The Supreme Court has struck down irony. “Justice” Amy Coney Barrett delivered the opinion at the Mitch McConnell Center in Louisville, after being introduced by Mitch “I Stole a Supreme Court Seat From Obama and Kept It in My Pocket Until Trump Became President” McConnell himself.
Demonstrating a truly Trump-worthy tone-deafness, the beneficiary of Mitch McConnell’s hypocritical abandonment of his “not even a hearing for a Supreme Court nominee so close to a Presidential election” stance in order to ram through her nomination a mere 8 days before the 2020 election (and after more than 60 million citizens had already participated in early voting), Barrett bemoaned the increasing public perception of the court as a partisan institution.
This is the same Amy Covid Barrett who willingly participated in two political spectacles (or super-spreader events) at the White House orchestrated by Trump for her nomination and her swearing-in, including an Evita-like appearance on a White House balcony with Trump.
If Barrett wants the public to start viewing the Court as something more than just another bunch of partisan hacks, then its “Justices” should stop acting like partisan hacks. Remember Justice Samuel “Sammy the Bullshitter” Alito demonstrating his non-partisan judicial temperament by ostentatiously mouthing “not true” after Obama asserted in his 2010 State of the Union Address that the Court’s Citizens United decision would open the floodgates for special interests “to spend without limit in our elections”?
Or how about Brett “I like Beer” Kavanaugh at his confirmation hearing yelling at Senate questioners who had the temerity to not take his obvious lies (regarding his drinking, debts, and sexual activities) at face value? This, of course, followed the example of Clarence Thomas, who years ago scolded the Senate Judiciary Committee for conducting a “high-tech lynching” for considering credible accusations that he had sexually harassed Anita Hill.
It used to be that Justices were expected to be above reproach, above the fray of politics and impropriety. Now prospective Justices seemingly insist that they are entitled to their Supreme Court seats as a matter of right because of their powerful ambitions and their satisfaction of political litmus tests set not only by the President and the Senate, but in the case of Republicans, the Federalist Society as well.
Supreme Court Justices may delude themselves into believing they were selected because they were the most qualified, rather than due to their political/judicial views (and increasingly, the likelihood they will push those views for 30+ years on the Court). But that doesn’t mean the public must share such delusions.
Even Chief Justice Roberts has demonstrated that he is a political animal. Sometimes, (abortion rights, Obamacare), he tries to preserve what little prestige the Court has managed to hold onto by not going joining his arch-conservatives colleagues in their most draconian ideological pronouncements.
But when it comes to the core GOP issues of our time, eroding the regulation of election-related spending and stifling the votes of minorities, Roberts is a fervent Republican, even if reaching the desired result means he has to concoct preposterous findings (e.g., claiming that states that historically suppressed the votes of minorities can now be trusted to do the right thing, so key provisions of the Voting Rights Act can be nullified). Republican legislatures around the country are doing their best to disprove this ill-conceived claim.
The dubious confirmation processes of Kavanaugh, Thomas, Barrett and Neil “Possession of Stolen Property (Merrick Garland’s Supreme Court Seat)” Gorsuch, further erode the illusion that the Justices appointed by such means constitute an august group of impartial jurists. (Oddly, the Senate Judiciary Chair in charge of the Thomas confirmation hearing was Joe Biden.)
It seems more likely than not that Thomas, Kavanaugh & Barrett all lied under oath during their confirmation hearings, which, at the least, renders them susceptible to impeachment — see the Republican talking points regarding Bill Clinton. In a fitting bit of irony – and hopefully soon, karma – one of those leading the charge to pillory Clinton for his transgression was none other than Brett Kavanaugh, when he was an eager legal pit bull serving under his master Ken “Hypocrisy Knows No Bounds” Starr.
Barrett’s protesting too much that the Supreme Court is not just another political organ of the government underscores the need for thorough vetting of the Supreme Court Justices, not just in the confirmation process, but also during their ongoing service on the job. Since when does the press stop digging into the lives and motivations of the President and his Cabinet, or Senators or Members of Congress once they assume office?
Compelling issues relating to Supreme Court Justices should be investigated. Who paid off Kavanaugh’s debts, and to whom is he beholden? What other women accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment? How heavily involved in the Capitol Insurrection was Ginni Thomas, and was her husband aware of (or involved in) this? Who else has accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual impropriety? What is Barrett’s relationship with the People of Praise “covenant community,” and does this affect her judicial decisions?
Reporters should report on Justices and the skeletons in their closets just as they do for any other politician – legislative or executive branch. After all, wouldn’t we have benefited from learning about Justice Kennedy’s connection to Trump, via his son’s role at Deutsche Bank (Trump’s lender of choice — or necessity) before Kennedy abruptly resigned?