‘I find your answers somewhat incompatible’: 5 moments you missed from Amy Coney Barrett’s hearings

'I find your answers somewhat incompatible': 5 moments you missed from Amy Coney Barrett's hearings

Screenshot / YouTube

Four days of Amy Coney Barrett being asked questions led to four days of round-about answers and oxymoronic views, from hailing herself as a textual originalist to refusing to answer whether Trump can pardon himself.

After Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, Trump’s administration has rushed to fill the Supreme Court’s vacancy before the election. If Trump’s quick response to filling a liberal Supreme Court vacancy with a conservative justice doesn’t insult you, then perhaps it motivates you to cast your vote (especially considering he and the GOP didn’t move this quickly to help prevent over 200,000 Coronavirus-related deaths nationwide).

If you tuned out while tuning in, we don’t blame you. Here are five of the weirdest and most-infuriating moments from Judge Barrett’s four-day-long Senate confirmation hearing.

5. Barrett makes it clear that she follows an originalist philosophy

A stylized photo of the Constitution


In case you’re unfamiliar with originalism, Barrett explained her ideology as not ‘infusing’ her values with the Constitution and making judicial decisions based on Constitutional text — not interpretations of the text.

If we’re kicking it old school, then maybe it’s worth pointing out the irony of a woman being an originalist since, you know, the Constitution framers didn’t even mention women in their text.

The ultimate problem with bringing an originalist into Supreme Court, as explained by Dahlia Lithwick for Slate, is that the ideological proponents of originalism will inherently privilege White, cisgender, Christian, heterosexual men, likely suppressing the advancement of rights for many marginalized communities, including women.

“That doesn’t make Barrett homophobic or racist,” Lithwick writes. “It’s just that the toolkit she employs will not do anything to protect Americans against homophobic or racist laws or policies.”

4. Barrett praises the late Justice Scalia but insists that she holds her own views

Justice Scalia smiling

Flickr / Stephen Masker

More praise for the dead, angry White guy? Does that concern anyone else?

Barrett served as a clerk for late Justice Scalia, known for his staunch, originalist dissents. When Delaware Sen. Chris Coons suggested on day three of Judge Barrett’s hearing that she might vote similarly to Scalia, she shot back, “I have my own mind.”

3. Barrett gets ‘memed’ by Mike Pence’s infamous head fly

A close up photo of a house fly


Okay, this didn’t actually happen… but how great would it be if a fly landed on Judge Barrett’s lapel? It would be a biblical sign that our current administration is a pile of actual sh*t.

Is that a mis-placed lapel pin? Nope. A fly got in, and look where it landed😁. The flies are on point this year. #mikepencesfly #coneybarrettfly #flygate

Posted by Kirby Taylor on Monday, October 12, 2020

Twitter was quick to hop on #flygate.

2. Barrett seems to have forgotten about one freedom protected under the First Amendment

Judge Amy Coney Barrett


“Speech, religion, press, assembly, I don’t know. What am I missing?”

Does my faith have to be in THIS WOMAN to make federal constitutionally ethical decisions?

There’s sort of this layered irony happening if you haven’t caught on yet — Judge Barrett couldn’t recall the freedom to redress grievances with the government or protest. The exact right that Trump has seemingly loved to infringe upon recently.

“These unforced errors came amid what was otherwise a very strong performance by Barrett, who answered questions for two full days with only a blank notepad in front of her,” wrote James Hohmann for The Washington Post.

The First Amendment all ties into itself; everything listed as freedom is listed because you wouldn’t have the rest without one of those freedoms. At least, that was the intention of the Constitutional framework. But when questioned as to why these freedoms were clustered together, Judge Barrett was at a loss.

Funny how a Supreme Court Justice protects our freedoms, but she hesitates to name all five listed in the Constitution. Perhaps it’s her blank notepad that holds the problem.

1. Barrett loves to dodge questions, including crucial questions about climate change

Climate protest

Flickr / Takver

Let’s call it what it is: Amy Coney Barrett denied climate science. There should be no political contention that climate change is occurring. It’s not a question of debate or opinion on civil rights, but a question of, “do you stand with the overwhelming evidence that shows climate change is adversely and more rapidly affecting Earth?”

Following her originalist ideology, Judge Barrett took an even bigger ‘L’ by dodging answers to civil rights and public policy questions, such as abortion and the LGBTQ+ marriage equality.

I get what she’s going for, but the middle of the road responses don’t exemplify a commitment to the Constitution’s text but rather a dangerous indifference to social progress and change. Judge Barrett left us with a single takeaway from the hearing: we don’t know what impact she could have on our social climate, but we know that where she stands will only push us back further instead of moving forward with equitable justice for everyone in America.

It’s imperative, especially if Amy Coney Barrett becomes a justice, to ensure that your vote brings a Democratic majority in Congress to avoid regressive progress that could potentially happen, thanks to the threat of an incumbent fascist president and the possibility of Antonin Scalia’s ideological spawn filling our Supreme Court vacancy.

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