Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Partisan Hacks Abound

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, September 20, 2021

One would NOT mention something if it were NOT part of the equation.

It’d be like mentioning Tostitos at a cake-baking contest, the theory of relativity to 3rd Graders, a taco soup recipe to Chinese citizens in Shenzhen, or the merits of a ’57 Chevy during discussion of a cardiac surgical procedure. TOTALLY out of place.

The very fact that SHE — Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett — mentioned it, is sufficient.

“My goal today is to convince you that this court is not comprised of a bunch of partisan hacks.”

— Supreme Court Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett, Sunday, 12 September 2021, at the McConnell Center, University of Louisville, KY, a venue created by Kentucky Republican Senator Mitch McConnell

Similarly, one would NOT need to be convinced if a thing, saying, or claim had utterly no credibility. It’d be like claiming (falsely) that “the sun rises in the west.” Any casual observer can plainly see that the sun appears to “rise” in the east, because of the Earth’s rotation upon its axis. That is to say, Earth spins in an “easterly” direction.

But, what else could be said about a court that INCREASINGLY issues “emergency” rulings, colloquially known as the “Shadow Docket,” WITHOUT proceedings, WITHOUT hearing ANY argument?

That tactic DENIES citizens their Constitutional RIGHT TO BE HEARD IN AN OPEN & PUBLIC COURT OF LAW.

NO ONE BUT she brought up that topic.

So, yeah… Amy Coney “I’m not a partisan hack” Barrett, the See You In Tea, is a “partisan hack,” just as much as Brett “Sometimes I had too many beers. I liked beer. I still like beer.” Kavanaugh, and Neil “Frozen Trucker” Gorsuch are. Perhaps even more so.


The Broader Problem With Amy Coney Barrett Promising the Court Isn’t Partisan

It was transparently absurd to do this at a celebration of Mitch McConnell. But the real issue goes deeper than that.

I am not going to waste your time or mine asking whether Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s remarks this past weekend — when she stood next to Mitch McConnell [in Louisville, KY at the McConnell Center on the U of Louisville campus], and intoned that the court is not composed of a bunch of partisan hacks — mean she is irredeemably clueless or just that she believes we are. I don’t much care. A celebration of McConnell — who blocked Merrick Garland’s appointment to the Supreme Court in 2016 [by refusing to bring up his nomination for discussion, thereby allowing the time for his nomination to expire on January 3, 2017] and then described it in June as “the single most consequential thing I’ve done in my time as majority leader of the Senate” — is not a perch from which to serve up platitudes about judicial independence. McConnell manipulated the size of the court, not once, but twice, in the past four years, and Barrett accepted those spoils. McConnell has also already pledged that if a vacancy appears and the GOP wins the Senate next year [in 2022], he will block any Biden nominee in 2024 and very likely in 2023 as well. He is indeed the “patron saint” of an “independent” federal judiciary, so long as the jurists there are all dependent on him.

The court has been so busy being partisan these past few weeks — it functionally ended legal abortion in Texas, reinstated the [previous administration’s] “Remain in Mexico” policy, and struck down the [CDC’s] eviction moratorium [designed to prevent a worse public health catastrophe in the midst of this pandemic] — that it should have been hard for any of its members to find the time to give fatuous [foolish or silly, especially in a smug or self-satisfied way; complacently or inanely foolish; foolish or inane, esp. in an unconscious, complacent manner; silly] speeches about being nonpartisan. And yet, listening to Supreme Court justices busily instruct us on how to think about Supreme Court Justices seems to have occupied an outsize amount of judicial time this past summer. The terrible optics and annoying sophistry of Barrett’s specific remarks aside, there is real harm suffered when justices — and here Barrett is hardly alone — take it upon themselves to blame the press for things they have brought upon themselves. That, and not the cynicism, was the real problem with Barrett’s Kentucky foray into media criticism.

Let’s start with the fact that the Supreme Court Press Corps is almost never advised of these appearances. They weren’t in Barrett’s case, as Gerg Stohr noted that evening. There is no transcript or video available of the speech. Journalists on the scene included an AP reporter who published an account, along with local education writer Jess Clark, who penned an article that clarified that “press were allowed at the event but were not permitted to record audio or video other than for note-taking purposes. Reporters were not allowed to ask questions.” [That reeks of totalitarianism, authoritarianism, and communism.] Clark also tweeted that the press had been moved to the back of the room, where they were unable to hear.



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