SCOTUS Nomination: Coney Barrett’s Beeswax and Goose Quills

Nebraska’s Senator Ben Sasse did this country a solid for once during the third day of Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett.

Sasse asked Coney Barrett, “What are the five freedoms of the First Amendment?”

To which Barrett replied, “Speech, religion, press, assembly… I don’t know — what am I missing?”

Good freaking gravy. If you are a nominee to the Supreme Court, you should not only know the Constitution backwards and forwards, you should understand the history and rationale behind the Constitution and every amendment.

If you are an originalist, you should be able to explain why the amendments were added to the original Constitution.

Coney Barrett is a hack and not worthy of a lifetime appointment to her current federal judgeship let alone the highest court in this country.

She also needs to drop the pretense she’s an originalist in any sense of the word.

Personally, I think she and any other so-called originalist should get back to their roots and walk the talk. Originalists shouldn’t obscure their bigotry against the idea of a living document which reflects the changes to our society. They should demonstrate they actually live their regressivity, give up all the modernity which requires a similarly contemporary understanding of citizens’ rights.

I wish a senator would have asked Coney Barrett if she believes in magic and if she would allow magic to shape her understanding of the Constitution and amendments, to mold the opinions she’ll have as a jurist.

Why magic?

Science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke once said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

To an original U.S. citizen, a founder and framer of the Constitution, many of the feature of our modern world would look like magic.

Imagine what it would look like to them to push a button to illuminate a room without lighting a fire or casting a spark first, without suffering the guttering stench of a weak tallow candle, made from grass-fed, open-range beef fat slowly rendered in cast iron pots over open hearth fire.

Imagine what it would look like to a colonist to walk into a store filled with clothing made of synthetic fibers created from extracted minerals, in brilliant colors and decorated with all manner of hardware, instead of wearing linen shirts made from flax grown on their own farms and carefully wintered, broken down, carded into fibers before being woven on a loom in front of their cold winter evening fires by the woman of the house. What must the shiny plastic buttons and smoothly operating zippers look like in contrast to their hand-crafted buttons on their weskit and coat made from their slaughtered cattle’s horns.

Imagine their pleasure donning smoothly knit socks of uniform fit and finish, instead of wearing stockings they knit themselves from wool collected from their own sheep, let alone what it must feel like to wear cotton-knit smallwear to prevent chafing of their parts.

Imagine what the original framers felt and meant when they sat down in their linen shirts and woolen socks and hand-cobbled boots to write out their drafts of the Bill of Rights and the subsequent early amendments using well-mended quill pens, harvested from hand-fed, free-range geese like the framers would have dined on, their feathers used for stuffing their pillows.

What would it have meant to insist the government shall restrain itself from making any “law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Expressing one’s self in the public square would have required literal shoe leather or an equine to gain access to that space, or the still-rare education to craft a cogent sentence on parchment or paper which were expensive at the time. So expensive that waste was often reused as lining in footwear or clothing as insulation. The use of a printing press may have made speech more uniformly available and less expensive but who had a press and could use one let alone the money to buy access to one? Speech was not without a significant personal investment.

The same for religion – it is, after all, one of the primary motivations for some of this country’s earliest colonists, to be able to practice religion without persecution by the British Crown or others. Religion like other forms of speech required similar personal investment: access to the space, ability to print, share, and read Bibles and hymnals. Refraining from religion likewise could require investment to leave it behind.

Likewise for petitioning the government. It would require the same personal investment that speech and the practice of religion or its abstention would have demanded from the colonists, with the additional risk of punishment for having the temerity to make demands of an organization as powerful as a monarch. Punishment like being chained and put into the stocks, left out in the elements wearing none of the modern protections we have against sun, wind, and precipitation. Or worse, risk being charged with seditious conspiracy to be sentence to hanging followed by drawing and quartering at the gibbet before the masses.

An originalist like Amy Coney Barrett, wearing her pink polyester attire and chemical-laden makeup to appear on video, is lying to themselves and us when they cannot see that the society which accesses her nomination hearing across thousands of miles and in asynchronous time and place is not an originalist people, its understanding adapted to new information acquired over the last couple hundred years.

Our lives are filled with what the framers of the Constitution would have thought magic.

Originalists are not up to the task of deciding issues of contemporary law using criteria shaped by goose quills and beeswax seals.

In Coney Barrett’s case, she exercises a bias in her personal life for a single kind of magic – the belief in an invisible creator deity with three avatars. We can see it in her profile, in her experience as a professor at Notre Dame University. But we’re not able to quiz her about that particular believe in magic because her faith in it is protected by the very first amendment to the Constitution, about which she is so ignorant.

She’s so far appeared not only ignorant of the original Constitution and First Amendment, but unwilling to commit to seeing contemporary American life relies on far more kinds of magic than the framers ever imagined.

She’s not even willing to acknowledge scientific consensus on climate change, though the rigorous research behind it is no different than biomedical research into cancer and COVID-19. The framers had little to no understanding at all about epidemiology and disease; our society has changed its awareness with research and review, extending our human lives by 30-40 years. To the founding fathers this would have seemed incredible but it’s our expected modern reality.

When she clings to originalism as an excuse for her decisions past and future, Coney Barrett tells us she’s not up to  America’s present and future demands. Save for her narrow one-god-three-avatar belief, she’s a bigot against whatever perceptions, knowledge, and wisdom shape a sufficiently advanced society indistinguishable from a place of magic.

Americans deserve and need better than Coney Barrett as a federal judge or a Supreme Court justice.

81 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    A senator should have asked Coney Barrett if growing and selling wild carrot seed should be outlawed.

    It was used as birth control in the 18th century and likely earlier, taken as a tea for seven days after unprotected sex.

  2. Ewan says:

    Is there a good place to read something on the contradiction of being an originalist/textualist and a christian, or why it isn’t a contradiction ? According to the gospel, Jesus was the opposite of an originalist/textualist, his point of view on the law (torah) was that it should not be read literally but in keeping with the times. One could say his fight with the textualists/originalists lead to his demise.
    Just saying well, they are all hypocrites can’t be the end of it. Scholarly catholic lawyers must have given it some thought: I don’t know where to look.

    • BobCon says:

      I don’t know about the Christian angle, but there is a lot of scholarly writing about how there is no good evidence the Founding Fathers were originalists or textualists.

      There is, however, a ton of evidence that they deliberately added ambiguity to the text of the Constitution. They continued to observe a legal tradition which embraced a flexible method of interpreting the law. There is simply no way to think the Founders would have accepted the modern right wing fetishization of themselves.

      • Rayne says:

        From McConnell, M. W. (1997), Textualism and the Dead Hand of the Past, University of Chicago – Chicago Unbound, 66, 1127-1140:

        In his paper published elsewhere in this Symposium Issue, Jed Rubenfeld reminds us that the dead hand problem was recognized from the very beginning of the Republic.2 Not only do some people today chafe at governance by Framers and Ratifiers long dead, but some of those dead people themselves doubted the legitimacy of attempting to govern unborn future generations. “[T]he earth belongs in usufruct to the living,” Jefferson declared, and “the dead have neither powers nor rights over it.”3 Jefferson accordingly thought that the Constitution (any constitution, indeed any law) should expire at the end of a generation, which he calculated to be nineteen years.4 Similarly, Tom Paine wrote that “[e]very age and generation must be as free to act for itself, in all cases, as the ages and generations which preceded it,” and Noah Webster declared that “[t]he very attempt to make perpetual constitutions, is the assumption of a right to control the opinions of future generations; and to legislate for those over whom we have as little authority as we have over a nation in Asia.”‘ 6 If these arguments are right, then the Founders’ very attempt to “form a more perfect Union” for the benefit of “ourselves and our Posterity’ 7 was presumptuous and unjust. Likewise, fidelity to that Constitution on our part is profoundly misguided.

        • Chris.EL says:

          Rayne tweeted earlier,

          “Just get him on the stand. He’ll admit to ordering the Code Red without even giving a pretty speech about patriotism.”
          Every now and then (while watching a film) a character will demonstrate the exact personality characteristics of Donald Trump.

          Prior to Rayne’s tweet today, Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men comes to mind; another is the Irish mobster in The Sting played by Robert Shaw.
          Off topic — remember the composer who inspired the music in The Sting? Scott Joplin

          Read about him on Wikipedia:
          …Thanks to the film and its score, Scott Joplin’s work became appreciated in both the popular and classical music world…

  3. PieIsDamnGood says:

    This woman believes that crackers and wine literally transform into the body and blood of a person dead for 2000 years. But she isn’t sure about climate change.

    • graham firchlis says:

      And believing with all her heart and soul, setting all doubt aside, that through the divine miracle of transubstatiation the wine and the bread are made flesh and blood, that through real, not ritual, cannibalism of resurrected body bits from the long dead human manifestation of the eternal triune GOD, she and her congregates are cleansed of all sin, perfected in the eyes of GOD and so able to recieve the WORD OF GOD through intercessionaries or, as in Barrett’s cult, directly through the HOLY SPIRIT.

      Through communion with the HOLY SPIRIT, the purified true believer can receive GOD’S WILL. Acting according to that will, however viewed by unbelievers, is not a sin and should not be against the law.

      The modern Evangelical movement is a big tent, but the most virulent and controlling among them are the Dominionists. They believe they exist to ensure that the US is ruled in civil law as they choose to interpret GOD’S WILL to be, THE BIBLE as their main prop, Jehovah the final word, pick and choose to support any claim as needed.

      Her cult is dominionist, she will do as she has been instructed by GOD, with an unquestioning spirit. Any harm that befalls others is GOD’S WILL, no blame to her.

      Global warming is true or not, doesn’t matter because it is GOD’S WILL and her responsibility is to see to the well being of her equals, the Power Elite who created her ascent to power.

      Pray Thomas and Alito live out the year.

      (Lost the link for a Dominionist primer. I promise to come back with it.)

  4. Chris.EL says:

    Thank you *Rayne*, for this October 15, 2020 reminder of what America, The United States of America, is about.

    Feel such an appreciation for our older citizens, some gone now — some still in the struggle; their efforts to keep our democracy on track.

    It must be said we owe it to them, for all they have contributed, to be straightforward and truthful through it all.

    Doesn’t it go without saying that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg would have — at her fine vintage age — skipped through the question, enumerating the freedoms with a joyful cadence and the knowledge that her recitation bolds the words, to wit:

    The First Amendment states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    … for all time.

  5. John Lehman says:

    Even the most conservative Amish are trying to live in a much more “modern” mid-19th century than our late 18th century founding fathers.

    Now, now, let’s not get worldly and start using buttons and zippers.
    You know what the Bishop might say…we could be “shunned”.

    • rip says:

      I believe that even zippers were considered heretical. Probably something about the length of time it took a couple of partners to partner. I’m sure buttons and clasps and velcro have all been taboo in some of these cults.

      • John Lehman says:

        In rural Pennsylvania (Lancaster County especially) and the Great Lakes States (Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Illinois) there are a lot of Amish colonies. The degree to which each colony accepts “modern” conveniences is mostly dependent on the local Bishops.
        Yes zippers among the Old Order Amish would be considered scandalous.

        • vvv says:

          Pre-pandemic I encountered numerous Amish weekly, if not daily, riding to and from Indiana and Chicago – on the Metra trains. They seemed to really like the McDonalds in the train station.

            • vvv says:

              Altho’ rather romanticized and now dated, it’s a good flick. And yeah, I heard that about trains and ships and planes; I think buses are allowed, also.
              But, *McDonalds*?

              • John Lehman says:

                Sauerkraut, Trail bologna and shoo-fly pie gets old after awhile.
                There’s a very strong “country mouse/city mouse” mentality among the Amish. Think of the song from the 50’s Broadway musical “Oklahoma” “…everything’s up to date in Kansas City, they’ve gone about as fer (country lilt) as they can go…”
                The Old Order Amish, though agricultural, have no electricity, no power tools or appliances, no radio or TV.

                Being from background of Amish ancestors (family broke away circa 1840’s) gives some personal knowledge.
                Matter of fact, have some “shirt tail” relatives who’ve been quite successful selling 19th century nonelectric tools and appliances to the Amish and occasional prop to movie production companies seeking 19th century authenticity.

                From Kidron Ohio in the heart of the largest Amish colonies in the world
                Lehman’s Hardware

                So yah…going to a novel inexpensive place where ya don’t have to do no cooking nor cleaning up (McDonald) is a real treat.

                By the way, there’s an old Broadway musical featuring the Amish, “Plain and Fancy”

                • vvv says:

                  It’s an interesting anachronistic culture. I recently binged Longmire (I’m a fan of the novels) which was quite good, and there was an episode about the Amish and the concept of allowing the young a year away from home (Rumspringa) …

                    • Sonso says:

                      Unfortunately, Longmire is as real as a jackalope. Wish Wyoming could elect someone with half his empathy.

                    • bmaz says:

                      Hey now, I actually have seen a jackalope. Okay, it was like 3 in the morning and I was probably moving at about 100 mph through Monument Valley, but I swear I saw that big horned bunny.

    • John Lehman says:

      Lol, great, thanks.

      Still have a question though:
      Is it legal to have communication traveling faster than the Pony Express?
      After all it was fast enough for Paul Revere’s call to arms against the British to be successful.

      There ought to be a law.

  6. P J Evans says:

    She’d be happy to prevent the free exercise of religion, as long as it’s not affecting *her* religion. Many don’t bar the use of birth control of any kind, and quite a few have no problem with same-sex marriage or ab*rtion. (Judaism requires ab*rtion to protect the life of the woman; the living person is more important than the fetus. Even Catholic doctrine said that the child wasn’t alive until quickening, about the 5th month.)

    • Chris.EL says:

      wondering here, does any individual sit with her doctor and talk about quickening? I just don’t know.

      Seems like the woman may be concerned about her life, what’s going on in her life, etc.

      I read so many stories of women whose partners have rained down retribution on the poor female who found herself with child.

      Seems like women are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

      Is there any reward for doing good in this life…

  7. Nehoa says:

    It seems that most religions have groups that will focus on a “strict” (as defined by holy wise men) interpretation of words written thousands of years ago. Christians have “the word of God” types, Jews have the ultra-conservatives, Muslims have the fundamentalists, Buddhists have those that worship the finger instead of looking to where the finger is pointing.
    Maybe this is because the ability to write, and to compile long, comprehensive chains of thought were “magic” in those days, and respect was given that grew, in some people, into blind worship.
    I don’t think that it is coincidence that a conservative Catholic like Scalia, and now an ultra-conservative Catholic like Barrett, are Originalists. As with those requiring “strict” interpretation of religious texts, there is an innate unwillingness to see the world in the context of the sweep of time. I don’t think that there were many (if any) of that type of person among the Founding Fathers.

    • rip says:

      I think you are exactly right. The people that want to adhere to an absolute version of something (textual or cultural or societal) have difficulty dealing with change and want the supposed stability of some writ – whether in in stone or signs from the heavens or edicts from strong-men.

      People with a conservative bent have been shown to have an aversion to change. They are threatened and then react with fear and hatred.

      • vvv says:

        It often seems to me they seek to reinstate a prior perceived Utopia, even as they welcome a forthcoming Armageddon or Rapture or whatever …

  8. harpie says:

    At the end of yesterday’s hearing , nycsouthpaw wrote:
    5:49 PM · Oct 14, 2020

    With that, Amy Coney Barrett leaves the hearing room trailed closely by Trump’s White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, who sat in for all of the questioning.

    That’s WH Counsel Pat Cipollone, 53, who

    has 10 children. He is among a group of elite conservative Catholics who serve as close confidants to Trump — including Attorney General William Barr and Leonard Leo of the Federalist Society, who has helped Trump pick judges, including for the Supreme Court.

    Cipollone, Barr and Leo have served on the board of directors of the Catholic Information Center, an organization for powerful Washington Catholics. The center is affiliated with the conservative Opus Dei movement. […]

    I have such a sick, sinking feeling that life-time People of Praise woman Amy Coney Barrett has had a life time of training for this role these men have engineered for her.

    • Chris.EL says:

      … I feel like I’m in the weeds out here — can anyone explain the #&√%#& rationale for a married couple to produce ****10**** children????

      What is that supposed to tell us about their view of life?

      Be certain to excuse me for saying, but that seems to be a particular sort of slavery — perhaps leading to…

      Seems to be just TOO MUCH.

      • P J Evans says:

        It’s been called “Vatican roulette” from back in the 60s: you can only use the “rhythm method” and hope that you get it right. 10 kids was a lot more common before contraceptive became relatively easy to get. There’s really no reason for it now, except ideology.

        • Sonso says:

          When I converted from Atheism, I had to choose which religion to affiliate with. I became a Rhythm Methodist. God has provided-no children! (At least none that I know of…tip of the hat to Strom Thurmond).

      • Rayne says:

        It’s a holdover from when birth control wasn’t reliable or available or forbidden.

        In rural areas, more children were necessary because they were cheap labor, and more than 100 years ago infant/child mortality even in the U.S. meant that as many as 50% of children on average died from childhood diseases. Once vaccines reduced infant/child mortality, farming was mechanized, and birth control more widely available, the Christian church didn’t adapt because it still needed adherents.

        • P J Evans says:

          I heard that my great-grandfather’s family was somewhat envied, because only one child (of 13!) died as an infant.

          • Chris.EL says:

            Thanks for your insight, I remember those tales, times were definitely tougher way back when.

            It seems in this day and age, with so much going on in life, people should dial it back a bit. There would be more energy for a parent to devote to each child.

            I just feel like some of these frequent mothers may be overwhelmed and over burdened.

            • P J Evans says:

              The older children (especially the older daughters) are expected to help with the younger ones. (This is something that goes way way back. The older boys would be helping their fathers on the farm. By the time they’re 16 or 17, they’re in charge of a few acres themselves, and learning the business side.)

        • John Lehman says:

          My maternal grandmother’s rural family had 16 children, she was sent to help at my great grandparents farm where she ended up marrying my grandfather.

      • harpie says:

        People of Praise, a faith group, deletes mentions and photos of Barrett from its website
        An analysis by the Associated Press was able to track the changes through the Internet Archive.
        Oct. 1, 2020, 7:34 AM

        […] Founded in 1971, the group’s 22 branches organize and meet outside the purview of the Roman Catholic Church and include people from several Christian denominations, though the majority of its roughly 1,800 adult members remain Catholic.

        Former female members of the group told AP earlier this week that wives were expected to obey their husband’s wishes in all matters, including providing sex on demand. One of the women also said she was forbidden from getting birth control because married women were supposed to bear as many babies as God would provide. […]

        They do “LOVE the little children”…but…well, you know…
        some children are just more precious in their sight than others:
        4:18 PM · Oct 14, 2020

        BOOKER: Do you think it’s wrong to separate children from their parents to deter immigrants from coming the the US?

        CONEY BARRETT: That’s been a matter of policy debate in which I can’t express a view [VIDEO]

      • Epicurus says:

        In 2017 the fertility rate of women, per CNN, was 1.765 children per 1,000 women. The number necessary for a population to replace itself is 2.1 per 1,000 women. Cipillone and his wife are doing their part although I imagine for pleasure and religious, not demographic reasons.

        The pro-life and pro-abortion collectives have no real policy or plans offsetting the effects of their activities. For example the pro-life collective is essentially voting out affordable health care and certainly not establishing adoption sites or management, critical components for children to mature as they should for a better society (they seem to be separating children from families at the border as the most current child management policy). The pro-abortion collective has no plans for societal replacement thereby pretty much turning to immigration of some undefined sort. Reminds me of the role of the helots of Sparta. We seem not to have come very far in 2,500 years or so.

        I seem to remember Douglas Hofstadter, a former editor of Scientific American, saying we create God to make sense of things, that we cannot stand randomness or what appears to be randomness. Barrett looks at the world through the eyes of the Baltimore Catechism to make sense of things. The Catechism is a textualist publication (asks then answers questions) of the Catholic Church that teaches the church’s doctrine. One of its first questions is “Why did God make us?” I would have answered as Hofstadter did above but the Catechism answers “God made us to know “him”, love “him”, and serve “him” in this world and be with “him” in the next.” Him is parenthesized by me, not the Catechism. Please note the following re: Judge Barrett. “At a 2006 graduation ceremony at Notre Dame Law School, she told her students that, “if you can keep in mind that your fundamental purpose in life is not to be a lawyer, but to know, love, and serve God, you truly will be a different kind of lawyer.” Judge Barrett is in full embrace of the Catholic Church and its doctrine. Because we don’t have very sharp Senators the following rather obvious questions were never asked of Judge Barrett. “If your fundamental purpose in life is to serve God, doesn’t that mean interpreting the Constitution comes in in second place as a purpose in life? After all this isn’t a theocratic state. When serving God through Church doctrine – which you must follow as an originalist and textualist – and the “Word” commands and compels you to act is a way outside the Constitution, as Roe v. Wade, capital punishment, and euthanasia all do, are you going to recuse yourself?” I would expect some Scalian Jesuit casuistry in response but no real appropriate answer.

        • Epicurus says:

          Originalism seems quite funny to me. If the words of the founders were so sacred and immutable then why would they make a provision for amendments? Amendments are there because the founders knew they didn’t have all the answers and society would change. The originalists, if one really thinks about it, are the reason the founders put in the amendment provisions.

  9. Jenny says:

    Thanks Rayne. No room for evolving as an originalist. For a young woman, she certainly is old energy hanging onto old patriarchal beliefs. Men rule in her form of religion so she agrees with the old system. This way the right wing religious white males get what they want by continuing to control people through politics and religion.

  10. Stacey says:

    The age old question of why a member of a “second class” in a society would align themselves with the oppressive “first class” is shown to us in such moments. The woman who serves as a spokesperson for her own oppression at the hands of a patriarchy has more power herself in that moment than all of her sisters combined! And we see the projection of that secret up on the illuminated screen in front of us as she who literally claims to believe that women are subject to male prerogative actively strives and connives to situate herself in the ultimate position of judgement over all others. Astounding!

    It reminds me of watching men who knew their wives ruled the roost at home joke about how they had to run something by “the boss” 10 minutes after a church service where women couldn’t be seen to have authority over men to even the extent they could pass the damn collection plate unless they were seated and not standing as an usher during the service. Fundamentalist Christians of any stripe are just a walking/talking bundle of insanity that should be excluded from any serious conversation of general governance in a modern society. Believe whatever you want at home, but don’t come into the public square with this bull shit and expect to be taken seriously!

    • P J Evans says:

      this brings to mind the story my mother told, about a get-together with her brother and his wife. The were talking about spending, and my mother said that she gave my father an allowance of 50 cents a day: he took his lunch, he didn’t smoke or drink, and he didn’t chase women, so she didn’t know what he spent it on. Her brother looked at his wife and said “See, honey? I told you the other guys get more than I do!”

      (My mother actually did “refill” my father’s checkbook – he had about $200 as the going balance, so he could buy stuff. But he’d had a critical check bounce once because the bank couldn’t read his sig. Fortunately the bank didn’t take back babies….)

  11. Savage Librarian says:

    Sass and Bear It

    Whose god loves a hypocrite,
    Whose god stops the vote,
    Whose god strands us deep in shit,
    with no paddles for our boat?

    Whose god drives their power play,
    while they stand back and gloat,
    Whose god chases their pay day,
    and refuses to take note?

    Whose god fails their people,
    while they can only dote
    on some building with a steeple,
    and phony words that they promote?

    Whose god provides a juncture,
    with a hopeful antidote,
    that they turn around and puncture,
    with pointed fingers, yelling bloat?

    Whose god’s highfalutin,
    with pretentions for a zygote?
    Maybe if we ask Putin,
    he’ll lend us Butina’s gun to tote.

  12. DAT says:

    a. Decide your opinion.
    b. Attribute your opinion to a dead person who can’t contradict you.
    c. Tell your opponents, with a touch of regret in your voice, “I’m sorry folks. The dead guy says this is settled. Better luck next time.”

  13. rattlemullet says:

    I am certain no true originalist would have a woman on the Supreme Court. Why she couldn’t even vote by the original documents. The sheer hypocrisy a woman even pretending to be an originalist. She is a cultivated means to an end.

  14. graham firchlis says:

    Primer on Dominionism by dogemperor at Kos. (I was raised in a different one, hiding in plain sight as an “originalist” mainstream protestant faith.) The series is dated as to cult names but the functionality assessments and critical analyses are fully applicable to the current players.

    Barrett’s Praise cult is a fusion of Opus Dei with hardcore neopentacostal dominionism.

    Dominionists’ intent to corrupt statutory and constitutional law will now accelerate. The eventual goal is to amend the constitution in favor of a society more in tune with not 1950 but 1850.

  15. Dicerama says:

    I think it’s notable that the one right she was not able to mention was Redress. That’s the one where the little people get their day in court. One of the big thrusts of her supporters is to force everyone who participates in commercial activity into binding arbitration.

  16. blueedredcounty says:

    I wrote the following about originalists as part of a Facebook post on my wall a week or so back:

    For all “originalist” Constitutional interpreters out there (for example, the pompous and corrupt Scalia, who never recognized his obligation to recuse himself when he was overtly biased), the only requirements for being president are being naturally born on US Soil, and being 35 years old.

    That’s it. There are a whole bunch of other “qualifications” implied by those parameters, based on average life expectancy in the 1700s, the fact that only white males were citizens, women could not vote, etc.

    These Constitutional restrictions were before 1) major political parties existed and 2) before the Industrial age and the development of nuclear weapons.

    Our existing system permitted an utterly corrupt someone (i.e. Trump) to be shoved into the position of being the head of the executive branch of government. Note: he would fail a background check. He would not be permitted to be hired to work in multiple areas of the Federal government because of the risk it presents to the country. THIS is our feckless president, and this is the choice of his party and our system. Lincoln is spinning in his grave.

    Thank you, Rayne, for writing this post focused on the intellectual bankruptcy inherent in originalism as applied to the Constitution.

  17. PhoneInducedPinkEye says:

    I really enjoyed the details in this post on what life would have been like for a settler, thanks. It seems like it would have been very dark, exhausting, and chafing. Still loads more privileged than being an enslaved person or persecuted first nation member.

  18. Mitch Neher says:

    “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

    The vague, wishy-washy, mealy-mouthed, flower-talking mumbo jumbo above looks an awful lot like an explicit, yet overly generalized, statement of the original intentions of the delegates at the constitutional convention in Philadelphia way-back whenever it was.

    What’s it mean?? I don’t know. What’s going on?? You tell me.

  19. harpie says:

    She’s not even willing to acknowledge scientific consensus on climate change, though the rigorous research behind it is no different than biomedical research into cancer and COVID-19

    Upcoming SCOTUS Climate Case Involves Oil Giant That Employed Barrett’s Father
    Barrett told lawmakers she doesn’t have “firm views” on climate change. For decades, her father was a lawyer at Shell Oil, which now has a major climate case in front of the high court.
    David Sirota, Andrew Perez, and Walker Bragman Oct 14

      • harpie says:

        Coney may no longer be employed by Shell directly, but…

        Michael E. Coney, Of Counsel Attorney
        Carver, Darden, Koretzky, Tessier, Finn, Blossman & Areaux, L.L.C.
        Offshore Oil and Gas Law; Administrative Hearings and Appeals; Offshore Unitization; Offshore Royalty Appeals; Oil and Gas Arbitration

    • harpie says:

      From the linked article:

      […] Less than two weeks before the confirmation hearings, [10/2] the Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal by Royal Dutch Shell and other oil giants that are being sued by cities and states for the climate damage those companies created. Shell and the others are asking justices to allow the case to be heard in federal court. […]

    • harpie says:

      Also from the linked article:

      In a 2013 article entitled, “Why Civil Defendants Want To Be In Federal Court,” trial attorney Max Kennerly wrote that federal courts “place express limits on the amount of discovery available” and are “more prone to grant motions to dismiss (and motions for summary judgment) than state courts.”

      In April, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce waded into the Shell case that’s now pending before the Supreme Court, filing an amicus brief in support of the oil companies.

      The Chamber, the nation’s largest business lobbying group, endorsed Barrett’s confirmation late last month [reported 9/27/20] and quickly began “mobilizing its resources and lobbying lawmakers and businesses across Washington” to put her on the court, according to Axios. [ 9/27/20] […]

      Chevron, which is one of the other oil companies petitioning justices to move the case to federal court, donated more than $3.2 million to the Chamber between 2015-2018, according to data compiled by the Center for Political Accountability. […]

      • harpie says:

        See: Sen. Whitehouse‘s talk at the confirmation “hearing”:

        WATCH: Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse speaks during hearing for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett [link broken here].com/watch?v=cjcXVKg43qY
        Oct 13, 2020

        PBS NewsHour Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., did not pose any questions to Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Using poster board displays, Whitehouse argued that Barrett’s nomination reflects a pattern by conservative special interest groups of using “dark money” to influence who sits on the court. […]

  20. Zirc says:

    I find the idea of her being able to divine the meaning and intent of a late-18th-century, white, male, landholder/slaveholder when applied to 21st-century situations more than a little absurd, but I have to admit that a late-18th-century, white, male, landholder/slaveholder who heard the n-word probably wouldn’t construe it as contributing to a hostile workspace. I wonder whether her logic in that opinion would extend to the c-word. Would the use of that word constitute a hostile workspace?


  21. Rapier says:

    I don’t like Barrett but I defended her the other day. Someone who I am not at liberty to identify said that “Barrett is a slimy weasel.” I said, “Hold on there pal. Weasels are not slimy”.

    • David B Pittard says:

      well the slimy ones are.

      But the wisdom of Jesus, when criticized because his disciples were plucking grain on the sabbath, as forbidden: “the law was made for man, not man for the law.”

  22. earlofhuntingdon says:

    I find it hard to imagine that wealthy 18th century white male slaveholder gentlemen would expect the Constitution they crafted about 1790 to mean what it did then in 1890 or 1990, even assuming you could discern a single intent from among the myriad of men who drafted, signed, and ratified it.

    These men understood that times would change better than anyone alive today. They waged a long, bitter, successful war of independence against a powerful European colonial overlord. They created a representative democracy and grafted it onto thirteen state governments. In fact, they did it twice. Their first attempt, the Articles of Confederation, was quickly seen as a failure, so they replaced it with a federation.

    To assuage their critics, promoters of the Constitution made the federal government dependent on three co-equal branches, beginning with Congress. They also made it dependent on the conflicts between them that they intentionally wove into the Constitution. They explicitly provided processes to amend it, but also recognized that legislation and the common law would inherently alter it, too.

    “Originalism” or “textualism” is a revisionist pretext, intended to deny the Constitution and its inherent processes of change. They see the constitutional order as a roadblock to the change they want: an anti-constitutional order that keeps a single group or party in power, even when it is comprised of a shrinking minority. The Founders, so keenly aware that what goes around, comes around, would have rebelled against that as surely as they rebelled against George III.

    • bmaz says:

      “Originalism” or “textualism” is a revisionist pretext, intended to deny the Constitution and its inherent processes of change.

      Yes, indeed. I know a lot of law profs that debate such nonsense. Have to laugh every time. The intent to make a living, breathing and adaptable government was, and is, palpable. The rest is baloney.

  23. pdaly says:

    I agree, Rayne, Amy Coney Barrett ignores how life has changed since the time the US Constitution was written and hides behind the fake concept of originalism.

    Regarding her believing in magic, we should also remind Judge Barrett that Thomas Jefferson and others of his time were living in the Age of Reason/Enlightenment in which Man was rational. The Enlightenment dispensed with the old ways (kings, arbitrary rules) in favor of a new rational way of life in which government derived its power from the People.

    Thomas Jefferson rewrote the New Testament for himself, using a razor and glue to piece together Jesus’ teachings, eliminating all mentions of miracles attributed to Jesus, including his resurrection. Jefferson has his own blemishes, most obviously his keeping slaves even after writing the US’ founding documents, but I believe he would sooner learn to understand our technology as the result of human rationality and ingenuity before he would succumb to thoughts of magic.

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