By a partisan vote of 52-48, Amy Coney Barrett, a product of New Orleans’ Catholic school system, was confirmed as the newest justice of the United States Supreme Court.
Only one senator, the electorally-endangered Republican Susan Collins of the politically lavender state of Maine, broke party ranks on the vote.
And in the end Collins’ gesture defying President Donald Trump will likely cost her more votes than it will have won back.
As we’ve seen in the hard-left voting record of the soon-to-be-extinct senatorial career of Alabama’s Doug Jones (who has done a finer job representing the ideological interests of Manhattan than Mobile) and the duplicitous Joe Manchin of West Virginia, the era of moderation in the Beltway has gone the way of the 8-track.
You vote with your jersey in any and all matters.
And when it comes to confirming federal judges that is most regrettable.
The federal judiciary is supposed to be devoid of partisanship yet what was intended to be the small wheel of the federal troika has become a black robed national executive council.
And it was ironic to watch froth-mouthed Democrats hammer Judge Barrett about policy matters as if she were applying for the job of city manager and not a jurist, because at the end of the day it is the Democrats whose penchant for legislating from the bench who turned the SCOTUS into the unaccountable Leviathan.
The courts should have little to say on most policy issues but this is the legacy of an activist court mentality that the Left created.
And now that the levers of arbitrary power are no longer in their hands (and of those of their easily impressionable colleagues who have since retired), Democrats now dread the bitter court ruling harvest that they’ve spent decades sowing.
Their rage and panic over the Barrett appointment is most revealing as to what they really think the Supreme Court is supposed to do.
And that should give pause to that part of the nation who were properly taught civics and frighten everyone about that party’s likely remedy for this “imbalance” of justices.
Their base demands vengeance and the party is rapidly losing its modesty over publicly embracing a Supreme Court packing scheme.
And that won’t be the only shred of shame being doffed by the Democrats if they were to win big next week.
This gambit alone will plunge this nation into the most severe constitutional crisis in 70 years.
And with the imposition on absurd levels of so many of our liberties in this indefinite COVID-19 era, conjuring justice slots to be filled out of the air will not reassure many Americans about the state of things.
Democrats have whined greatly about how unfair it is that of the nine justices, six will have been appointed by Republicans.
How fair was it that Franklin Roosevelt, the last president to round up and exile citizens and lawful residents based solely upon their ethnicity, appointed eight supreme court justices and that his successor Harry Truman named four?
That’s one and one-third courts’ worth of justices!
It also should be pointed out that some of the justices appointed by Republicans proved not to be very Republican: Harry Blackmun (Nixon), John Paul Stevens (Ford), and David Souter (Bush).
And Blackmun, Stevens, and Souter all made a point of stepping down during Democratic Administrations to ensure they were succeeded by fellow judicial travelers.
Anthony Kennedy (Reagan) and John Roberts (Bush 43) have hardly been as reliable to the right as any of the Clinton and Obama high court nominees have been to the left.
Truth be told America hasn’t had a truly conservative high court since Charles Evans Hughes served as chief justice in the 1930s.
And Democratic hijinks didn’t start with the disgraceful Brett Kavanaugh hearings.
Democrats blocked two Nixon appointees and one Reagan nominee. And that’s not counting their scorched-earth battle over Clarence Thomas.
And how have Republicans responded to Democratic nominees?
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was hardly hailed as an icon with gangsta rapper trappings when she was nominated by President Bill Clinton in 1993, was accorded every courtesy and confirmed with a 96-3 vote.
RBG might not have been ideologically agreeable for many Republican senators but she was imminently qualified to serve on the court. And Ginsburg was the most reliably leftist justice in modern times.
A year later, Stephen Breyer, another Clinton appointee, was confirmed by a “harsher” vote of 87-9. And nobody dived into his yearbooks or interviewed fellow attendees at high school keggers.
Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan were confirmed by wide margins of 68-31 and 63-37 respectively. Obviously a number of Republican senators voted for their confirmations even though their ideological common ground is small.
Now Ginsburg could’ve retired from the Supreme Court earlier to ensure that Barack Obama appointed her successor but for whatever reason the justice opted to stick around and perhaps counted on a Hillary Clinton victory in 2016.
Seriously, that Barrett is now occupying the seat that Ginsburg sat is not on either Donald Trump or Mitch McConnell but on the late justice.
And there’s not a second-hand “dying wish” clause in Article III of the US Constitution.
The manner by which Democrats have conducted themselves in the Senate Judiciary Committee and on the floor of the upper chamber is reprehensible and their rhetoric irresponsible.
They’ve turned the pro forma constitutional screening of judicial nominees of being qualified to hold a high judicial position into a farce, one part ideological Salem witch trial and one part Roland Freisler Volksgerichtshof beatdown.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, to his everlasting credit, witnessed enough of these abusive struggle sessions and character assassination dunkings over the years and pushed back.
And if the GOP were to retain a majority in the Senate after next week, McConnell should be prepared to shove back even further until the Democrats own up to their disgraceful conduct and pledge to end the partisan gauntlet they’ve run qualified men and women through to appease their rabid base.
If 47 Democrats did not feel obligated to vote to confirm Judge Barrett then if Joe Biden were to win the presidency 51 Republicans should not feel obligated to approve a single Democratic judicial nominee until Biden renounces court-packing and the Democratic Senate caucus publicly atone for their horrendous and unconscionable treatment of Republican court nominees.
It’s time to end the bloodsport of running Republican judicial nominees through a reputation mangling meat grinder.