by Erik Dolson
Democrats should not oppose Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.
This is not an endorsement of Sen. Mitch McConnell’s breathtaking hypocrisy in pushing Barrett’s nomination through the Senate while Trump is still president, after his reprehensible blocking of Merrick Garland’s nomination. Stripped of its ridiculous contortions, McConnell’s argument is that “Trump is president, I run the Senate, together we will do what we want with judical appointments,” and is accurate.
No, Democrats should not oppose Barrett’s path to the Supreme Court for reasons even more simple.
The first is that they will lose, and look bad in the process, right before the election. It is a given that the U.S. Supreme Court will become more conservative, whatever that means. There is nothing to be done. Why give Trumpistas ammunition and momentum as America decides on its future?,
The answer from many Democrats is that just to fight the fight is a political win, with abortion rights as the litmus test. But too many Democrats forget their primary goal is not to win over people like themselves, but to convince the “marginal middle” that Democrats best represent their interests.
Partisan grandstanding in an ugly judicial fight, followed by the inevitable loss, does not do that. Labeling someone an “originalist” and offering obscure arguments over “precedent” do not do that.
The second reason is that Judge Amy Coney Barrett is supremely (sorry) qualified to sit on the high court. Her background as a law professor, the quality of her writings, and the opinions of many of her associates show that she is a jurist of the highest calibre.
It’s almost ironic that her achievements are the sort that Democrats celebrate for women, even as Barrett’s politics are an anathema to the left leaning. Yes, she’s a “conservative.” But given Barrett’s intellect, this is an opportunity for liberals to reexamine some of their core beliefs. It’s also ironic that Barrett has suggested she might recuse in cases where her faith conflicts with her duties as a judge, frustrating conservatives hoping for an ironclad majority.
Not that long ago, the qualifications of a judicial nominee mattered more than politics to senators of both parties. This showed faith in America and in the Constitution. That time has passed, with both Democrats and Republicans at fault through the last few decades. Hopefully, an ember of that light still glows, somewhere.
The nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett is an opportunity, however small and overshadowed by today’s divisiveness, to set foot back on a path to unity. Judge Barrett is qualified. Democrats should not oppose her appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court.