Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

What Happened on the Third Day of the Confirmation Hearing?

             Today was the third and final day for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett to sit quietly while U.S. Senators ask stupid questions and tried to convince her to say what they want to hear. I did not watch the entire proceeding, but I did watch enough to know that Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) did not learn her lesson yesterday. She went right back to asking Barrett the same type of question that Barrett told her numerous times yesterday that she could not answer. Other Democrats tried to press Barrett on other matters.

            Fred Lucas at The Daily Signal listed seven takeaways from the third day of the confirmation hearing. (1) Presidential Power [Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) wanted to know if President Trump could pardon himself, and Barrett declined to answer due to the fact that the question might come before the Supreme Court.] 

(2) Barrett “really impressed” Dianne Feinstein with her answer about the doctrine of severability, specifically in how it would be applied to Obamacare. Barrett explained the doctrine but did not make a commitment on Obamacare.

            (3) Senator Chris Coons (D-Delaware) wanted to know if Barrett would vote as the late Justice Antonin Scalia voted. She stated, “I do share Justice Scalia’s approach to text, originalism and textualism.” She added a lengthy explanation and ended it with “I assure you, I have my own mind. But, everything that he said is not necessarily what I would agree with or what I would do if I were Justice Barrett. That was Justice Scalia.”

            (4) Barrett educated Senator Dick Durban (D-Illinois) on the 15th Amendment. She explained to him twice that the Constitution prohibits the government from denying the right to vote based on race or gender. However, he was not willing to accept her answer and kept pressing. She finally had to tell him that canons of conduct prevent her from offering “off-the-cuff reactions or any opinions outside of the judicial decision-making process.”

            (5) Senator Lindsey Graham discussed the “historic nature” of the possibility of Barrett being confirmed by the Senate: “There’s one group in America I think has had a hard time of it, and that’s conservatives of color and women conservatives. This hearing, to me, is an opportunity to not punch through a glass ceiling, but a reinforced concrete barrier, around conservative women.” Barrett would be the “first conservative, pro-life, Christian woman” to serve on the Supreme Court even though she would be the fifth woman to be appointed.

            (6) Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) discussed the fact that Barrett, Chief Justice John Roberts, and Justice Brett Kavanaugh were all part of the legal team for George W. Bush when “the election-deciding case went to the Supreme Court” against Al Gore. Klobuchar wanted to know if having the three of them on the Supreme Court is a “coincidence,” and if it “will undermine the legitimacy of the court.” Barrett replied that the matter may come before the Supreme Court, so she could not comment on it and reminded Klobuchar that she stated yesterday that she would not comment on a possible recusal.

            (7) Barrett was asked about how she “might rule on highly political precedents such as Roe v. Wade” and declined to answer. She frequently said that she could not comment on cases that could come before the Supreme Court, such as Roe v. Wade, Heller, and Citizens United because none of them reach the status of being a “superprecedent.”

            (8) There were technical difficulties with the audio going down in the Judiciary Room of the Hart Senate Office Building. The committee went into recess and came back later. There were later temporary problems with at least one microphone.

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