Questions for Amy Coney Barrett
I would like to propose a set of questions for the Amy Coney Barrett confirmation hearings.
I would ask about her interview with Donald Trump.
1) in the interview, did the president talk about himself at all ?
Both answers are costly. We all know he did (he always does) so to answer no is to blatantly like.
A yes answer leads to following questions (which I would ask in any case).
Barrett will refuse to answer, saying the conversation should be private.
2. I’m not asking if he said he had a headache, My concern is whether he said anything about the upcoming Presidential election aand whether it might be contested.
Again the answer no is an obvious lie. Also refusing to answer suggests that the answer is damaging to her (as the true answer certainly is).
She will refuse to answer
3. So you refuse to say that he didn’t suggest that he wants you confirmed so you can side with Trump in a possible upcoming Trump V Biden case ?
She has to refuse.
4. Did he ask you to assure him that you would vote in his favor if there were such a case ?
Here she has to answer no. It is very costly to refuse. If she answers yes (almost certainly the honest answer) then she can’t refuse to answer when asked how she replied.
5. Here under the extremely unlikely hypothesis that she answers yes, she would have to claim she told him she can’t make that promise about a purely speculative case for which the facts haven’t even occurred yet. That would be an obvious lie. If she had been asked and gave that answer, she would not have been nominated.
So she will answer no, but then argue that the conversation is confidential and she shouldn’t answer other questions about it. I think the questions lead her to contradicting herself.
She could stick to refusal to answer, but if she refuses to answer “did you promise to President Trump that you will favor him in an upcoming Trump V Biden case ?”
Then she has some trouble.
Then ask if she promises to recuse herself if there is a Trump V Biden case (she has to answer that one).
This doesn’t distract from the gross impropriety of blocking Garland then rushing Barrett.
The questions are not polite or normal, but the situation is clearly not normal either.
Amy Coney Barret’ calls herself a ‘textualist’.
Her mentor Antonin Scalia was an ardent
‘originalist’. What’ll it be Justice Barrett?
Justice Scalia, one of the most forceful modern advocates for originalism, defined himself as belonging to the latter category: The theory of originalism treats a constitution like a statute, and gives it the meaning that its words were understood to bear at the time they were promulgated. (Wikipedia)
Textualist: An originalist who gives primary weight to the text and structure of the Constitution. Textualists often are skeptical of the ability of judges to determine collective “intent.” …
Theories of Constitutional Interpretation
My least favorite Tony Scalia notion.
“Capital Punishment is acceptable, because
while it may be cruel, it is NOT unusual.”
(I am reasonably certain that at the time the
Constitution was written, the phrase ‘cruel
AND unusual punishment’ would mean
in today’s English ‘cruel OR unusual’.)
Scalia was more Jesuit than Justice. The originality bit he just made up.
as entertainment, even educational entertainment, you essay is fine and worth reading. But I hope you don’t think the powers that be are so naive and unsophisticated they couldn’t give better (misleading or colorable) answers to the questions you propose.
What is happening in our government stinks on its face, but we still have to go through the motions. Until such time as President for the Duration of the Emergency decrees that we don’t have to go through the motions.
As for “originalistis” or “textualists,” anyone who believes this nonsense, let alone espouses it, is not fit to be a Justice. Might as well ask what the people who RATIFIED the Constitution thought it meant. No one can know what they thought, and no one can claim that they know what ANY text “really” means.
We have a need and a right to know what the proposed Justice thinks about many things, even if she claims it was the “original intent,” but we don’t have to believe what she says she believes. Theoretically our Senators are supposed to know how she is likely to decide on current questions or probable future questions and vote her up or down accordingly. Which is what they do. What we need to do is figure out a way to get the Senators we want, not the Senators we’ve got. If it isn’t too late.
If Trump loses, Biden could ask both Gorsuch and Barret, assuming she ascends, to resign since neither was legitimately appointed. It’s not clear to me that Trump was legitimately elected and even if so, certainly Gorsuch’s and perhaps Barret’s rightfully belonged to the Dems. For the both, there’s a real issue of personal integrity involved. They are not stupid. They know full well of his character. Is an nomination valid if the nominator is not?
One thing the Dems could do to bring question to her legitimacy is to not meet w/ nor question her. They could walk out.
“I don’t know a lot about Amy Coney Barrett. But I know she’s accepting nomination from a President actively trying to subvert a national election and threatening to hold on to power by force, an attack on the constitution unparalleled in American history. Do I need to know more?” Josh Marshall at TalkingPointsMemo
will refuse to answer, saying the conversation should be private.
2. I’m not asking if he said he had a headache, My concern is whether he said anything about the upcoming Presidential election
Theres always a quid pro quo with Trump. Always. Just ask her what it was.
Norms dont matter. Power matters. Democrats are reluctant to exercise power and this is the result.
So I do not think even the MIC thinks SCOTUS will save his bacon. At most he expects it to be slow to stop his efforts to steal the election. He may well be shoring up support from both the Court and Moscow Mitch down the road on personal issues, but I think it was a better reason to push confirmation ahead of the election than dealing with the awkwardness of confirming the nomination of a president who just got trounced by a Senate majority which disappears January 3. The Dems want to inflict maximum political pain on both the MIC and Senate Republicans in tough re-election battles. They think the ACA is their best shot and I think they are probably right. The elites are distressed about the MIC undermining our Democracy, but everyone is distressed about losing health insurance.
Probably she should be asked about
Unitary Executive theory, a favorite of
Bill Barr & Donald Trump, rooted in the
Constitution, supposedly and originalist
To wit, the only power that Congress can
exercise to reign in the President is
Impeachment. Period. Full stop.
She would probably endorse
Amy Coney Barrett
John Copeland Nagle
Journal of Constitutional Law – October 2016
again, these questions were never asked. the answers were known long before they talked, certainly known by the people who told Trump to nominate her.