Monday, September 28, 2020

Barrett On The Court Will Undo Decades Of Progress

In 1991, President George H.W. Bush nominated Clarence Thomas to replace Thurgood Marshall on the Supreme Court. He thought nominating a Black man to replace a Black man on the court would placate Americans. He was wrong.

Thurgood Marshall was a giant, who had fought to increase the rights of American citizens his entire life. Clarence Thomas had tried to curb those same rights in his time on the court. While both men were Black, Clarence Thomas has never been, and never will be, the equal of Thurgood Marshall.

Now history seems to be repeating itself. Donald Trump says he is replacing one of the great female justices to ever serve on the Supreme Court with a woman. He seems to think that will placate the public. He is wrong. Justice Ginsburg, like Thurgood Marshall, was a warrior for citizen rights throughout her life. Amy Coney Barrett, if her past is to be believed, will work to undo all the accomplishments of Ginsburg. She will destroy decades of progress.

Here's just part of the excellent op-ed by Lara Bazelon in The New York Times on this subject:

President Trump’s promise to name a woman to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died on Sept. 18 at 87, was cynical and insulting to the millions of women who view the late Supreme Court justice as a feminist icon. Senator John Barrasso, a Wyoming Republican, praised the decision as a “powerful positive statement” to young women, who would embrace the president’s nominee as a “role model.” The message to women is clear: Nothing to see here, ladies! One of you is as good as any other.

But Mr. Trump’s pick, Amy Coney Barrett, is no Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Women aren’t gym socks, purchased in bulk so that a replacement can be seamlessly substituted into the rotation when one goes missing in the washing machine. The next Supreme Court justice will cast crucial votes that affect women’s fundamental rights, including the right to control their own bodies and to gain access to affordable health care for themselves and their families. The fact that President Trump’s nominee is a woman matters less if she does not support the causes at the heart of the long, continuing march for gender equality that Justice Ginsburg championed. . . .

Judge Barrett, who is on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, has impeccable intellectual credentials — and a record that stands in stark contrast to Justice Ginsburg’s. She has written that abortion is “always immoral,” and joined two dissents against decisions supporting the right to choose. One decision stopped the enforcement of a state law that would have required a minor — regardless of her maturity or family situation — to notify her parents of her decision to have an abortion, giving them veto power, unless a judge found this was not in her best interests.

The other decision struck down a state law banning abortions at any stage of pregnancy based on fetal disabilities, including those that were life-threatening. (The law also banned abortions based on race, ethnicity and gender.) Judge Barrett dissented from a ruling banning people with felony convictions from possessing firearms, and publicly criticized Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. for voting with the high court’s liberal bloc to uphold the Affordable Care Act, saying he pushed the statute “beyond its plausible meaning” to save it.

Make no mistake: Judge Barrett’s confirmation will be the wrecking ball that finally smashes Roe v. Wade and undoes the Affordable Care Act. Her crucial vote on these cases and so many others will undo decades of the progress that Justice Ginsburg worked her whole life to achieve. . . .

Republicans would have us believe that ramming through Justice Ginsburg’s replacement less than two months before the election — and after denying President Obama, who had 11 months left in his second term, the chance to replace Justice Antonin Scalia — is fine and dandy because, well, the new justice is a woman. . . .

On her deathbed, Justice Ginsburg wrote that her “most fervent wish” was that a new justice would not be installed until after the election. It is a cold calculation by the president, a master misogynist, that the nomination of a woman, in and of itself, would be enough to soften any opposition to the ugliness of a rushed, hypocritical and nakedly political charade. Think again Mr. President: We aren’t stupid.

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