Here we are on day two of the largely foregone conclusion that is the Senate confirmation process of Judge Amy Coney Barrett. What a fucking nightmare.
There have been several objections to Republicans rushing Barrett onto the Supreme Court less than a month after the death of liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, specifically that her appointment would likely put the final nail in the coffin of the Affordable Care Act, might severely curtail reproductive rights, and might weaponize the court in the event it’s asked to rule on the presidential election results. Lots at stake and really, not a lot the Democrats are able to do about it.
Barrett is, at least according to one poll, the most unpopular potential justice in modern history. At 48 years of age, she would be far and away the youngest justice on the court if confirmed, and with a lifetime appointment, she’ll be just another goddamn thing we’ll have hanging over our heads for the majority of our lives. Republicans, naturally, are thrilled.
While Senate Democrats have been focused on the losing strategy of reading what amount to Affordable Care Act infomercials, their opponents have been teeing up easy character wins for Barrett, like her apparent popularity as a professor, or her judicially irrelevant status as a mother. During today’s proceedings, John Cornyn, a Republican senator for Texas, attempted a similar tack, asking:
“Most of us have multiple notebooks and notes and books and things like that in front of us. Can you hold up what you’ve been referring to in answering our questions?” Whereupon Barret displayed an entirely empty pad of paper.
“Is there anything on it?” Cornyn asked. “That letterhead that says United States Senate,” Barrett replied. To which Cornyn pronounced: “That’s impressive.” While I assume his reasoning was that Barrett was answering (although in truth she has largely been not answering) questions from memory, the initial reaction to the empty notebook was one of stiffed laughter. Perhaps she doesn’t need to take notes because she isn’t taking the process seriously. Nothing happening over the next few days is likely to change whether she’s confirmed.
Myself and everyone in my generation is slow-marching into the buzzsaw that is three lifetime nominations to the topmost court by Donald Trump, a court that can ultimately rule against every positive social change we could potentially fight for. Many of our freedoms are being assailed by a powerful minority who truly cannot die soon enough, and I am so very tired.
That said, Cornyn did pitch us a bit of a softball here. A widely distrusted public figure holding up what amounts to a Photoshop template? That’s gold, Jerry. And we could all use a W right now.
Whaddaygot folks? Leave ‘em in the comments