After hysterical preludes, Amy Klobuchar, the senator from Minnesota, questioned Amy Coney Barrett. I feared Barret’s tart tones—the American woman’s gravelly, vocal fry of a voice—would drive one to distraction, but she’s brilliant. Barrett looks disarmingly sweet and girly, but her replies are gloriously pointed and cerebral.
Advisory opinions are prohibited on the Court, Judge Coney Barrett teaches, as she explains a “concrete” as opposed to a “procedural” or “abstract” injury to the plaintiff. Her duty, as she sees it, is to address “concrete” wrongs, only, and in accordance with democratically-enacted law.
To the question of, “Why fight the Affordable Care Act, Amy Coney Barrett answered: “Ask the litigants. I don’t know.” Genius, because her replies are meta: They nail down the role of the SCOTUS in the federal scheme.
No doubt, Amy Coney Barrett will be the best mind on the SCOTUS! Her analytical reasoning—construction of an argument, the way she seals it logically, her preference for higher-order, principle- and process-oriented thinking, makes Kagan, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, Roberts, Alito and Breyer pale by comparison. (Roberts is oriented toward administrative thinking; he has the mind of a functionary of the managerial State. As I pointed out in 2005, “Roberts is flummoxed by first-principle quandaries,” whereas first principles is Coney Barrett’s thing.)
For obvious reasons, Sonia Sotomayor was left off my just-cited list of SCOTUS justices whom Amy Coney Barrett easily usurps. An affirmative action baby (her term for herself), Sotomayor was advised to read children’s classics and basic grammar books during her summers, to get up to speed on her English skills at Princeton University. READ.
Lots of cringe-worthy cliches and schmaltz came with the “quizzing” by Joni Ernst of Amy Coney Barrett. On being a mom, advice to young girls, exercise, role models. There is not daylight between Republican and liberal women, when it comes to this mushy drivel.
About the stardom Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a quiet, reclusive and rather thoughtful jurist, achieved, the Economist writes:
AT THE TIME of her death, Ruth Bader Ginsburg featured on more than 3,000 pieces of memorabilia which were for sale on Amazon.com. Fans of “Notorious RBG” could buy earrings, mugs, babygrows, fitness manuals and Christmas decorations (“Merry Resistmas!”), all bearing her face. something has gone wrong with America’s system of checks and balances. The United States is the only democracy in the world where judges enjoy such celebrity, or where their medical updates are a topic of national importance. This fascination is not healthy.
The Supreme Court is not elected. Yet its power is ultimately founded on the trust and consent of Americans who believe that its decisions are impartial and grounded in law, not party. The more brazenly parties attempt to capture it as the choicest political prize, the less legitimate it will be. Imagine that a court judgment determines who wins November’s election. …
There is a better way. America is the only democracy where judges on the highest court have unlimited terms. In Germany constitutional-court judges sit for 12 years. If America had 18-year non-renewable terms, each four-year presidency would yield two new justices. It would end the spectacle of judges trying to game the ideology of their successor by choosing when they retire. And it would help make the court a bit less central to American politics—and thus more central to American law. Justice Ginsburg was a great jurist. A fitting tribute to this notorious judge would be to make her the court’s last superstar. ?
At heart she was still what she had always been, a judicial minimalist. She was stunned by the lack of caution in the Roe v Wade ruling of 1973 that legalised abortion; though she certainly approved of the outcome, reform should have come through state legislatures, where it was slowly starting to appear. She was shocked too when the court, while upholding Obamacare, found it illegal under the commerce clause of the constitution; that had been Congress’s domain since the 1930s. In her dissents she sometimes appealed to Congress to correct the law and occasionally, to her delight, it did.
When President Trump talks, one can’t help but be impressed by his unbounded force, energy and excellent command of details, down to a Bill’s public law number. In this case, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act:
Bartiromo … asked Trump about Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects social media companies from being legally liable for content on their networks published by users. Trump called it “a disgrace.”
Still, questioned he must be. Voters handed POTUS both legislative Chambers and the presidency for two years. Yet he and the GOP failed to strip Deep Tech of Section 230, … which, to repeat, “protects social media companies from being legally liable for content on their networks published by users.”
(I use the Deep Tech coinage to better capture the power and reach of the high-tech monopolists in politics.)
What’ll change this time around, if we elect Republicans?
So what is the remedy for the powerless (check) who’ve been thrown off social media, for no good reason?
Speaking of one of the Five Big crooked Tech companies; Microsoft’s Bill Gates recently told Chris Wallace “that Trump’s travel ban may have worsened the coronavirus pandemic.”
Those who live a lie usually spout, at best, only half-truths. Trump’s travel ban after the unleashing of COVID was indeed worse than useless. Chinese were merely rerouted and their temperatures taken. But that’s because Mr. Gates “seeded the disease here,” by replacing American with Chinese workers and making these Chinese citizens who travel to-and-from Wuhan