above we mere mortals, they see the demise of democracy.

The crew aboard the Washington Post orbiter includes E.J. Dionne Jr. who, in all seriousness, nay in a virtual panic, warns that "The Supreme Court struggle is about democracy." He puffs:

Allowing President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to complete a judicial coup and install a 6-to-3 conservative majority will be, in both form and substance, a triumph for anti-democratic forces and anti-democratic thinking.

The best that I can figure out, he argues that democracy is endangered because the court might make conservative decisions that progressives oppose.  They'll "wreck unions, gut voting rights, tie the hands of regulators and empower plutocrats by voiding laws limiting money’s role in politics." Well, that's the straw man agenda that progressives want everyone to believe that conservatives desire.

Jennifer Rubin, also writing in the Washington Post breathlessly warns of the end of days in "The unmaking of the Supreme Court:"

It will simply be the starting gun in a race to dismantle the Supreme Court as we know it.Remember that the agenda for the right on the Supreme Court is to subvert overwhelmingly popular policies, such as access to legalized abortion. As soon as the Supreme Court strikes it down, Congress could pass a bill enshrining it in law, albeit after unrooting the filibuster.

Oh, Jennifer, you mean that Congress could, or even should, legislate on the matter? Exactly what so many conservatives said should have happened in the first place instead of by a Supreme Court fiat in Roe v. Wade. 

The reality is that Democrats have already dismantled the Supreme Court when they politicized it by turning it into a legislative body to enact policies that they couldn't enact in Congress. In began with the Democrats "Borking" Robert Bork. Read: "Robert Bork’s Proud Legacy and the Senate’s Shameful One: His defeat taught interest groups to demonize judicial nominees based solely on their worldview."

America has endured decades, if not generations, of progressives making law from the bench, yet we have survived. Disagreeing with policies is not a threat to democracy. It is democracy. And in a democracy, the legislative chamber is where such disagreements should be settled. Not in the courts. That's what Barrett and conservatives believe and it is not extremism and the end of democracy. It is a return to democracy.


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  • Does everyone realize that during most of the tenure of the Roberts Court, there have been 6 Catholics and 3 Jews on the Court? Granted, Sotomayor is pro abortion, but that would still leave a 5-4 majority capable of overturning Roe v Wade and it hasn’t happened, despite Gorsuch and Kavanaugh. Would Barrett then change this, when Kennedy, Scalia, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh haven’t?
    I am Catholic and personally think abortion is immoral. But I can’t push my morality on others anymore than others pushing theirs on me. I don’t want to see abortion illegal again where rich women get private abortions and poor women get back alley coat hanger abortions. I think that’s how the Catholic Justices feel.
    However, they could put limits on abortion. How can anyone justify late term abortions, killing the child a week or so before birth? Or as Gov. Northam proposed, let the child be born and then decide to kill it or not.
    Problem, both sides are all or none. No abortions or all abortions. No middle ground. That is where the Court may come into play. But Barrett, as the most junior Justice, is not going to be a driving force in overturning Roe v Wade.

  • In reply to Get out of IL now!:

    “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president,” - Mitch McConnel 2016

    “Remember that the Senate has not filled a vacancy arising in an election year when there was divided government since 1888, almost 130 years ago,″ - Mitch McConnel 2016

    “It has been 80 years since a Supreme Court vacancy was nominated and confirmed in an election year. There is a long tradition that you don’t do this in an election year.” - Ted Cruz 2016

    “…If there’s a Republican President… and a vacancy occurs in the last year… you can say, Lindsay Graham said let’s let the next President, whoever that may be, make that nomination, and you could use my words against me and you’d be absolutely right." - Lindsey Graham 2016

    “I don’t think we should be moving on a nominee in the last year of this president’s term – I would say that if it was a Republican president.” - Marco Rubio 2016

    “The very balance of our nation’s highest court is in serious jeopardy. As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I will do everything in my power to encourage the president and Senate leadership not to start this process until we hear from the American people.” - David Perdue (R-Ga) 2016

    "During a very partisan year and a presidential election year … both for the sake of the court and the integrity of the court and the legitimacy of the candidate, it’s better to have this occur after we’re past this presidential election." - Rob Portman (R-Ohio) 2016

    “A lifetime appointment that could dramatically impact individual freedoms and change the direction of the court for at least a generation is too important to get bogged down in politics. The American people shouldn’t be denied a voice.” - Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) 2016

    “The campaign is already underway. It is essential to the institution of the Senate and to the very health of our republic to not launch our nation into a partisan, divisive confirmation battle during the very same time the American people are casting their ballots to elect our next president.” - Thom Tillis (R- N.C.) 2016

    “In this election year, the American people will have an opportunity to have their say in the future direction of our country. For this reason, I believe the vacancy left open by Justice Antonin Scalia should not be filled until there is a new president.” - Richard Burr (R-N.C.) 2016

    “The Senate should not confirm a new Supreme Court justice until we have a new president.” - Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) 2016

    “I think we’re too close to the election. The president who is elected in November should be the one who makes this decision.” - Cory Gardner (R-Col.) 2016

    “In a few short months, we will have a new president and new senators who can consider the next justice with the full faith of the people. Why would we cut off the national debate on the next justice? Why would we squelch the voice of the populace? Why would we deny the voters a chance to weigh in on the make-up of the Supreme Court?” - Tom Cotton March 16, 2016

    “The American people should have the opportunity to make their voices heard before filling a lifetime appointment to the nation’s highest court. In November, the country will get that chance by choosing a new president – a process that is well underway. Until then, our time should be spent addressing the many other legislative matters before us to strengthen our economy, create jobs, and secure our nation.” - Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker – March 16, 2016

    …the next president should be the one to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court. … I will oppose this nomination as I firmly believe we must let the people decide the Supreme Court’s future.” - Jim Inhofe (R-Ok) 2016

  • In reply to Lincoln311:

    This is a pretty clear indicator of the sort of intellectual honestly to expect from Dennis. Because the Republicans broke with precedent and played blatant politics 4 years ago when it helped them, the Democrats want them to just follow the same pattern now, when it might not help them. According to Dennis, the real hypocrites here are the Democrats. I'm not sure how he sleeps at night.

  • In reply to BillDCat:

    I repeat: "Elections have consequences" Barrack Obama.

    Your concern over Dennis being able to sleep is laudable.

    BTW, what is your real name and why don't you use it?

  • In reply to Richard Davis:

    Why do you care what my name is? Are you looking to come to my house? Are we supposed to believe that Richard Davis is your name? Can you prove it?

    If "elections have consequences" is what you lean on, that's fine. It is the call of someone who has no ethics and is proud of their dishonest rhetoric and bald power grabs at any cost. Some of us have ethics. And then there is you.

  • In reply to Lincoln311:

    You forgot a quote: "Elections have consequences" by Barrack Obama.

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