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Congratulations, Justice Barrett!

Congratulations to the new Justice Amy Coney Barrett of the Supreme Court of the United States. Not even a disgraceful Senate caucus could stop her.

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Amy Coney Barrett in 2018. She has the nomination to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court. Now Democrats want to apply an anti-religious test to her nomination.

Last night, at about 8:00 p.m. ET, Judge Amy Coney Barrett won confirmation as a Justice of the Supreme Court. The United States voted 52-48, with all Senators present and none abstaining, to confirm her appointment.

From Judge Barrett to Justice Barrett

Judge Barrett traveled a long and perilous road to her appointment. Or perhaps one could say with better justice that several United States Senators fought a very high-stakes war. Senators Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), and many, many others staked their professional reputations and arguably their tenure in the Senate in making sure that Judge Barrett would become Justice Barrett.

And let no one think she doesn’t appreciate it! For within an hour of the Senate’s vote, she took the oath of office from Justice Clarence Thomas. She then spoke eloquently of her appreciation, and gave her pledge to do what a judge does. Which is: to judge each case fairly, and without regard for anyone’s threats.

Justice Thomas does the swearing-in

That Thomas J and not Roberts CJ swore her in, might or might not deserve controversy. One would expect John Roberts, as official head of the Court, to swear in another immediate junior associate. But Clarence Thomas has much to recommend him to administer this oath to this new Justice:

  1. He is the “Dean” of the Court, having served on it longer than anyone now sitting.
  2. Furthermore, he heads the Court’s conservative faction. With the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, he becomes the indisputable intellectual powerhouse of the Court. And in Judge Barrett he no doubt sees his intellectual heiress and an apt pupil.
  3. Last, and possibly most important to a man like Clarence Thomas: when he passes, he can look forward to the Court being in good hands. Justice Barrett has the makings of a Chief Justice. Should John Roberts retire in the immediate future, she would receive at least some consideration. Surely Thomas J knows all this.

Senators disgrace themselves one last time

Of the Senate Democratic Caucus, the less said the better. Mid-day yesterday, most of that Caucus absented themselves from the Senate. At least one Senator (CNAV hasn’t yet learned who) must have suggested the absence of a quorum. Senators have the right to do that under the Senate’s rules. So the clerk called the roll and went through several roll calls until at last all the Senators assembled.

Of greater—and sadder—import is what Senators Charles M. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said before the Senate took its final vote. Senator Schumer threatened his colleagues. The rough translation of his remarks come down to three words: Just and You and Wait! So brazenly confident is he that Democrats will flip the Senate seven days from now, that he openly said, “Don’t you tell us what we can and cannot do! You opened the door when you rushed this confirmation through!”

One expects such language from a schoolyard bully. But one never expects that from a Floor Leader of the Senate, Majority or Minority. Indeed no one who uses language like that in a legislative session, deserved to sit in a legislature. Lawmaking was never about ganging up on either the minority or those whose interests that minority represent. Yet that is what Senator Schumer threatened to lead his colleagues into doing.

What they threaten

And what exactly has the Democratic Caucus threatened to do? Why, to add more members to the Supreme Court. Members that, as they suppose, a President Biden or Acting President Harris would nominate! The last (and only) President to try to add seats to a Court unfriendly to him at the time was Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He failed. But his rest-of-his-life tenure let him replace the Court anyway, all but one seat.

And why should they do this? What desperate circumstance would provoke this desperate measure? Simple: they know their entire legislative program is unconstitutional.

They admitted as much, nearly two weeks ago. In the week following, they absented themselves from the Senate Judiciary Committee. Their aides left—and CNAV kids you not—their enlarged picture portraits in their chairs! On that day at least, they made Chairman Graham’s job easy: just tee up vote after vote after vote. Not having to listen to the Democrats caterwaul and complain, would have been worth a premium price of admission.

Still, the Democrats threaten to take the majority and pack the Court. How likely is this to happen? The more reliable polls, those that more carefully sample rural voters, for instance, say that it will not. But now we must account for this threat—or Freudian slip—of Candidate Biden:

Ted Cruz would protect Barrett from minority status

Senator Ted Cruz knows exactly what Senator Schumer threatens. So he took the perfect action to shame Schumer and company. He introduced a Congressional Joint Resolution to amend the Constitution to fix the membership of the Supreme Court at nine Justices.

True enough, introducing a CJR won’t suffice to make sure Justice Barrett doesn’t find herself in a minority. Constitutional amendments need two thirds of both Houses of Congress and three-fourths of the several States to take full effect. But who can vote against such a “Keep Nine” amendment without betraying a desire to pack the Court? When the only weapon you have left is embarrassment, use it. No less an authority than Saul D. Alinsky (Rules for Radicals) so advised.

Congratulations, Justice Barrett

But until then, Judge Barrett is now Justice Barrett. And likely just in time, for the challenges to attempts to change election laws in mid-election already are making their way to the Supreme Court. Justice Barrett will have but two effective words for Chief Justice Roberts in his regard: “Move aside.” Last week he voted with the truncated liberal faction of Breyer, Kagan and Sotomayor JJ to let the Pennsylvania Department of State accept mail-in ballots three days late. But that came in a tie vote. Perhaps with Barrett J joining the court, the Republican Party of Pennsylvania can file for reconsideration. As they should.

So once again, congratulations, Justice Amy Coney Barrett, now of the United States Supreme Court. At last we see a Court in which we feel safe having our day. Say, if a case of Earth v. Humanity finds its way to that Court.

About the image

“File:Amy Coney Barrett.jpg” by Rachel Malehorn is licensed under CC BY 3.0

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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

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