By the thinnest of margins, Brett Kavanaugh survived the Democrats’ smear machine to become the newest Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. For the first time since the 1930s, there is now in place a solid majority on the Court that will interpret the Constitution as written and refrain from legislating from the bench. Despite the efforts of the Senate Democrats, their media steno pool, and enraged feminist activists to bury Kavanaugh in a tidal wave of demonstrably meretricious slime, Senate Republicans, in a rare show of fortitude, came together to confirm Kavanaugh to the court.
But, no matter how transparently false, the smears almost worked. We live in a dangerously deranged time when emotion, prejudice, and hysteria guide public discourse and decision making. For those who oppose Kavanaugh, no amount of fact-based logic will ever change their minds. They know what they know and are ready to act again on the basis of their hatred and anger.
That being the case, don’t expect the Democrats to mothball their well-oiled smear machine. As President Trump remakes the judicial branch one appointment at a time, the Democrat smears will continue and, most likely, become even more bizarre and outrageous.
The odds-on favorite to replace the aging Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is former Notre Dame law professor and current Seventh Circuit Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Among her many accomplishments, Barrett clerked for the U.S. Supreme Court and served on its appellate rules committee. She taught law at George Washington University and the University of Virginia and has published numerous scholarly articles in leading law reviews. Her nomination to the circuit court received bipartisan endorsement from more than 70 law professors (including the Obama administration’s former acting solicitor general).
Equally impressive, Barrett is a married pro-life Catholic with seven children. She and her husband adopted two of those children who are black. They have another child who has special needs. She is a truly admirable person.
But, in 2017 when President Trump nominated Barrett to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, she was attacked by Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Instead of exploring Barrett’s impressive qualifications, Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) grilled the nominee about the depth of her Catholic faith. Acting as ex officio arbiters in matters of faith and morals, Feinstein and Durbin set out to determine whether the nominee was perhaps too devoutly Catholic to be trusted with a judgeship.
They focused on a law review article Barrett coauthored when she was a student that discussed what should be done if a Catholic judge’s religion conflicted with his duty to follow established death penalty law. It concluded that “[t]he legal system has a solution for this dilemma — it allows (indeed it requires) the recusal of judges whose convictions keep them from doing their job.”
Unsatisfied with this endorsement of the primacy of law over religion, Durbin probed the depths of Barrett’s faith, going so far as to ask, “Do you consider yourself an orthodox Catholic?”
Not to be outdone, Feinstein concluded her questioning by telling Barrett, “the [Catholic] dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s of concern.”
Thankfully the old-time and well-worn anti-Catholic bigotry failed, and Barrett was confirmed by the Senate. She serves today with distinction on the circuit court of appeals.
So, what will happen to her if she is nominated to the Supreme Court? Should we expect the Democrats to analyze her high school yearbook to find out if she played drinking games or her grade school diary to see if she had a precocious affinity for spin-the-bottle? After the Kavanaugh silliness, there appears to be no floor to the depths to which the bitter Democrats will sink.
In the classic comedy Monty Python and the Holy Grail, there is a scene in which a mob of idiots put a woman on trial for practicing witchcraft. Among the prosecution witnesses is John Cleese who farcically claims that the accused “turned me into a newt!” Given that he is testifying in human form, his accusation is clearly contradicted by ready deduction and common sense — not unlike the tissue-thin and absurd claims against Brett Kavanaugh.
Am I suggesting that the Democrats, the media, and enraged leftists will accuse Barrett of witchcraft? Hey, why not? It would make about as much sense as the irrational, vicious, and baseless craziness that drove the attack on Kavanaugh. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Don’t expect the Democrats to willingly surrender their grip on the judicial branch. Without an activist judiciary functioning as an unelected super legislature, the Democrats have no hope of ramming through their progressive social policies. So stand by. The insanity has only just begun.
George Parry is a former federal and state prosecutor who practices law in Philadelphia. He blogs at knowledgeisgood.net and may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.