Amy Coney Barrett and the consequences

Why didn’t Jacksonville University Public Policy Institute invite someone that would be willing to challenge Barrett’s extremist views? I was disappointed in Rick Mullaney’s interview of Amy Coney Barrett. Originalism is an intellectual cloak drummed up to dignify a view of the Constitution as a straitjacket on the ability of the local, state, and federal government to act on behalf of the public. 

Originalists want to do this despite the Constitution’s preamble, which states that one of its basic purposes is to “promote the general welfare.”

 
Mullaney asks if Congress had a right to pass the Affordable Care Act. He uses the phrase “fundamental right to health care.” She doesn’t answer the question about a fundatmental right to health care, but instead starts rambling about the death penalty and abortion. Later in the interview, Barrett says the Supreme Court wrongly decided that the state exchanges could mean the exchanges offered at the federal level. In other words, she would have ruled to deprive citizens of the subsidy the ACA provides. Luckily the Supreme Court (without her) ruled to allow citizens in states that don’t have exchanges to still qualify for the ACA subsidies.


Also in the interview, she claims that trans people aren’t the gender they identify as. She uses the term “physiologically a boy.” Barrett’s unscientific view of gender will hurt real people. Scientific research (specifically through genetics, neurobiology and endocrinology) helps us understand the transgender experience. I wish the Republicans in the Senate had not confirmed her nomination. I fear that she has no empathy for real people.

There are two oaths: constitutional oath and judicial oath. (Reference 11) Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas swore in Amy Coney Barrett under a constitutional oath at a White House event Monday evening. (Ref 10) Why did Thomas do it? Why didn’t Chief Justice Roberts do both?

Justice Thomas thinks states should be allowed to establish their own religion. (Ref 7) I fear the White House ceremony that took place Monday evening is signaling how the court will rule concerning government collaboration with religious institutions. What will happen to the wall separating church and state? Will the new Supreme Court give states the power to pass laws preferring one religion over another, or to take taxpayer money and give it to the church preferred by the Governor? 

I also fear that Barrett and the other extremist justices do not recognize reproductive rights.  (Ref 8) Reproductive rights rest on the recognition of the basic right of all couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly on the number and timing of their children and to have the information and means to do so, and the right to attain the highest standard of reproductive health. (Ref 9)


There was a time when the Supreme Court ruled that legislators couldn’t pass laws to protect workers. (Ref 5) Will this new Court take us back to the Lochner era? Will the American people hold the senators responsible who confirmed Barrett if Barrett and Thomas and Alito prove to be extremists out of step with most Americans?  (Ref 6)


Judge Barrett has explicitly stated that “adherence to originalism arguably requires … the reversal of Brown v. Board of Education,” the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund wrote, quoting a phrase from another article co-written by Barrett. The LDF report says the discussion of Brown “raises serious questions about her commitment to enforcing core civil rights protections. … Treating Brown as potentially mistaken, even if untouchable, is far different from recognizing that it was correctly decided.” (ref 4)  


Why didn’t Jacksonville University Public Policy Institute invite someone that would be willing to challenge Barrett’s extremist views?  Regarding this article:https://www.jacksonville.com/story/news/local/2020/10/27/amy-coney-barretts-2016-lecture-jacksonville-logs-740-000-hits/6035510002/

Barrett is full of malarkey. Around minute 36 (ref 2) in the video, Mullaney asks if Congress had a right to pass the Affordable Care Act. He uses the phrase “fundamental right to health care.” She doesn’t answer the question about a fundatmental right to health care, but instead starts rambling about the death penalty and abortion. Later in the video, she says the Supreme Court wrongly decided that the state exchanges could mean the exchanges offered at the federal level. In other words, she would have ruled to deprive citizens of the subsidy the ACA provides. Luckily the Supreme Court (without her) ruled to allow citizens in states that don’t have exchanges to still qualify for the ACA subsidies.

Around minute 40, she claims that trans people aren’t the gender they identify as. She uses the term “physiologically a boy.” Barrett’s unscientific view of gender will hurt real people. Scientific research (specifically through genetics, neurobiology and endocrinology) helps us understand the transgender experience. (ref 3)

 references
1. https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/10/originalism-barrett/616844/
2.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yjTEdZ81lI
3.  https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/voices/stop-using-phony-science-to-justify-transphobia/https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2018/10/erase-transgender-definition

4. https://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/school_law/2020/10/barrett_says_brown_v_board_of_.html
5.  The Supreme Court ruled 5–4 that the law limiting bakers’ working hours did not constitute a legitimate exercise of state powers and so it was unconstitutional. The Court argued for freedom of contract and that unequal bargaining power was irrelevant. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lochner_v._New_York#Judgment
6. …judges like Barrett generally have been willing to strike down laws they don’t like. It is an echo of the so-called Lochner era of the early 20th century, when the Supreme Court threw out laws on the minimum wage, child labor or other business regulation. So get ready for a big, long fight over the American economy, with the Supreme Court at the center of it all. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/19/briefing/amy-coney-barrett-voting-world-series-your-monday-briefing.html

7. Justice Thomas wrote: “The text and history of the Establishment Clause strongly suggest that it is a federalism provision intended to prevent Congress from interfering with state establishments.”https://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/02-1624.ZC2.html
8. Connecticut law even criminalized the use of contraception altogether. https://fortune.com/2015/06/07/50-years-legal-birth-control-workplace/
9. Link about reproductive rights:  https://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/en/
10. The 48-year-old, sworn in by Justice Clarence Thomas at the White House in the 9 p.m.hour, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/10/27/daily-202-voting-wars-flare-up-justice-barrett-joins-supreme-court/
11. https://www.supremecourt.gov/about/oath/oaths_of_the_current_court_10-1-2010.pdf

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