WHAT IS THE TAKEAWAY FROM JUDGE AMY CONEY BARRETT’S CONFIRMATION HEARING?
AN ARBALEST QUARREL PERSPECTIVE
Liberal and Radical Left media sources made much of Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s failure, as they perceived it, to respond candidly and honestly to questions thrown at her by Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats during her confirmation hearing.
The Progressive news source, The American Independent, for one, said this:
“Over the three days of hearings by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court, Barrett refused to answer 95 questions posed to her by members of the committee.
In declining, she repeatedly referred to the words spoken by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg during her own confirmation hearing in 1993: ‘A judge sworn to decide impartially can offer no forecasts, no hints for that would show not only disregard for the specifics of the particular case, it would display disdain for the entire judicial process.’”
Notwithstanding the words of the late liberal-wing leader of the U.S. Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the seditious Press concluded that, while they would gladly dismiss the late Associate Justice’s own reticence, they were loath to absolve Judge Barrett for doing the same, attempting, lamely, to draw a distinction between Justice Ginsburg’s justifiable hesitation to discuss the specifics of a particular case, and Judge Barrett’s demonstrating a similar restraint.
MSN news, had this to say about Judge Barrett’s responses Senate Democrat Committee members’ questions designed to commit Judge Barrett to taking a particular stand on Constitutional issues.
“During a nearly 12-hour question-and-answer session, Judge Barrett evaded Democratic senators’ attempts to pin down her views on the Affordable Care Act, abortion rights, gay marriage, and a possible election-related case. She played down her history of taking conservative stances in legal writings and personal statements, arguing that she might view issues differently as a sitting justice. ‘I have not made any commitments or deals or anything like that,’ she told the Senate Judiciary Committee on her second day of confirmation hearings. ‘I’m not here on a mission to destroy the Affordable Care Act. I’m just here to apply the law and adhere to the rule of law.’. . . Judge Barrett’s refusal to discuss specific cases or commit to recusing from particular matters was in line with a decades-old playbook used by Supreme Court nominees to avoid giving substantive answers during confirmation hearings. But her attempts to deflect such questions were more conspicuous than usual, given how explicit Mr. Trump has been about how he would want his nominees to rule.”
Huh? Judge Barrett’s attempts to deflect questions were more conspicuous than the late Associate Justice Ginsburg’s deflecting of questions?
The mainstream seditious Press dares to suggest that Judge Amy Barrett’s justifiable wariness to being pinned down—and therefore, thereafter, constrained—were she to give categorical responses to matters of Constitutional dimension amounts to a disturbing lack of candor on her part, if not outright insolence. This is a conscious, unconscionable attempt to malign Judge Barrett.
But Judge Barrett needn’t assert and, in fact, shouldn’t assert how she would decide legal issues before the fact. Indeed, how could she? Activist jurists, of course, do so all the time as the public knows full well.
Reflect, for a moment, if you will, on any one of a plethora of decisions handed down by activist Judges on Second Amendment and immigration matters. Activist judges almost invariably prejudge cases that come before them. They work backward from their decision to the central issue, constructing premises along the way, designed to cohere with the decision they have already made.
But a methodical, meticulous, jurist, such as Judge Barrett, is perspicacious, not judgmental.
Judge Barrett carefully analyzes a case; draws her inferences therefrom; and comes to a purposeful, informed, well-considered decision, never a spontaneous one.
As Judge Barrett has demonstrated through her dissenting opinion in the Second Amendment Kanter case, she applies sound logical reasoning before rendering a decision. See Arbalest Quarrel article. And Judge Barrett complies with, is devoted to, and pays assiduous, diligent, and laborious attention to firmly established jurisprudential doctrinal methodology, a methodology grounded in strict adherence to the import and purport of the U.S. Constitution as written, consistent with and faithful to the intention of the framers of it. In this way—and only in this way—can a jurist know that he or she is protecting the fundamental, natural, rights and liberties and sovereignty of the citizenry, and preserving a free Constitutional Republic.
Of course, ruthless elements both here and abroad want none of that. They have made clear an intention to tear down our Republic, erase our history and traditions, destroy our sacred rights and liberties, and undercut our Judeo-Christian ethic and faith in a loving Divine Creator. And they have been assiduously, seditiously at work and, now, openly rewriting the U.S. Constitution to cohere with a weakened Nation, a subjugated, subservient citizenry, and a bloated Government subordinated to the will and dictates of the EU and Xi Jinping’s China.
These ruthless elements, through their puppets—Democrats sitting on the Senate Judiciary Committee—do not want a jurist on the High Court who happens to appreciate, and who esteems, and who cherishes the U.S. Constitution as written. They want a jurist who does the bidding of Democrats in Congress, thereby turning the Court into an adjunct of the Legislature and of the ignorant mobocracy among the polity who obediently obey the commands of their taskmasters as conveyed to them through incessant, noxious propaganda.
The Democrat Party lackeys of China and of secretive Billionaire Globalists are, understandably, upset with Judge Barrett, sitting on the U.S. Supreme Court; as she is a person “who will not get with the game plan,” who will not pay homage to them and who will not defer to their wishes. That is something they cannot and will not abide.
Judge Barrett has made abundantly clear to all who would pay note, that she is a person of integrity, both in her personal conduct and in her role as a jurist. She has made clear that, as a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, she will never interpose her personal predilections in the judicial decision making process. She hasn’t done so as a Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and she would not do so as an Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. How can the American public be certain of this?
It is through the methodology employed in deciding cases that the full measure of a jurist can be accurately, adequately deduced. And, on that score, Judge Barrett has been honest, forthright, and open, and, on the methodology she employs in deciding cases, she has been completely candid. That should give Americans—who, as with Judge Barrett, cherish a free Constitutional Republic, who cherish the U.S. Constitution as written, and who cherish our natural, fundamental rights and liberties, as bestowed on and in man, etched into man’s very being by a loving Creator—the necessary, requisite assurances that Judge Barrett qua Associate Justice Barrett will never betray the Constitution and will always remain true to our sacred, natural, fundamental rights and liberties.
This of course drives the Destructors of our Nation into a psychotic rage as they have other plans for our Nation, for our Constitution, and for our people; and they have not been shy about what those plans portend. If these Destructors can deceive enough Americans to vote for the so-called “moderate” Joe Biden and if they are able to take control of the United States Senate, then all is lost. The American electorate must see to it that this doesn’t happen.
JUDGE BARRETT’S METHODOLOGY FOR DECIDING CASES EXPLAINED
Unlike activist lower Court Judges and liberal-wing High Court Justices who routinely affirm legislative enactments they find palatable, couching their personal predilections in convoluted legalese, rubber-stamping unconstitutional government action, Judge Barrett—soon to be Justice Barrett if all goes well—stated clearly, unequivocally, and categorically that she does not and would not render judgment on the basis of personal bias for or against a particular statute. And, from the cases she has heard and opined upon as a Judge, sitting on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and from her academic writings, Americans can rest secure in the knowledge that Judge Barrett, will remain true to the written word of the U.S. Constitution and to the sanctity of the Bill of Rights.
Judge Barrett grounds her decisions on legal and judicial considerations alone, not on legislative policy considerations that fall within the purview of legislative bodies, outside the purview of courts.
She asks: “Is this legislative enactment consistent with the import and purport of the U.S. Constitution, as written?” She frames her analysis accordingly, and her decision follows logically from that analysis. Judge Barrett does not ask, nor should she ask: “Does this legislative enactment cohere with prevailing public whim and fancy, fashion and sentiment, shaped and molded by Progressive ideologues with whom I must adhere?”
Through Senate Democrat questioning of Judge Barrett, it becomes abundantly clear that Democrats perceive the U.S. Supreme Court not as an independent Third Branch of Government, but merely as an adjunct of the legislature—a body that has no other purpose than to rubber-stamp Congressional enactments—statutory enactments that cohere with international law and norms, superior to the U.S. Constitution and dismissive of and antithetical to our citizenry’s fundamental rights and liberties. That is what these Democrats want. That is what they desire from a U.S. Supreme Court Justice. But that isn’t what they will get once Judge Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed to sit on the High Court as Justice Amy Coney Barrett. And that enrages Democrats. And, so, they threaten “to pack the Court” if they are able to gain control of the Executive Branch of Government, along with control of the U.S. Senate.
During the Senate confirmation hearing, Judiciary Committee Chairman, Lindsey Graham, Republican South Carolina, asked Judge Barrett matter-of-factly how she perceives the role of a jurist.
Senator Graham’s question was a proper and fitting one to ask of a nominee who might sit on the U.S. Supreme Court, and Judge Barrett welcomed the opportunity to answer the Senator’s question, and she was remarkably candid in her response.
Senator Graham likely asked this question of Judge Barrett, first, to impress on members of the public—many of whom probably have little comprehension of the specific and appropriate role of a jurist—what the proper role of a jurist is under our Constitutional and jurisprudential framework. And he likely asked this question of Judge Barrett, second, to impress on Senate Democrats who most certainly do comprehend the proper role of a jurist but who desire to impose an improper role on our jurists, that their insinuation that Judge Barrett must do the bidding of Congress—that she owes her soul to the company store, so to speak—is wrong and wrong-headed, for such a role that Senate Democrats demand of our jurists is: one, antithetical to our Nation’s Constitutional framework; two, antithetical to our Nation’s jurisprudential traditions; and three, antithetical to the separation of powers doctrine.
The desire of Senate Democrats to impose their will on judicial nominees was clearly apparent through their long-winded, generally imbecilic monologues and through their impertinent, often insulting queries directed to Judge Barrett. Senate Democrats’ insinuation that the U.S. Supreme Court belongs to Congress, and must do the bidding of Congress, is blasphemous. It is dangerous to the well-being of our Nation. It is arrogant in the extreme, and wholly untenable.
In response to Senator Graham, Judge Barrett, explained clearly and succinctly: “I interpret the Constitution as a law, that I interpret its text as text, and I understand it to have the meaning that it had at the time people ratified it. So that meaning doesn’t change over time and it’s not up to me to update it or infuse my own policy views into it.” See, Washington Examiner article, as posted by MSN news.
Judge Barrett explained that the framers of our Constitution never meant for the U.S. Supreme Court to operate like Congress, and, more to the point, never intended for the U.S. Supreme Court to take its cue from Congress, advocating for and on behalf of Congress.
Congress enacts laws predicated on policy choices. Those policy choices may or may not be consistent with the Constitution. If those policy choices, as reflected in law, are at loggerheads with the textual meaning of the Constitution as the embodiment of the intent of the framers of it, then the Court must step in to overturn the law. That is the solemn duty of an American jurist.
That isn’t what activist Judges and Justices do and, so, that isn’t what Senate Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee wanted to hear. They want docile, obedient jurists, answerable to Congress. Their frustration with, resentment of, even anger with Judge Amy Coney Barrett, was painfully evident.
They remonstrated over Judge Barrett’s refusal to take a definitive stand on pending legal issues and on legal issues apt to come before the U.S. Supreme Court in the future. They insisted that she acquiesce to their absurd policy objectives; demanding that she declare categorical, unequivocal, acceptance of and adherence to their pernicious, horrific Collectivist vision for the Country, one that reduces Americans to subservient cattle. This Collectivist vision is characterized by uniformity in thought and conduct among the masses; dependency on Government largess for one’s physical needs; and the deliberate inculcation of confusion and fear in the masses, effectuated through a targeted campaign of systematic predation on the polity that is unable to effectively defend itself because firearms will have been universally banned.
It was all on constant, ignominious display throughout the hearing. And through it all Judge Barrett remained noticeably and notably calm but alert; courteous; unruffled; even, at times, convivial. And that must have enraged Senate Democrats even more; their vote against confirming Judge Barrett to a seat on the High Court a foregone conclusion, a vote that Senate Republicans, fortunately, do not or ought not need.
ON THE DOCTRINES OF PRECEDENT AND SUPER-PRECEDENT IN U.S. SUPREME COURT CASE LAW
A legitimate, perceptive question for Judge Barrett—one that has been asked of previous nominees but, was not asked of her, during the hearing, or otherwise was not dealt with in any extensive appreciable way—involves the judicial doctrine of case law Precedent, referred to as Stare Decisis.
The Cornell Law School website defines ‘Stare Decisis,’ thus:
“Stare decisis is Latin for ‘to stand by things decided.’ In short, it is the doctrine of precedent.
Courts cite to stare decisis when an issue has been previously brought to the court and a ruling already issued. According to the Supreme Court, stare decisis ‘promotes the evenhanded, predictable, and consistent development of legal principles, fosters reliance on judicial decisions, and contributes to the actual and perceived integrity of the judicial process.’ In practice, the Supreme Court will usually defer to its previous decisions even if the soundness of the decision is in doubt.”
Democrats on the Senate Judiciary though weren’t interested in eliciting profound, insightful responses from Judge Barrett on that score, which they certainly could have obtained had they bothered to ask her to expound upon the the doctrine of stare decisis. Judge Barrett would certainly have been inclined to elaborate on that matter. But, Democrats weren’t interested in that or on any other jurisprudential or juridical subject of any real significance. They were only interested in, or mostly interested in, scoring political points to help them get the feeble, frail Joe Biden over the finish line in November, and in maintaining a majority of Democrats in the House, and taking control of the Senate. If successful, that would give them all the power they would ever need “to pack the High Court” with their lackeys, thereby neutralizing Judge Barrett’s seat on the Court.
So caught up were Senate Democrats in the frenzy of the moment that, what otherwise could have been a profitable, informative confirmation hearing, devolved, by turns, into, one, a harangue against Trump; two, an annoying, uncalled for, insulting accusation that Judge Barrett must be a pawn of the President; three, a demand that Judge Barrett recuse herself on this, that, or the other case that might happen to come before her once she is seated on the High Court; four, incessant odious, presumptuous, recitations of Democrat Party policy positions that Judge Barrett was compelled to suffer through; five, insulting innuendoes concerning Judge Barrett’s private life and personal religious convictions; and, six, an extended, extensive Democrat Party campaign advert in support of the Harris/Biden ticket.
During the hearing, Senate Democrats made manifestly and adamantly clear their fervent desire and their firm intention to raise both abortion on demand and the ACA to the level of fundamental rights, and, as if that weren’t enough, they audaciously sought Judge Barrett’s imprimatur on abortion and the ACA. They never obtained it.
Senate Democrats also made abundantly clear their vehement abhorrence of the right of the people to keep and bear arms and of their deep-seated, enduring wish to reduce a clear illimitable, immutable, unalienable, fundamental, natural right—the right of the people to keep and bear arms—to the status of a mere Governmental privilege, to be bestowed upon and rescinded at the whim of Government bureaucrats.
Had someone but troubled to ask Judge Barrett to expound on a paper she had written on the very subject of stare decisis, she would have acknowledged that resolution of Constitutional issues is not always clear-cut, thereby ameliorating, perhaps, some of the harsh criticism leveled against her by Senate Democrats. Then, too, if Senate Democrats devoted more time eliciting critical juridical doctrinal ideas from the nominee and less time delivering heated polemics and exhibiting fits and bursts of histrionics, the confirmation hearing could have been, and likely would have been, much more productive. Alas, they didn’t; and, it wasn’t.
In her article, written for a symposium on Constitutional disagreement, Judge Barrett laid out her thesis on U.S. Supreme Court precedent, thus:
“Over the years, some have lamented the Supreme Court’s willingness to overrule itself and have urged the Court to abandon its weak presumption of stare decisis in constitutional cases in favor of a more stringent rule. Stare decisis purports to guide a justice’s decision whether to reverse or tolerate error, and sometimes it does that. Sometimes, however, it functions less to handle doctrinal missteps than to mediate intense disagreements between justices about the fundamental nature of the Constitution. Because the justices do not all share the same interpretive methodology, they do not always have an agreed-upon standard for identifying ‘error’ in constitutional cases. Rejection of a controversial precedent does not always mean that the case is wrong when judged by its own lights; it sometimes means that the justices voting to reverse rejected the interpretive premise of the case. In such cases, ‘error’ is a stand-in for jurisprudential disagreement.”
A lesser known, quasi-judicial, principle, that of ‘super-precedent,’—was raised by Senate Democrat Amy Klobuchar, but, unfortunately, wasn’t pursued. Senator Klobuchar simply brought up the principle to emphasize and to capitalize on a Democrat Party talking point. She wanted to know whether Judge Barrett thought that Roe vs. Wade was so fixed in Supreme Court precedent that it could not or should not be overruled, which is to say that it should be perceived, then, as a super-precedent.
Judge Barrett rightfully demurred. The pointed question pertaining to Roe vs. Wade was altogether inappropriate, and Judge Barrett respectfully, but firmly, declined to take the bait.
In any event, Roe vs. Wade may be cast in stone as some people see it, but that is no reason to believe its precedential value is beyond reasonable legal dispute.
The fact remains that Roe vs. Wade was a bizarre attempt at a judicial “squaring of the circle.” Yet, it was no more than a crude attempt to create a fundamental right out of whole cloth.
Still, notwithstanding that some people strenuously and indefatigably, albeit bizarrely, extol that ruling as a thing sacrosanct and inviolate, is not to mean that the ruling carries with it or should carry with it some paramount attribute or weight and must, therefore, never be overruled—only enhanced, if anything, to the point where the murder of a child is lawfully permitted up to the moment of live birth.
In fact, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s law on abortion does allow for abortion up to the very moment of birth, contrary to Cuomo’s claims that the new, strengthened, New York law is consistent with Roe vs. Wade. It isn’t.
Cuomo is either a liar or ignorant of the import of his own law because the word ‘abortion’ has been excised from the New York Criminal Code. The AQ has explained Cuomo’s duplicity on this issue.
On the other hand, in contradistinction to Roe vs. Wade, one might ask if Heller vs. District of Columbia is super-precedent case law. Senate Democrats and other political and social progressives would argue it isn’t, predicated, no doubt, on their abject abhorrence of and repugnance toward firearms and firearms’ possession, which raises an aesthetic and/or psychological argument against the Second Amendment, not a pertinent legal one.
The critical legal question in Heller was whether the Second Amendment embraces an individual right.
The High Court Majority held that the Second Amendment—the Majority Opinion written by the late, eminent Associate Justice, Antonin Scalia—does embrace an individual right; and that it does so on logical, as well as legal, grounds; for were it not so, then the right codified in it would be reduced to a nullity and there would have been no point to it.
Heller, unlike Roe vs. Wade, must, then, be construed as a manifestly super-precedent ruling: a ruling that resists overturning lest irreparable damage be done to the Bill of Rights itself and, no less, to the sovereignty of the American people whose sovereignty is only assured through force of arms; the principal bulwark against the inexorable slide toward and inevitable onset of tyranny.
But, assuming arguendo that Heller were to be overruled—something well within the realm of possibility if the Democrats make good their threat “to pack the Court” if they gain control of the Executive and of the Senate, and a Second Amendment case then wended its way to the Court. But, for Heller to be overturned, a High Court majority would be compelled to opine that the original holding was wrong, which is tantamount to saying the Second Amendment has no meaning at all. But Democrats wouldn’t have a problem drawing that conclusion anyway.
Yet, it is patently absurd to say the Second Amendment has no import. From a logical point of view, apart from the legal certainty, the Second Amendment does embrace and must embrace an individual right. So the Heller ruling that the Second Amendment codifies an individual right is dead-on correct.
This brings us to Senator Dick Durbin, Democrat, Illinois, and to his singularly odd remarks during the hearing. For all that he had to say about firearms, it would have been interesting if he had had the wherewithal to broach the import of, and the historical imperative of the Second Amendment, with Judge Barrett—instead of going on about black powder muzzle-loaders as if he had any idea what he was talking about, anyway. But he didn’t. And that is just as well, for Senator Durbin obviously has no comprehensive knowledge of nor appreciation for the technical characteristics of firearms; nor does he care one whit about the sacred, natural, immutable, unalienable right of the American people to keep and bear them.
Copyright © 2020 Roger J Katz (Towne Criour), Stephen L. D’Andrilli (Publius) All Rights Reserved.
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