52-48. All Republicans voted to confirm except Collins

26 thoughts on “It’s Justice Barrett

  1. Collins realizes she is about to lose her seat, and will do anything in this last week to keep it. I have no doubt she ok’d this decision with Moscow Mitch before hand.

    1. I agree, Kevin. Very much so. If the Republicans are going to deny Democrat presidents the opportunity to even nominate Supreme Court justices, then they must reap the consequences of that action. They will scream, rage, and whine, but they’re going to do that non-stop anyway, so who cares?

  2. I’ve learned quite a bit about Justice Amy Coney Barret over the last few weeks. She seems to be a kind honorable and intelligent person who was a great teacher. I also happen to agree with her judicial philosophy so I think she will be a fine Justice. I don’t know how she will vote if/when a new abortion case comes to the Court, but I think she will protect both freedom of speech and free exercise of religion. She is not the ogre some on the left have tried to portray her as.

    I think Mitch McConnel did the right thing in holding up the Garland nomination. It was the last year of the Obama Administration and the GOP controlled the Senate. During the last year of each Bush Administration, when the Democrats controlled the Senate Joe Biden (1992) and Chuck Schumer (2008) gave speeches saying that if there was a Supreme Court vacancy that year Democrats in the Senate should do exactly what McConnel did with Garland. McConnell’s mistake in hindsight (tactically at least) was saying he was doing it because it was an election year and the people should get to decide who would make the nomination. In retrospect, he would have been better off saying something along the lines of: “the American people have voted for divided government. Since Merrick Garland replacing Justice Scalia would fundamentally change the ideological balance of the Court and because it is an election year we (the GOP Senate majority) will let the voters decide who will nominate Scalia’s successor.” But in 2016, McConnel was focused primarily on making an argument that would give Republicans up for reelection as much political cover as he could. He wasn’t thinking a Supreme Court justice would die less than 2 months before the 2020 election. So now the Senate Republicans are quite fairly being called hypocrites because they are acting hypocritically. But there is much hypocrisy on both sides.

    Susan Collins is facing a tough reelection and since her vote wasn’t needed she voted against confirmation. I really hope she manages to win her election and not just because I want the GOP to keep control of the Senate. Perhaps I am mellowing in my old age (I joined AARP last week) but I’ve come to believe it’s important for moderates like Susan Collins and Joe Manchin to remain in the Senate. We need moderates in both parties willing to cross the aisles and work on bipartisan bills. Congress needs to learn how to compromise again. When the Democrats were drafting the Affordable Care Act Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins wanted to join the negotiations in hopes of being able to support the bill. But it was decided since there were enough Democrats to pass the bill without any GOP votes they didn’t need Murkowski’s or Collins’ votes. The ACA might have been a better law if there was input from Murkowski and Collins. But because they were frozen out, it completely united the GOP against the bill in a way that might not have been possible if it was even a bit bipartisan.

    1. Michael McChesney said” “She seems to be a kind honorable and intelligent person….”

      She was also a Supreme Court nominee who didn’t quite have the First Amendment down pat, yet was proud of showing up for the hearing without any notes. Which said to me mainly that she knew her answers didn’t matter much; she was a shoo-in for the job. You can keep the rest of the balloon juice.

      Michael McChesney also said: “I think Mitch McConnel[l] did the right thing in holding up the Garland nomination. It was the last year of the Obama Administration….”

      Go fuck yourself. And spare me any whining if and when the Democrats pack the court.

        1. When I was a freshman at SUNY Albany I fell in with a group of students that believed we shouldn’t be forced to be members of the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) just because they were funded by the mandatory student activity fee. Ralph Nader, the founder of state PIRGs around the country, came to speak on campus and we protested outside. Nader referred to us as “fascist sons and daughters of the ruling class.” During my second year of law school, I was president of the Washington & Lee chapter of the Federalist Society. During a Constitutional law class, I made a comment about how I thought segregation impacted interstate commerce and therefore the Interstate Commerce Clause authorized the 1964 Civil Rights Act. My professor responded “Oh the moderate position from the Federalist Society.” I had gotten a job in a pizza parlor during my senior year of high school and worked my way through various schools making pizza. The summer before that Constitutional Law class I had an unpaid summer job working for a legal foundation and worked nights in a Bronx pizza place. One evening as we were making and rolling dough, my boss (the owner) was talking about welfare and said that he thought there should be mandatory sterilization for all women on welfare. I told him that was horrible and nothing like that rule should ever be imposed. He said to me, “you know the problem with you Mike? You’re just too damn liberal!” In the film “Back to School” Rodney Dangerfield’s character said “If you want to look thin, do what I do, hang out with fat people.” In the same spirit, where you are on the political spectrum depends on who you are being compared to.

          While some have considered me a moderate fascist son of the ruling class that is just too damn liberal, I consider myself a libertarian leaning conservative. I think the primary purpose of government is to protect the civil liberties of its citizens. I say libertarian leaning because there are some libertarians that seem to want a completely laissez faire society. I don’t want that, but there has to be a balance between regulations and civil liberties. I lean more towards civil liberties than most Democrats.

          The funny thing is that if I wanted to identify the opposite of a fascist it would be a libertarian or a classical liberal. It wouldn’t be as many people believe a socialist. Fascism and socialism are pretty closely related. Both systems seem to lead to totalitarian governments and a libertarian government would seem to be the opposite of that. But of course a civil discussion or debate on the subject is probably not possible here. We disagree about politics generally and the proper judicial philosophy specifically. While I know I can’t be right about everything I believe because no one can be right about everything, I can give reasons for the things I believe. It seems the best you can do to counter my reasons is to call me a fascist and tell me to go fuck myself. People have the right to believe whatever they want to believe. But I believe people should try to be open to ideas they disagree with. They should listen to contrary arguments as they may find those arguments have merit. They may lead a person to adjust their beliefs or at the very least fine tune their arguments. But in this case the argument “you are a fascist, go fuck yourself” has not succeeded in changing my mind. As for the “first they came for” argument, in the case of the Barret nomination, who exactly is it that they supposedly came for but I did not speak out about?

          1. MMc, if, after what you tried to justify in your first post, you think I have any interest in reading your wall of whining, you are mistaken again. You want to justify the unjustifiable, you get used to being told to go fuck yourself. You’e going to here it a lot, and for the rest of your life.

            I will say this, if you are being paid to do this (and the Republicans or Putin really ought to be paying you, you’re singing their tune) you are a lot slicker than Steverino, He has pretty much given up trying to be convincing. And the Bonker as always a joke. Nice to know we’re getting the A team.

          2. Aarg. Sadly Michael, I do think this merits a response. From the top, ACB will “protect both freedom of speech and free exercise of religion”? Functionally, that means what? Out with gay marriage and Roe v Wade. So, using religion to boss people around – there’s your fascism. The rest of that first post is sophistry and rationalization, and I think you know it, but I have to admit “God darnit Mr. Lamarr, you use your tongue prettier than a twenty dollar whore.”
            Yeah I paid my $1.25 to PIRG with every quarter’s tuition. Of all the things to protest though…are you really against consumer advocacy, is working in the public interest bad? You were there, I wasn’t, but it sounds like these other people may have been kidding, at least a little. The prof because a Federalist is stereotypically focused on trade, the pizza guy thought he was hurling a good-natured insult.
            That doesn’t mean that everything is relative. If you help fascism succeed, you’re a fascist, regardless of your motives.
            Civil liberties and regulations are not opposing forces that need to be balanced. George Floyd would not be alive today if factories had been allowed to emit more pollution.

          3. Nature Mom. Functionally what do I mean by protecting freedom of speech and free exercise of Religion? On freedom of speech, I mean protecting the rights of everyone, no matter how unpopular there views might be. Antonin Scalia wrote the decision that said there is a constitutional right to burn the American Flag. Scalia admitted after that it had pained him to rule that way, but that is what the 1st Amendment required. On freedom of religion, I mean amongst other things following the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. RIFRA requires a federal law that imposes a burden on the free exercise of someone’s religious belief to pass strict scrutiny. That had been the 1st Amendment rule until Employment Division v Smith (another Scalia decision) that a law of general applicability wins unless it deliberately targets religious belief. But RIFRA said the pre-Smith opinions must be followed. Some of the things those decisions said was that a court couldn’t examine whether a person’s religious belief was correct or reasonable. All they could examine was whether it was sincere. Given all that the Hobby Lobby and Little Sisters of the Poor decisions should have been, in my opinion, very clear. Just as an example, the Obama Administration argued that there accommodation to the little Sisters was sufficient because all they had to do was file some paperwork and someone else would pay for the contraceptives. But the sisters argued that filing the paperwork violated their religious beliefs. But Democratic appointed judges and justices argued that it didn’t violate their beliefs when if you follow RIFRA the only question is whether the sisters belief was sincere.

            I realize that is getting deep in the weeds. I am an atheist that is very much in favor of contraception. But I believe sincere religious beliefs should be accommodated unless there is a particularly strong reason not to. I supported same sex marriage long before Obama did. But I think forcing a baker who believes same sex marriage is wrong to either create a cake for a same sex wedding or lose his business is wrong. Since it would hardly be a great inconvenience to go to another baker, going after that baker isn’t about getting a cake, it’s about punishing him for having an unpopular belief. Honestly, if I knew a baker felt that strongly about it, I wouldn’t want a cake from him. I wouldn’t trust it. That isn’t to say he couldn’t be required to serve gay customers or to sell premade cakes to them. But you get into not only a free exercise of religion issue but potentially a forced speech issue if you require him to use his artistic talent to create something with a message he disagrees with. Opponents of same sex marriage are very unpopular in certain places, but their 1st Amendment rights need to be protected anyway. Who is really the person potentially being bossed around? The same sex couple that have to go to a different baker for a wedding cake or the baker that is forced to violate his religious belief and create a cake?

            As for NYPIRG, I have nothing against consumer protection. But the PIRGs lobbied on many other issues as well. It’s been 35 years so I don’t recall all the issues. But I do recall that the national PIRG group which got a portion of the activity fee that went to NYPIRG lobbied for unilateral nuclear disarmament. I felt that people should be free to give money to NYPIRG if they agreed with the issues they worked on, but should also be free not to. I was a plaintiff in a case that didn’t make it to the Supreme Court but did go to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. I “won” in the sense that NYPIRG couldn’t force me to be a member (they claimed everyone that paid the activity fee was a member) but they got to keep my money. All things considered I think NYPIRG was ok with losing me as a member.

        2. Just to clear up any misunderstanding, when I wrote that Mitch McConnel did the right thing, I meant that I agreed with what he did. I wasn’t trying to argue that McConnel did the right thing as in the morally correct thing or that it would have been immoral in some way to vote on Merrick Garland. I don’t think what McConnel did was immoral in any way. I do think his actions were justified though.

          The Democrats began the practice of opposing judicial nominations for ideological reasons with Robert Bork. Even after that, Ruth Bader Ginsberg was confirmed 97 – 3. During the George W. Bush presidency, the Democrats began filibustering lower court nominees. During the last year of Bush’s presidency, Chuck Schumer called on the Democrats to do exactly what Joe Biden had called on them to do in the last year of the Bush 41 presidency, namely not to approve a nominee to the Supreme Court until after the election. During the Obama presidency, the Republicans filibustered 5 nominees to lower courts, the exact same number that the Democrats had filibustered during the Bush presidency. Harry Reid invoked the nuclear option and eliminated the filibuster for votes on nominees. At worst, the actions of Senate Republicans are no worse than the actions of Senate Democrats. There is no doubt in my mind that if the situations had been reversed and a vacancy had opened up on the Supreme Court in an election year with a Republican president and a Democratic Senate majority, the Democratic leader would have done exactly what Mitch McConnel did. As I greatly prefer the judicial philosophy of Neil Gorsuch to Merrick Garland I am happy that McConnel did what he did.

          I wish I saw a way for both sides to step back from the hyper partisanship on judicial nominations. The problem is that even if an agreement is reached with good faith on both sides, there is no practical way to make that agreement last beyond that Congress. I wonder if there would be support for a Constitutional amendment that would require an up or down vote on a Supreme Court nominee and would also set the number of Justices on the Supreme Court at 9. Maybe if Biden wins the election, but the Republicans manage to hold onto the Senate.

          1. McConnell is a piece of shit in every sense of the word. He’s literally made Kentucky an even more poor, uneducated state while in office, while building up a bank of millions for himself. His lone goal when Obama was in office, even in his own words, was to get him out of office.

            Like all good ole boys in the South, he’s a racist to the core. He despised the fact that a confident black man became President, and he despised just as much that the ACA was put into effect, to give people options for health insurance outside of the workplace to decrease the wage slavery McConnell and the Republicans promote. He had a PR statement out within an hour of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death essentially celebrating her passing and promoting a replacement as quickly as possible, even before her body was cold.

            This was a woman who literally fought and clawed her way from the bottom trying to justify why she should even deserve a position in school over McConnell. Meanwhile McConnell was, and still is one of the biggest supporters of the tobacco industry, and profiteers off of giving people cancer – he’s made millions since he’s been in office.

            Fuck Mitch McConnell and anyone who supports him as doing the right thing on any level. Going forward, any Republicans have no leg to stand on, and should suffer the consequences of the intense harm they’ve done to people the last four years.

          2. Bork wasn’t voted out for ideological reasons, or at least not for ONLY ideological reasons. For his entire career, when it was a person v. a company or state, he ruled against the person. If that’s not bias, it is at least an appearance of bias.
            FWIW I disagree with this crap that started with Ginsberg where it’s considered out of bounds to ask how a judge would rule on a hypothetical. Interview for any job, they’re allowed – expected, even – to have you describe how you would act and make decisions if they hire you.

        3. Oh one other thing. I wasn’t stereotypically focused on trade. I was stereotypically focused on enumerated powers. The Civil Rights Cases (1883) held that Congress didn’t have the power to outlaw private discrimination. I think the 1883 cases were wrongly decided and the 13th and 14th amendments do give Congress that power. But they were never overturned. The 1964 Civil Rights Act was based on the Commerce Clause. I was agreeing that the 1964 Civil Rights Act was constitutional because segregation affected interstate commerce.

    2. this poem was made for you…

      First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
      Because I was not a socialist.
      Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out- -Because I was not a trade unionist.
      Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
      Because I was not a Jew.
      Then they came for me—
      and there was no one left to speak for me.

    3. The ACA is an act of compromise. It’s a Republican bill created by a Republican think tank and first enacted at a state level by a Republican governor. No input from Republican senators is required because Republicans already had their input.

      The Republicans were united against it because it was enacted at the federal level by the Democrats. The quality, or lack thereof, had nothing to do with their opposition. Not opposing the law would mean a political victory for the Democrats and the moneyed interests that drive the Republicans would never let that stand.

      1. There were differences between the ACA and Romney Care. One major difference is that a federal mandate to buy insurance is arguably unconstitutional. Actually, the Supreme Court said it was, but CJ Roberts decided to save it by calling it a tax. But the point I was trying to make was that it was easier for the GOP to oppose the ACA because the Democrats had made sure Republicans were united on the issue. If a handful of Republican Senators had voted for the ACA there may not have been enough votes to repeal the mandate for instance. But it is often impossible to know for sure when discussing alternative history.

        1. It was easy to oppose the ACA because the GOP wanted to deny the Democrats a political win. Its not anymore complicated than that. The GOP was united because McConnell united them. Obama extended an olive branch and the GOP promptly slapped it out of his hand.

          Furthermore, the individual mandate was part of the original Heritage plan and its a part of Romneycare. Its still a Republican idea that just happened to be used by a Democrat congress.

          1. can’t fix stupid…no point in trying. “This is going away. It’s gonna go. It’s gonna leave. It’s gonna be gone. It’s going to be eradicated … If you have a flare-up in a certain area – I call them burning embers – boom, you put it out” etc.

  3. All you have to understand about Republicans are everything is either an incentive or disincentive to bow to authoritarianism and the rich. That’s it.

    That’s why there isn’t a decent wage anymore, even though these fucks had one back when they were in the current generation’s age. That’s why they want healthcare to be as privatized and evil as possible. If healthcare isn’t cheap and affordable, then you basically can chain people to be wage slaves at their job to survive.

    If you get rid for pre-existing conditions – same issue. Better keep working for that $10 an hour like a dog so some billionaire at top can keep getting an extra $50 mil a year to hoard more resources from society to play scoreboard with his ultra wealthy friends. If you quit, then you will be denied insurance anywhere else.

    Really, this is the crux of any Republican argument. Even the supposed Roe vs. Wade issue. They clearly don’t give a flying fuck about life – as George Carlin said – they make good dead soldiers. And here we are with good ole Mississippi, attempting a supposed Roe vs. Wade challenge. By far the most poor state in the US anymore, where people can’t even afford to live on their own, they really want to impose authoritarian theocracy on people for their own selfish reasons. Then when a baby is born? Well enjoy your parents making $10 an hour in the a good ole red state – sorry kid pull yourself up by the bootstraps and be a slave so our rich interests can profit off of your blood and sweat.

    Fuck Trump. Fuck Republicans. And fuck conservatives. Those who support overturning Roe vs. Wade and the ACA, feel free to donate half your resources and adopt about 20 kids apiece to put money where your mouth is to enforce your ‘utopia’ – otherwise, you’re just a POS hypocrite.

    1. I think the Republican Party became a tool for richest people and corporations to get what they want about 40-odd years ago. They pay lip service and dog whistle on hot-button right-wing and Christian right issues, but what they really DO is give the rich what they want.

      For that reason, I think of them as being in favor of oligarchy rather then autocracy, but perhaps that is a distinction without a difference. I suppose they are both authoritarian and repressive.

      The terrible thing is that whatever we vote for now, the tremendous power of that enormous wealth will still be there, bribing legislators and buying media space for endless lies. That power needs to be broken, or at least tamed for as long as the Great Depression and the liberal politics it inspired did.

      1. You’ll never get the brainwashed to agree, even in this very post you see people ‘both siding’ things.

        Essentially what the Republicans do is create a self fulfilling prophecy to actively subvert anything that isn’t private industry profiteering. Like with the judicial system, they literally decided because an uppity black man who put in policies that broke some of that wealth control, that they literally were going to filibuster any judicial nominee so absolutely no movement would occur. They shut down the government several times under Obama’s watch, and some idiots believe it was both sides!

        Basically the Republicans actively sabotage any effort to do something without profiteering, and then say ‘see we broke it, it doesnt work!’ Essentially they play the role of blocking an entire highway with a semi to say ‘see roads don’t work!’ Then when you have the power to tow them out of the way, then they’ll both sides that and say ‘hey see you guys set the standard for towing vehicles, so we’re going to tow yours .. by going into your garage and taking it! Same thing!’

        It’s this fuckery that gets old. It’s not the same, everyone knows that, its a brainwashed conservative/Republican excuse to fuck everyone over. Now watch when Biden get in office, they’ll replay the balanced budget playbook even though they’ve spent the past four years ABSOLUTELY fucking it over with corporate tax cuts and special interest spending and blank checks to shady firms under the guise of COVID response.

        While I voted for the guy to get Trump out, this is Biden’s flaw. Republicans will never compromise or be brought together on a reasonable negotiation, they’ll use ever bad faith trick in the book to fuck someone over, which is why it’s pathetic that it seems once again things are going down this path. Until Democrats grow a pair, and deal in fighting for the populace that ISN’T the one percent with the same tactics that Republicans do for the ultra wealthy, nothing will change.

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