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Pontification, Thy Name Is SCOTUS Confirmation Hearings

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
Michael Reynolds/Pool via AP

Virtue-signaling has become the sigil of progressives, be they corporate executives, politicians, members of the mainstream media or Hollywood. It, and pontification have been on non-stop display during the Senate confirmation hearing of Amy Coney Barrett this week. Rather that probe her voluminous jurisprudential knowledge or habits and issues that would be relevant to a Supreme Court member in-waiting, the questions Democrats posed have been uniformly of the “gotcha” nature. Dems have been hoping for a dog-whistle response they can indict, proving to their base that they are woke and Barrett is wokeless and evil because she doesn’t share their same beliefs and ipso facto must be unqualified to serve as a SCOTUS judge.

Every news station is carrying either exclusively or via picture-in-picture the Senate confirmation hearings of Judge Barrett. Meanwhile, House Democrats have been holding up passing a new Covid-19 stimulus bill and other important matters of legislative consideration, while their Senate colleagues have been pontificating non-stop in front of C-SPAN and network cameras.

Anyone who has watched Democrat senators perform during the Amy Coney Barrett confirmation hearings with even a modicum of perceptiveness has witnessed an asymmetrically abysmal display of partisan “gotcha” not unlike the fricasseeing of then-Judge Brett Kavanaugh performed by Democrat senators in 2017. As Bruce Thornton has opined, these hearings are purely “an opportunity for progressives to indulge their irrational bigotry against faith, as well as try to block the appointment of a constitutionalist justice to the court.” It is also a selling opportunity for these Senate creatures to get free publicity with a fawning mainstream media pining for progressive soundbites.

In fact, ever since 1987 when SCOTUS candidate Robert Bork got “Borked” by the hallmark of civility and propriety, Teddy Kennedy, these confirmation hearings have become overwhelmingly a televised pontification by Democrats of any and all things wrong with both Republicans and conservatism, period.

My thesis is aptly documented by the particularly repulsive performances of Senators Mazie “sexual orientation is a discredited term” Hirono, Corey “New Jersey doesn’t love me enough” Booker, Dianne “the dogma lives loudly within you” Feinstein, Amy “you would be the polar opposite of Justice Ginsburg” Klobuchar, and Kamala “I would suggest that we not pretend that we don’t know how this nominee views a woman’s right to choose” Harris.

Rhode Island Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse, without asking a single question, instead used his allotted time to rebuke all the “dark money" schemes infiltrating politics and court appointments, obviously not referring to the George Soros dark money that is buying attorneys general across our country to support the progressive orthodoxy.

Nearly every Democrat senator has accused or insinuated that Barrett was being asked to vote against a particular case (scheduled in the Supreme Court in early 2021) about Obama’s darling, the patently unpopular and increasingly unaffordable Affordable Care Act. Early on in the hearing Barrett said, “Absolutely not! I was never asked, and if I had been, that would have been a short conversation… I would read the briefs, hear the arguments and consult with my clerks and colleagues before rendering a decision. Judges can’t just wake up one day and say ‘I have an agenda’…like a royal queen.” On the third day, she was indicted again by Senator Hirono about this issue. Judge Barrett reminded the senator that she had been asked this question numerous times during the hearings and she has not strayed from her answer: that she has taken no directives on how to vote on issues near and dear to Democrats and she would proceed, again as she had already said, to hear the facts of the case and study case law and only then would she make her decision without letting her personal beliefs impact her jurisprudential ruling.

Democrat senators honed-in on the hot-button issue of Roe v. Wade ostensibly because she is a Catholic, a religion that is openly against abortion. Nearly every Democrat asked her to opine about how she would vote on such a case if it came before her in the Supreme Court. She answered each of these questions by saying, “It would actually be wrong and a violation of the canons for me to discuss this. It signals to litigants that I might tilt one way or another on a pending case.” Sen. Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the panel, virtue-signaled the audience by calling Barrett’s answer “distressing” despite it being what sound jurisprudential decorum requires. Barrett replied that she understood why Feinstein asked the question and had to continue to repeat herself more than a dozen times with other Democrats who repeated the abortion question, especially with Kamala Harris who sequestered herself in her office allegedly because Barrett wouldn’t wear a mask though was later seen in a crowded elevator with fellow Democrat senators, according to a Fox News report.

So the take-aways from this intense and revolting grilling of open-book SCOTUS candidate Amy Coney Barrett are: 1) Senate confirmation hearings are farcical because no candidate worth her salt will opine about any issues she may have to rule on at a later time; 2) Senate Dems have their panties in a wad since Amy Coney Barrett is such a stellar candidate who refused to take the bait on progressive talking points and outperformed her opponents by a country mile; 3) Dems also took most if not all their allotted time because of the free national publicity and opportunity for pontification and virtue-signaling it allowed them.

Let’s revise the procedures of the next SCOTUS confirmation hearing and remove blatant Borking procedures and lessen opportunities for senator pontification.

Our next Supreme Court justice schooled her progressive badgers. God bless her!

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