Tag Archives: Amy Coney Barrett

Well … Justice Barrett?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

You’re a newly minted, crisp-and-clean justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. You were confirmed after a nasty fight in the U.S. Senate.

You haven’t yet decided any major cases and then you might get a complaint from the president of the United States — the fellow who nominated you to the high court — alleging illegality in the vote-counting after an election he is likely to lose.

If you are Justice Amy Coney Barrett, do you really want to have your judicial legacy scarred forever by deciding that Donald Trump’s complaint actually has merit, when legal scholars on both sides of the divide suggest that his complaint is utterly preposterous?

Trump’s complaint might not even get that far. The high court might decide against even considering it. That is my hope. It’s not necessarily my expectation.

If it does go to the court, I cannot possibly believe a majority of the justices — and that includes Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, Trump’s other two appointees — would agree on a complaint that effectively overturns the results of a legitimate, free and fair election.

All of the justices pledge to “follow the law.” From my perch out here in Flyover Country, the ballots are being counted according to the law.

The U.S. Constitution is working.

GOP wins SCOTUS battle; however …

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It’s done.

The U.S. Senate’s Republican majority had its way with the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court. She was confirmed in a 52-48 vote. Not a single Democratic senator voted “yes” on this travesty; one Republican senator, Susan Collins of Maine, voted “no.”

The GOP Senate majority can now look back on the hypocrisy it displayed in jamming this nomination through to confirmation. Many of the Senate Republicans who endorsed Barrett’s nomination said four years ago that no president should be allowed to fill a SCOTUS seat during an election year.

Yet here we are today. Barrett will take her oath and join the court, delivering a solid right-wing conservative majority to the court possibly for decades. Then she well might get to decide whether this election should stand. Hmm. Imagine how she’s going to rule in a case involving the individual who nominated her to the nation’s highest court and who might challenge an election result that delivers a seeming victory to Joseph Biden.

The process that produced Justice Barrett simply stinks beyond measure.

It is known that “elections have consequences.” We have seen the consequence of electing one Donald J. Trump to the presidency, which is the confirmation of a third nominee to the highest court in America.

I do hope the next electoral consequence will be Donald Trump’s defeat next week.

Merrick Garland haunts this hearing

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Merrick Garland is very much alive and well but his “ghost” floated throughout the hearing room today as a congressional hearing commenced on an appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee welcomed another federal judge, Amy Coney Barrett, as she began her confirmation hearing to the U.S. Supreme Court. She would take the seat occupied by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died in September.

Garland’s role in this drama? Well, he once got nominated to the high court by President Barack Obama. Another justice, Antonin Scalia, died in February 2016 while on vacation in Texas. President Obama wanted to nominate a successor. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wasted no time in declaring his intention to block that effort. Why? Because the voters had a right to be heard before a SCOTUS nomination would be considered by the Senate.

We had a presidential election in 2016. Obama couldn’t run again. It turned out that Donald Trump would win the election. So, Trump got to select someone to succeed Scalia; he chose Neil Gorsuch.

The hypocrisy between then and now is stunning in its scope.

We were 10 months away from the previous election when a vacancy occurred. Now, we’re just 22 days before the next election. Don’t Americans have a right to have their voices heard before the Senate considers a nominee to succeed Ginsburg? Of course we do.

Except that Republicans who at the moment hold the majority of Senate seats are pushing full speed with the Barrett hearing.

Most astonishing of all is the comment that Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham made in 2018. He said then that if an opening occurs during Donald Trump’s term as president and the “primary season has begun,” the Senate should hold off until after the election before considering a possible replacement.

Graham said we could hold his words against him. Fine. Many of us are doing that, Mr. Chairman.

Amy Coney Barrett wouldn’t be my choice to join the court. I much prefer a jurist in the Merrick Garland mold: moderate, center-left in philosophical judicial outlook. Garland, though, never got the courtesy of a hearing, let alone a Senate vote, that appears to be in store for Judge Barrett.

It’s all because the Senate GOP majority played politics with the judicial nomination process in 2016 … and is doing so once again right now.

Shameful.

Consequential? Yep!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Oh, how I hate saying this, but I must say it.

Donald Trump is facing the prospect of losing bigly in his bid for re-election to a second term as president. But — and we all know what happens when we say “but” — he might get the last laugh on all of us.

Even if Joe Biden beats Trump on Nov. 3, Donald Trump is likely to have been able to place three justices on the U.S. Supreme Court. Their decisions fueled by right-wing ideology is going to shape many aspects of public policy even as Trump empties the drawers in the Oval Office and skedaddles back to Mar-a-Lago.

That’s what I call a “consequential” president.

I surely do not want him re-elected. I oppose his selection of Amy Coney Barrett to succeed the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the high court. I dislike Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, two previous Trump SCOTUS selections.

But it has been a good while any president has nominated more than two justices in his initial term. The last one was President Nixon. Of course, Nixon’s presidency crashed and burned too, but only after he was re-elected in a smashing landslide in 1972.

My hope is that Trump’s presidency ends after a single term. That would be very good news.

The bad news, though, is that he will have been able to nominate three justices to the Supreme Court. They’re all right-wingers and the latest nominee — Barrett — appears poised to undo many of the rights championed by the jurist she would succeed.

That is quite a consequence.

‘People’s voice’ is being ignored

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

U.S. Senate Republicans argued four years ago when President Obama nominated Merrick Garland to join the Supreme Court that the “people need to have a say” in who should join the court.

That was then. These days, Senate Republicans are saying something so very different. The people’s voice? The upcoming presidential election just 40 days from now? Pffftt!

Amy Coney Barrett has been nominated by Donald Trump to join the Supreme Court. Ruth Bader Ginsburg died fewer than 50 days prior to the next presidential election; Antonin Scalia died in February 2016 several months before that year’s election.

We were going to get a new president in 2016, given that Obama couldn’t run for a third term. We well might get a new president this year. Do “the people” this time still deserve to have a say in who joins the high court? Of course we do!

That won’t happen, apparently.

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee is set to convene a hearing on Oct. 12. Barrett will sit before the committee and dodge question after question from senators. The committee will vote and likely will recommend she gets confirmed; it will be a partisan vote, with Republicans holding a majority of the committee.

Then the full Senate will vote. The entire body’s vote likely is going to be on a partisan basis as well. Barrett will be confirmed and will take her seat on the court.

What about the people’s voice? What in the name of fairness happened to that fervent call four years ago to give voters a say in who joins the court for the rest of his or her life?

It has been trampled by raw, rank and reprehensible political hypocrisy, led by the hypocrite in chief, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

We are living in a dangerous, perilous time.

Ask her this question

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkaneis_92@hotmail.com

Amy Coney Barrett is set to plunge into the maelstrom known as Washington politics.

She has become the latest nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, the third individual selected by Donald Trump.

I’ll set the record straight right here: I do not favor this nomination. Barrett is an arch conservative jurist who puts several landmark rulings in dire peril. They are settled law, but that won’t matter to someone who is ideologically driven as Judge Barrett.

Trump made this nomination despite the threat of losing the upcoming presidential election. What’s more, he made the nomination in spite of the timing of the election, which now is just 40 days away.

The president vows to challenge the results of the election if it turns out that Joe Biden collects more votes than he does. If he does mount the challenge, it well might end up before the very Supreme Court that Barrett could join if the Senate confirms her prior to the election.

So here’s what I hope the Senate Judiciary Committee members who will conduct a hearing to recommend whether to confirm her asks the nominee:

Will you commit to recusing yourself from any decision involving the results of the 2020 presidential election?

Judge Barrett has no business making any decision in this regard. Her involvement in such a decision would launch a constitutional crisis the likes of which would make Watergate, and the impeachments of Bill Clinton and Donald Trump look like little girls’ tea parties in comparison.

Let the battle commence.

Get set for the Fight of the Century

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

So, you thought that Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier engaged in the Fight of the Century way back in 1971, yes?

Step aside, fellas. The bigger fight is about to occur with the pending nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The word is out that Donald Trump is going to nominate Judge Barrett to the court to succeed the late, great Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Barrett is a darling of the evangelical Christian community. She is a far-right winger who vows to throw out Roe vs. Wade, the landmark SCOTUS ruling that legalized abortion; she wants to toss out the Affordable Care Act; Barrett intends to make constitutional decisions based on the will of God … which is a tough call given that the Constitution is a secular document.

Ginsburg, of course, represented the “other” wing of the Supreme Court.

So, the fight will commence as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell puts on his hypocrite hat and does the very thing he vowed shouldn’t happen, which is confirm a presidential Supreme Court appointment during a presidential election year.

Senate Democrats won’t sit still for it. Nor should they.

And in the House of Representatives, we hear faint rumblings of House members taking unusual steps to forestall this confirmation process until after the Nov. 3 presidential election.

The founders intended to keep the federal judiciary above partisan politics. As smart as they were, they could not have foreseen what we are about to witness up close in real time.

Let’s hold on with both hands.