Amy Coney Barrett

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by sculptor, Sep 25, 2020.

  1. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    Amy Coney Barrett--- likely supreme court nominee
    the questions
    Is she qualified?
    Should the nominee be a woman?
    Does her religion matter?
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  3. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    From looking up her CV and the discussion that took place about her religion during her nomination hearing, she seems to me a qualified candidate. At any rate she is not, it seems, a jumped up, right wing nobody who will do Trump's bidding.

    On the religious question I think she gave the best possible answer. I quote Wiki (my highlight in red):

    A hearing on Barrett's nomination before the Senate Judiciary Committee was held on September 6, 2017.[19] During the hearing, Senator Dianne Feinstein questioned Barrett about a law review article Barrett co-wrote in 1998 with Professor John H. Garvey in which she argued that Catholic judges should in some cases recuse themselves from death penalty cases due to their moral objections to the death penalty. The article concluded that the trial judge should recuse herself instead of entering the order. Asked to "elaborate on the statements and discuss how you view the issue of faith versus fulfilling the responsibility as a judge today," Barrett said that she had participated in many death-penalty appeals while serving as law clerk to Scalia, adding, "My personal church affiliation or my religious belief would not bear on the discharge of my duties as a judge"[20][21] and "It is never appropriate for a judge to impose that judge's personal convictions, whether they arise from faith or anywhere else, on the law."[22] Worried that Barrett would not uphold Roe v. Wade given her Catholic beliefs, Feinstein followed Barrett's response by saying, "the dogma lives loudly within you, and that is a concern."[23][24][25]


    I have to say I think Feinstein's remark was offside, equivalent to sticking her fingers in her ears and saying lalala, instead of taking in what the judge had said. It is tantamount to saying that no Catholic could ever be a trusted to be a judge. Fairly offensive really.

    P.S. But why is her middle name "Rabbit"?

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  5. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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  7. Bells Staff Member

    Exchemist... Did you expect her to say she is anti-abortion and would overturn R v W the first chance she got at her confirmtion hearing?

    The first concern is that this is being rushed because Trump has already said that he will challenge if he loses and he will want his judges to hear it.. The biggest concern is that Barrett is an extremist.
  8. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 70 years old Valued Senior Member

    Surely LAW began as a belief of what the majority thought would be good rules to follow?

    Feinstein is saying (concern) I don't trust you, which is not quite your lying

    Barrett seems to be saying

    .......judge to impose.....personal convictions.......on the law

    But but but that equates to laws currently in place. Now I understand the broad brush Roe vs Wade

    Don't know the underpinnings. Are they
    My body my choice or
    When does life begin (along with all the subset beliefs)

    Either of those two change - new landscape

    Have more but Trusted Assistant telling me eat breakfast

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  9. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Barrett is very intelligent and very well learned in the law. That's good, as far as it goes.

    But she is also an "originalist" in the Scalia mold - Scalia was also very intelligent (by reputation) and very well learned in the law, and a source of arguments and decisions and opinions one could fairly describe as "dingbat" - the alternative being "evil". (
    Too clever is dumb, as they say - the Supreme Court is where one expects legal wisdom, not cleverness.
    Religious cults such as "The People Of Praise" are not where one goes for legal wisdom. ( ). (
    Neither, to be blunt, are the halls of Notre Dame academia - football, sure, but wisdom?
    And that almost completely exhausts Barrett's professional legal experience.
    Qualification: There are sects and factions and dogmatic groups within the Catholic Church in the US.
    It is equivalent to saying that no Catholic wedded to some particular dogma within the Church can be trusted to enforce the US Constitution, since it directly conflicts with the US Constitution. If one follows the careers of judges whose decisions have raised that concern (there is more than one on the Supreme Court now) it turns out to be a reasonable one. If it offends anyone, too bad - we have enough dingbats on the Supreme Court already.

    That doubt takes on weight from her clerkship under Scalia - the ethical considerations involved in that job include directly relevant matters of integrity. Scalia did not operate in good faith.

    One would prefer to be able to take the word of a candidate for Supreme Court for such things, but taking the word of someone who clerked under Scalia in a matter involving self-awareness and the real world ("My personal church affiliation or my religious belief would not bear on the discharge of my duties as a judge"[20][21] and "It is never appropriate for a judge to impose that judge's personal convictions, whether they arise from faith or anywhere else, on the law."[22] assumes a self-awareness and familiarity with reality not in evidence - in a Scalia clerk, that needs evidence rather than assumption).

    From the same Wiki page quoted above, an example of a decision by Barrett that rings the Scalia bell:
    That kind of reasoning is what we got from Scalia for his entire tenure on the Court - and Barrett is not yet 50 years old.
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  10. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    I would expect a serious judge to say more or less what she said. She talks of not letting personal convictions interfere with legal judgement. That is the attitude of a good judge.

    You are insinuating that she has a hidden agenda of changing the law for religious reasons and is in effect lying about that to the Senate. That is quite a serious charge. Do you have evidence from her record as a judge that she has a hidden religious agenda? Because that is what is relevant here. (I can't read the Washington Post, I'm afraid, as it demands permissions to track me that I am not willing to give. Perhaps that link contains this evidence. )
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2020
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  11. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Thanks, that is useful background. But according to this: , Notre Dame Law School is not just a Mickey Mouse Diploma Mill, churning out footballers.
  12. Bells Staff Member

    Yes. That is the attitude of a good judge.

    In fact, on the Seventh Circuit, she has sought to impose herself on abortion decisions that weren’t even on her desk. In 2018, a three-judge panel she was not on invalidated an Indiana law requiring that fetal remains be buried or cremated. Barrett voted to reconsider the ruling in front of the full circuit. Her side lost, but the Supreme Court eventually reinstated the law. In 2019, another Indiana law required girls under the age of 18 to receive consent from a parent before getting an abortion, including girls who had already received a court order allowing them to have one. Again, Barrett was not on the three-judge panel which invalidated the law, but again she voted to have the case reviewed before the full circuit.

    These are not the actions of a person trying to keep their personal beliefs out of an abortion debate. Quite the opposite: Barrett has been trying to get her hands on an abortion case since she got on the circuit

    Do you think she is a good judge?

    How bizarre!

    I am not insinuating anything about her religious beliefs.

    I was quite clear when I said that she is an extremist.

    If Barrett ruled like a devout Catholic all the time, that would be one thing. But she doesn’t. She rules like an extremist conservative all the time, and just uses religion to justify those extremist positions when it is convenient for her to do so. She ignores the moral and ethical underpinnings of her faith when they conflict with the cruel requirements of conservative dogma.​

    It certainly would have been if I had actually made that argument...

    You appear to be confused.

    I never said she had a "hidden religious agenda". Where did you get that from, exactly? I can't provide evidence to something you appear to have made up out of thin air about what you are claiming I have said..

    I said she was an extremist. The links I provided showed how she was a right wing extremist and the links showed that she ruled as a right wing extremist.

    Why do you think she is the favourite pick for the Trump administration?
  13. Bells Staff Member

    Notre Dame law school is a very conservative law school with a fair chunk of right wing conservative professors..

    It is a Catholic university, after all.. One would hardly expect them to hire professors who support a woman's right to choose.
  14. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    It seems to be a quite highly regarded law school, though, in spite of the supposed politics of its teaching staff, isn't it?
  15. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Er, well, actually, I do not think I am in the least confused about this. I produced evidence that she said she would not let personal views interfere with her legal judgement, to which you responded, "Did you expect her to say she is anti-abortion and would overturn R v W the first chance she got at her confirmation hearing?" That is insinuating that she was concealing her true intentions when she said she would keep her religious views out of her professional work. Furthermore you have now gone on to allege that she has indeed an anti-abortion agenda that she does promote in her work, in spite of what she said at her confirmation hearing - a hidden agenda, in fact.

    But regardless of the applicability of the term hidden agenda to what you meant to say or imply, all I am trying to do is get at what objective evidence there is that she is a bad judge. I see a lot of speculation, apparently mostly arising from her Catholicism and the fact that Trump has nominated her. But my understanding is that politicians have often been disappointed when they appoint people to the bench who they hope will act in a certain way because, to their shock and amazement, these people consider their first duty is to uphold the law. I think it would be rather funny if she were to be appointed and then developed an independent streak.
  16. geordief Valued Senior Member

    I hope she has a very strong streak of upholding the law. I tend to assume most judges have ,if only because they surely crave the respect of their peers.

    If I was in the position of nominating or voting on someone for her potential post ,I hope I would search for the person that satisfies those credentials.

    The law feels like all that stands between USA and the rape of democracy in the States now. I hope she and the fellow members of SCOTUS understand that.

    9 pairs of shoulders seem frail compared to the burden they may have to face.

    The USA seems to have a problem with separation of powers and this episode feels like a very dangerous bump in the road for them.

    To the OP ,no special opinion about her but it is surely obvious that the Republicans have played a dishonest hand and I hope they have cause to regret it .
  17. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

    She does, in fact, have an anti-abortion agenda, despite her claims that she keeps her personal and religious views apart from her professional work--again:

    Well, she is also an originalist, in the mold of Scalia, which frankly, with regards to an antiquated document that affords rights and personhood solely to white, property-owning men, is not only preposterous, it is also expressly bigoted and quite repulsive. A Constitutional originalist may not be a precise correlate to a Christian Fundamentalist, but they certainly share a lot of commonalities.
  18. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    you seem to have our us constitution confused with something else

    even the 13th amendment does not mention race
  19. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Has that not been amended once before? I am no political scholar, but AFAIK, all current law supercedes prior law, no?

    As the Constitution was written some 230 years ago is to be expected that the Supreme Court should make Amendments to the original document to reflect better understanding and interpretation of human rights as one of the "equal rights" foundations of the Constitution.

    But how then can the Court go back and re-institute a law that was found to be flawed to begin with and reverse an amendment back to its original status of 2 centuries ago?

    Do these people think that the Court must reflect the beliefs of whichever party is in power and can just discard any and all prior Amendments, or should be held to a higher standard than the whims and wishes of the current party in power?

    If we keep changing the Constitution does it have any worth at all. Sounds to me like the Constitution is being treated as a political hostage to be passed around for anyone pleasure, if you know what I mean.

    And what does the status of "Fundamentalist Christian" have to do with Constitutional Law to begin with? There is a specific Constitutional clause that forbids the Establishment of religious values as Law. What are these people doing????? Has it all become a game, a "deadly" game at that?
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2020
  20. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    supreme court decisions are not amendments
    article 5 of the constitution addresses amendments
    "The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate."

    when the court steps outside the constitution, we call that
    "legislating from the bench"
    "judicial activism"
    (mostly depending on your subjective point of view)
    examples: Brown v. Board of Education, Gideon v. Wainwright, Engel v. Vitale, and Miranda v. Arizona.

    Legislatures pass laws, the courts review them and determine of they are constitutional.
  21. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

    Race is not explicitly mentioned, but originalists strive to understand the authors' original intent--race, gender, status, etc. were very much relevant to their considerations.
  22. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    And if these (state and federal) laws are found to be unconstitutional? Or if the Constitutional Law itself is flawed and needs to be amended?
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2020
  23. Bells Staff Member

    I say she is an extremist and link articles that evidence her rulings lean towards her being a right wing extremist and you respond by saying that I was accusing her of having a "hidden religious agenda" and asked that I show proof of her having a "hidden religious agenda"...

    When I say she is an extremist and link articles that point out how she is an extremist - articles that link to and point out the rulings that show her extremist streak in her few short months on the bench - where exactly do I suggest or infer that she has a "hidden religious agenda"?

    To the one, I never even brought up her religious beliefs. I discussed and linked to how she has ruled in the past - that aligned with right wing conservatism - some of the cases have no bearing on religious belief or ideology.

    To the other, her religious agenda, if you wish to call it that, is not hidden. Given she was inserting herself in cases that were not even in front of her, because she is so desperate to hear an abortion case and has made that clear by her actions in the few months she has been on the bench.

    Her extremism is not hidden.

    She gave a response that every single judge that has come before her has given. It was a rote answer. Her actions, words, and how she has ruled has clearly shown her stance. Whether that is religiously motivated or not does not concern me. Her religious beliefs and ideology mean diddly squat to me. What does matter is that she is an extremist and there is a record of her ruling over cases like an extremist.

    You produced a quote from a wiki article..

    I produced two articles that link to cases she has ruled and/or given opinions over as a judge which shows her conservative extremist leanings - and I might add, those cases came after she made that now infamous quote..

    So what should we take more seriously? Her glib answer in her confirmation hearing/process? Or how she has behaved and how she has ruled as a judge since then?

    I have never alleged anything.

    I have said from my first post here that she is an extremist and her decisions as a judge show that she is a right wing extremist. You are the one saying that I have insinuated that she has a hidden religious agenda.. I never said anything of the sort.

    I said that she is an extremist and her history on the bench shows that she presides over cases and decides like a right wing extremist would do..

    She is a conservative extremist.

    She is also very well educated and yes, qualified. But she is an extremist.

    If you have no problems with having extremists on the bench of the highest court in the land, then good for you. As my son often says.. 'You do you!'..

    Others will have obvious objections - particularly women, LGBTQ community, minorities, those who are poor, those who cannot afford health insurance, those who want gun law reforms, those who wish to protect the environment..

    The irony of your comment cannot be ignored.. There is no evidence to suggest that she has or would develop an independent streak. She has ruled as one would expect a right wing extremist to rule.

    Just because she is highly educated does not take away her extremism. Far from it. It just makes her more dangerous to anyone who is not a right wing white person, heterosexual and male.

    She may not overturn R v W. But she will rule to reduce access to abortion and restrict it as much as she possibly can and there is a record of her trying to do that already from the bench. But we'll ignore how she presided and instead hang on what she said at her confirmation hearing instead.

    It abolished slavery.

    I mean, one could state the bleeding obvious here, but really, your comment is pure troll.

    And she is, like Scalia, an originalist. I'd suggest you look up what that means.

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