By Dave Andrusko
We have a number of posts today about the nomination of 7th Circuit Court of Appeals judge Amy Coney Barrett, already affectionately referred to as “ACB,” to sit on the United States Supreme Court. In this story, we’ll parallel what we do each day with the presidential race between pro-life President Trump and pro-abortion former vice president Joe Biden: offer a number of illustrative observations or headlines and then add a few words. Here we go…
*“As Barrett spoke in the Rose Garden before an audience that included her seven children — as a nominee, Trump noted, who could become the first mother of school-aged children to serve on the high court — she showed how challenging it will be for Democrats to vilify her as a frightening figure who would join the court’s conservative majority in rolling back abortion rights and stripping Americans of their health care protections”—Maeve Reston, CNN
*“Many of the same reporters who are perfectly comfortable calling Joe Biden a ‘devout’ Catholic — while his actions clash with church doctrines on marriage and sex — are going to spill oceans of digital ink warning readers about the dangerous dogmas that dwell loudly in the heart and mind of Barrett”—Terry Mattingly
*”In a Sane World, America Would Have Just Fallen in Love with the Barrett Family”—Kathryn Jean Lopez
*“Amy Coney Barrett: A New Feminist Icon–Feminism is changing, and Barrett’s replacement of Ruth Bader Ginsburg will show how”— Erika Bachiochi
*“I disagree with much of her judicial philosophy and expect to disagree with many, maybe even most of her future votes and opinions. Yet despite this disagreement, I know her to be a brilliant and conscientious lawyer who will analyze and decide cases in good faith, applying the jurisprudential principles to which she is committed. Those are the basic criteria for being a good justice. Barrett meets and exceeds them”— Noah Feldman
In reverse order, Noah Feldman is a Harvard Law School professor who tells us in no uncertain terms he and Judge Barrett are poles apart–“I disagree with much of her judicial philosophy and expect to disagree with many, maybe even most of her future votes and opinions”—yet he is immediately acknowledges, “despite this disagreement, I know her to be a brilliant and conscientious lawyer who will analyze and decide cases in good faith, applying the jurisprudential principles to which she is committed.” He got to know her more than twenty years ago “when we clerked at the Supreme Court during the 1998-99 term.”
Of the thirty-some clerks that year, all of whom had graduated at the top of their law school classes and done prestigious appellate clerkships before coming to work at the court, Barrett stood out. Measured subjectively and unscientifically by pure legal acumen, she was one of the two strongest lawyers.
Even CNN’s Maeve Reston acknowledge Judge Barrett’s towering resume, even though (a fault to CNN types) Barrett also “unequivocally cast herself as an acolyte of Scalia.” What was his “judicial philosophy” that was hers as well?
A judge must apply the law as written. Judges are not policy makers, and they must be resolute and setting aside any policy views they might hold.”
To activist judges (and justices), this is rank heresy.
Terry Mattingly’s very thoughtful piece reminds us how the same reporters who fall all over themselves to describe Biden as a “devout Catholic” will do an about face and warn about the “[Catholic] dogma that lives loudly within you” [Barrett], as pro-abortion Sen. Dianne Feinstein said in 2017.
Just a passing word on Kathryn Jean Lopez’s beautiful tribute to the Barrett family. Lopez concluded
Today is a beautiful day in America. I wish people would take a deep breath and be inspired. Let the Barrett family stretch your heart. Let Amy Barrett’s tribute to family and country remind us all what is most important in life.
I would strongly encourage you to read Erika Baciochi’s post in (of all places) POLITICO. Overwhelmingly, the major media cannot get their heads around the idea that women can be feminists and pro-life. To them, it’s an oxymoron—the two words pro-life and feminist are contradictory.
The genius of the pro-life feminist is to challenge all of the secular, anti-life dogmas, indeed turn them on their head. For example, Baciochi, a legal scholar and Fellow at the Ethics & Public Policy Center, argues that
Barrett embodies a new kind of feminism, a feminism that builds upon the praiseworthy antidiscrimination work of [Justice] Ginsburg but then goes further. It insists not just on the equal rights of men and women, but also on their common responsibilities, particularly in the realm of family life. In this new feminism, sexual equality is found not in imitating men’s capacity to walk away from an unexpected pregnancy through abortion, but rather in asking men to meet women at a high standard of mutual responsibility, reciprocity and care.
And, as Judge Barrett made abundantly clear in her remarks Saturday in the Rose Garden, her marriage is one of genuine equals:
I couldn’t manage this very full life without the unwavering support of my husband, Jesse. At the start of our marriage, I imagined that we would run our household as partners. As it has turned out, Jesse does far more than his share of the work. To my chagrin, I learned at dinner recently that my children consider him to be the better cook. …
And that’s not because he has a lot of free time. He has a busy law practice. It’s because he is a superb and generous husband and I am very fortunate.
Those who are following the confirmation fight closely will notice that I have not added any comments from pro-abortion Democrats to the effect that the battle is over and Judge Barrett will be confirmed, no matter what they do.
This is so patently insincere, so bathed in manipulation and dried in calculation that it almost takes your breath away.
Just remember what happened to Brett Kavanaugh. Sure, the assaults and the distortions and the misrepresentations will be different but they will all be premised on the same certainty that the media will swallow whatever they hurl at Judge Barrett and her family just as they uncritically cycled the character assassination of now Justice Kavanaugh.
Judge Barrett, by all accounts, is about as fine a human being as you are likely ever to meet. But that will not—will not—prevent pro-abortion Democrats from launching a gutter-level attack.