Nor will they in this, the second day of the hearings into the confirmation of Amy Barrett to the Supreme Court.
As if throwing in the towel, Democrats have used their time in the hearings not to plumb the depths of Barrett’s intelligence and commitment to the law, but as free campaign time to deliver a lecture to voters about the dangers of a court in which conservatives–for the first time in years–would have more voices on the court than the radical left.
Republicans used their time to adhere to constitutional and legal topics during their time, except for Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz who met the Democrats on their own ground and kicked in their teeth.
Cruz raised the specter of a court dominated by the likes of the four liberal judges and Senate Democrats whose voting record constituted an extreme challenge to the cherished Bill of Rights. (Transcript is here. Entire remarks are in video below.) He said:
The entire Bill of Rights is incredibly important to Americans. I also think what is really striking about this hearing today and also yesterday is that Senate Democrats are not defending what I think is really a radical agenda that they have when it comes to the Bill of Rights. And the topics they’re discussing today have little bearing to the rights that are really at issue and in jeopardy at the Supreme Court.
The four liberal justices, he pointed out, were one vote short in one case of outlawing the individual ownership of a gun by agreeing with a Washington D.C. ordinance banning any kind any gun. That’s not an issue about “reasonable” gun regulation–as Democrats deceptively argue–but an issue about whether individuals can own guns at all.
Regarding freedom of speech, Cruz pointed to Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission in which “a small nonprofit organization based in D.C.” could be fined for airing and promoting “a movie critical of a politician,” namely Hilary Clinton, that liberals argued constituted forbidden “electioneering communication.” In other words, the government could censor speech that was critical of a politician, he noted, and by extension could likewise censor such books.
As far as religious freedom goes, Senate Democrats represent the radical view of what they want from the Supreme Court. He said:
I’m sorry to say Senate Democrats introduced legislation to gut the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act when it passed this body, passed with an overwhelming bipartisan majority. Senate Democrats, including Chuck Schumer, and Joe Biden, and Ted Kennedy, all voted for the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Democratic President Bill Clinton signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. And yet in the wake of the Hobby Lobby decision, this body voted on legislation to just gut the protections for religious liberty. And I’m sorry to say every single Senate Democrat voted to do so. Not a single one, zero, would defend religious liberty.”
Cruz also meet head-on the Democrat senators’ carping about how “dark money” is funding Republican campaigns:
First of all, our Democratic colleagues, when they address the issue of so-called “dark money” in campaign-finance contributions, are often deeply, deeply hypocritical and don’t address the actual facts that exist. Here’s some facts. Of the top 20 organizations spending money for political speech in the year 2016, 14 of them gave virtually all of their money to Democrats, and another three split the money evenly…. So, all of the great umbrage about the corporate interests spending ‘dark money’ is wildly in conflict with the actual facts that the corporate interests that are spending “dark money” are funding the Democrats by a factor of 3 to 1 or greater.
In an abortion-related issue, Cruz referred to the case of The Little Sisters of the Poor Saints Peter and Paul Home v. Pennsylvania.
The Little Sisters of the Poor, our Catholic Convent of nuns, who take oaths of poverty, who devote their lives to caring for the sick, caring for the needy, caring for the elderly, and the Obama administration litigated against the little sisters of the poor, seeking to fine them in order to force them to pay for abortion-inducing drugs* among others.
In that instance, the federal government was prosecuting nuns for exercising their right not to have to fund government activity that violated their consciences.
Another liberal judge on the court would also ensure the legality of an abortion is a fundamental and unchallengeable right for any reason at any time for the entire term of pregnancy, including partial birth abortion at the moment of birth. That is an unpopular view among Americans, polls show.
Like Democrats, Cruz was engaging in a campaign argument, beyond the scope of the hearings. But it had to be done to illustrate just how dangerous a court that genuflects to the radical progressive agenda will be. The kind of court that Democrats want.
A side note: Democrats thought they were cornering Barrett by displaying pictures of what they said were victims of Republican policies. How would they have acted if the other side had posted pictures of aborted infants, who are victims of Democratic policies and court decisions?
*The abortion industry railed against Cruz, accusing him of inaccurately calling birth control drugs “abortion-inducing” drugs. Truth is, he was referring to a particular class of drugs that indeed induce death. Planned Parenthood itself calls it the “abortion pill.”