The Supreme Court hearings: shoot me now!

March 22, 2022 • 2:30 pm

I’ve spent the last two hours watching—well, not really watching, but using it as background noise—the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson. (I believe you can watch them live at the YouTube link below.)

What a waste of time! Right now I’ve been listening to the odious Ted Cruz go after Jackson for her views on Critical Race Theory, the 1619 Project, and her record in sentencing convicted sex offenders. What is happening seems to be Ted Cruz playing to his audience, for he’s brought out nothing damning about Jackson. And barring such skeletons in the closet, she’ll be confirmed.  What I see is Ted Cruz trying to buy votes by playing the race card (and insinuating that she’s easy on pedophiles), but others may differ.

It seems as if Jackson is getting ticked off, and is giving back (VERY politely) better than she gets from Cruz. She’ll be confirmed for sure. The only thing I’ve learned (besides the fact that Jackson is a tough cookie) is that Republicans will be running hard on Critical Race Theory this fall.

I did have one quibble with Jackson’s responses to CRT, though. She keeps emphasizing that it’s an academic theory alone, and she doesn’t see it as being taught in schools. Yet all of us know that principles derived from CRT are taught in classrooms, and she’s on the board of one of the schools that teaches them (Georgetown Day School). But so what? I have no idea if she knows exactly what is taught in the classroom there, and at any rate it seems irrelevant to her value as a Supreme Court Justice Any black person nominated for the job—and all of the nominees were black women—would have faced this race-based inquisition. Such are the consequences of a racially divided society.

Just confirm her, for chrissake! I’m turning off the t.v.

29 thoughts on “The Supreme Court hearings: shoot me now!

  1. And who wants to argue this is not a racist country. You have old white men going crazy over a black woman judge. The republican racist party.

  2. Besides Cruz, dear little Lindsey Graham not surprisingly distinguished himself as a loathsome, character-free, jackass. Contrary to the constitution, he subjected Jackson to a religious test. Later his ultimate purpose came out – he wanted to criticize the Dems questioning of Amy Barrett 4 years ago. Barrett is Catholic and her ability to rule impartially was questioned.

    1. What makes his questioning even more obnoxiously partisan is that evidently he confirmed her with no problem and much praise the last time she came in front of the Senate.

      Barrett’s Catholicism is not the issue, as anyone considering the makeup of the court over the past 100 years should be aware of. It’s that she belongs to an extremist group where (IIRC, I may be getting this wrong) women promise to obey their husbands in all things. Going from memory, it was that aspect of her religious belief that was subject to questioning, not her general Catholicism. Not whether she would rule the way God tells her to rule, but that she would rule the way her husband tells her to rule. Someone correct me if I’m wrong though, I’m just going by memory.

    2. But, for what it is worth, Lindsey has a pretty good track record of voting to confirm justices appointed by Democrats.

    3. Can I be educated, if it pleases, as a foreigner? Was Justice Barrett’s Catholicism raised in the Senate, “contrary to the Constitution”, during her hearing? If it was, why is it improper now to question Judge Jackson about the impact of her faith, if any, on her ability to rule impartially? Is there some special test that only Catholics have to meet, because of the abortion thing? If her faith was raised only by talking heads outside the hearing, then I can understand the objection to Sen. Graham making it an issue for Jackson inside, this time around. Otherwise I can’t understand the objection except on partisan grounds. You don’t want a liberal confirmation stymied and the confirmation process is partisan. I get that.

      Canada’s Supreme Court Justices are appointed by the government as a prerogative of the Prime Minister. There is no hearing or other public vetting. The most recent one was proudly trumpeted by the PMO as a Muslim who has expressed public opinions that diverse legal systems, not just the Queen’s and Quebec’s Civil Code, should have a role in deciding cases. “Diversity is our strength”, as we all know. I’m sure conservative MPs would have loved to ask him if he would be referring to the principles of sharia law in deciding cases between Muslims, or between a Muslim and an infidel, or between a Muslim and the Crown. But we don’t ask such questions. There is no forum to ask them.

      Don’t be too quick to criticize questions about whether one’s stated religious beliefs affect impartiality. I think it’s fair game, especially in the case of someone who wears his religion ostentatiously. Much of the world is made up of religious fanatics. You’re not likely ever to get nine atheists on the bench. (But wouldn’t that be grand!)

      1. To me the reasons for these intrusions into a candidates religion is not so much to suss those out, but to use the time to grandstand. The senators are playing for their constituents back home.

      2. When Amy Coney Barrett was nominated in 2017 to be an appellate judge on the Seventh Circuit (in an apparent effort to groom her for an eventual seat on SCOTUS), she was questioned by California senator Diane Feinstein about her (Barrett’s) membership in “People of Praise,” an evangelical-style subgroup within the Roman Catholic Church with some fringe views, particularly as to how the those views might affect Barrett’s approach in reproductive-rights cases.

        Feinstein was criticized for this questioning and, when Barrett was nominated to SCOTUS three years later, Feinstein and the other members of the judiciary committee shied away from the topic. Lindsey Graham’s questioning of Katanji Brown Jackson today about her religion was merely an effort to settle this five-year old score — and a rather maladroit one at that.

      3. if it was, why is it improper now to question Judge Jackson about the impact of her faith, if any, on her ability to rule impartially?

        Barrett belongs to a strange sect of Catholicism that tells women to do whatever their husband commands. The questions raised were about that specific belief of hers, not about her Catholicism per se.

        Is there some special test that only Catholics have to meet, because of the abortion thing?

        There have been more Catholics on SCOTUS than any other sect of Christians. They are overrepresented in the history of the court, not underrepresented. So the notion that there is some bias against Catholics being selected for SCOTUS is just laughable…for an American with some knowledge of the history of the court. I’m not laughing at you for entertaining this idea, you’re a foreigner without that background knowledge. But nevertheless, that idea is wrong.

        The special test Barrett had to meet was something like “if your husband tells you to rule a certain way, and your legal judgement tells you to rule the other way, given your particular faith (not generic Catholicism) tells you you must obey your husband in all things, then will you rule the way he tells you or will you do your constitutional duty?”

        It has little to do with religion, excepting that it is her faith that came up with this crazy belief. But in the hypothetical where some atheist or Muslim or Jew belonged to a sect where the husband promised to obey their wife’s orders in all things, then absolutely yes it would be fair to question a married man from that sect on his ability to fulfill his oath to use his best judgment.

        Here, however, the GOP is doing nothing but political posturing and tit for tat. You dared to question our candidate about her faith? Then okay, we will question yours about hers. Even though in our candidate’s case she had strange beliefs relevant to the question of her performance, and in your candidate’s case she’s just a run of the mill Christian.

        1. OK, fair enough. Appreciative thanks. I bet not one Canadian in a thousand knows the religion of any member of our Court, except for the one new guy who says he’s Muslim. (Most of us don’t even know their names—even though they have transformed lawmaking since we voted ourselves a watered-down version of your Bill of Rights in the 1980s, which unfortunately is big on group rights and weak on protecting individuals from the state.)

          1. I suspect (without knowing) that the parliamentary system puts less pressure on individual legislators to stand on their soapbox and say outrageous things and block completely normal processes, all to cater to their base. I’m not sure why that is. Maybe it is the case that (once the parties work out an agreement) you never have a split government, so there is never the ability or need to cause the other party to fail when they are in power? Or maybe it’s some other factor like limits on advertising or campaign funding which is shared by most parliamentary democracies (and not the US).

            But whatever it is, yeah, it sure seems to be that the American system is unique in the a$$holishness and ridiculousness it produces in our legislators. And the Republicans in the U.S. are the extreme even for us, because since about the ’90s they’ve practiced a “scorched earth” policy where they oppose everything the substantive the Dems do, no matter how beneficial, with the plan that if they stop the Dems from doing good things, the public will blame the ruling party not the obstructers and vote the Dems out.

            1. Individual legislators (Members of Parliament) have no explicit role in confirming the appointment of judges or the executive officers of government in Canada. It’s all the prerogative of the Prime Minister. Because the PM and his Cabinet are sitting MPs, his executive government is theoretically responsible to the will of elected Parliament in all matters. The appointments are assumed theoretically to have the consent of Parliament because they are made by a government drawn from it. Parliament could vote non-confidence in the PM over anything he does and the government would fall, forcing an election.

              But in practice the PM exercises total control over the actions of the MPs of his party. He will fire them from caucus if they cross him. This finishes the MP’s political career as re-election as an independent is nearly impossible. Voters usually hope (faintly in the case of some parties) that the MP they elect will be on the government benches. That won’t happen if they elect an independent. So the executive controls the legislature, not the other way round.

              Opposition MPs would certainly be motivated to attack and obstruct the appointment of judges to score political points but there is no forum for them to do that: the appointment is not put before Parliament for confirmation of the PMs choice. That’s just not an activity that the opposition has any say in.

              There is not much room for a soapbox for an MP in a modern Parliament. In effect we elect a dictator who is restrained only by the Supreme Court and by what he determines from the polls to be public opinion. We can un-elect him in favour of a different dictator who we think might do a better job with the same dictatorial powers. That’s about the limit of democratic influence on our government.

            2. With proportional representation, you have multiple parties that unlikely will have a majority, so they will have to compromise. Think of all the other issues it may solve: redistricting lawsuits, small differences in swing states determining the outcome of the election. And if you live abroad like me, you can more easily see the Republicans for what they are: a bunch of jackasses.

              1. The orange one got over 70% of the votes where I live and I can assure you that the Republican party doesn’t look any better up close than it does from abroad.

            3. There have been more Catholics on SCOTUS than any other sect of Christians.

              In recent years, SCOTUS membership has been dominated by Catholics and Jews. For the first two-hundred years of this Republic’s existence, however, it was — like the other two branches of the federal government — almost the exclusive province of Protestants, most of them WASPs.

  3. It is interesting that the Republicans didn’t bring up abortion. They know that one is in the bag. They were interested in CRT, child pornography (for the Qanon base?) and marriage equality. Cornyn from TX was in a tizzy over “Oberfell”…I wondered if he was purposely mispronouncing the case just to be a dick. But I imagine it’s a harbinger of where the GOP is going. Roe first, Obergefell next and then where…Griswold?

    1. It’s always been Griswold. When it is gone, the rest of those cases tumble down like so many dominos.

  4. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley (who’s still hammering away on this BS non-issue of kiddie porn right now) are trying to out-demagogue each other in an effort to play to the wingnut base, so as to posture themselves for potential 2024 presidential runs, should el caudillo del Mar-a-Lago decided to sit that race out.

    Watching the two go at it is the US political equivalent of opéra bouffe.

    1. Hawley is a disgrace. And also maybe has a little too much enjoyment describing the crimes, the amount of content, etc. I had to stop watching him. Judge Jackson, however, was tremendous and excellent.

  5. “She keeps emphasizing that it’s an academic theory alone, and she doesn’t see it as being taught in schools. Yet all of us know that principles derived from CRT are taught in classrooms …”

    It is far worse than the “principles derived from CRT” being TAUGHT. And it’s not a quibble-level aspect. It is the whole enchilada.

    Woke love it when they can spin the contention around “we don’t teach it.” They win when opponents are content to ride it down to ‘we don’t want it taught,’ because 1) they might win, once it gets viewed as CRT not taught; 2) they easily can label objectors as racist for ‘wanting to deny white racial oppression”; and 3) they want the real agenda to fly beneath the radar, and this achieves it.

    Reality: Woke don’t wish to teach academic CRT to little children; they seek to INFLICT it on them. They wish to damage the innocence and safe feeling in home and school, they want children to be constantly in the anxiety of grievance, they want to raise up disturbed and alienated Americans who will carry on the hatred of our Foundation, freedom, individualism, property, capitalism, and gender-same-as-sex.

    Children are being groomed for sexual deviance, estrangement from parents, pro-Marxism anti-capitalism, all in the service of eventuating the full communist enchilada.

  6. Andy Borowitz
    5tpch41hia9270leu ·
    Confirmation Hearings Preparing Jackson For Lifetime of Working With Assholes
    WASHINGTON–Experts believe that Ketanji Brown Jackson’s exposure to assholes in the United States Senate this week is “invaluable” preparation for her decades ahead on the Supreme Court. “Jackson might have been wondering whether she could stand working in the same courtroom as Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas,” one expert said. “But after spending a week with Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz, she’ll be like, ‘I got this.’” If, as expected, Judge Jackson is confirmed, she will be joining a Supreme Court that has a 6-3 asshole majority. 🤨

  7. “and she doesn’t see it as being taught in schools”
    So she’s lying then.

    Here’s the thing, I’m sure we can all agree that in the soviet block children were being indoctrinated into communism, but do people ever think about how it was done? Cause it’s not like children were being made to read Karl Marx from 1st grade. But they were being taught/brainwashed with communist principles. Infiltrated in any course possible were lessons on how capitalism is bad, how communism will free people, how you should trust and love your great leader, how you should tattle on anyone you see not upholding communism and so on.

    Or here’s another example. Atheists in USA constantly complain about schools or teachers trying to infiltrate religion (Christianity) into the classroom. And usually that complain is followed with an admission that they’re not making the children read the Bible and sometimes they admit they’d even prefer if the children had to read the Bible, cause that’d have a backfire effect. So if I were to take Ketanji Brown Jackson’s stance on this, I’d have to say “how can you say they’re trying to teach Christianity to children, they’re not even reading the Bible!”. But both you and me know that’d be absurd. That’s not how you teach a religion. You teach it by telling children how much god loves them so they need to listen to him, while admonishing them that they’re sinful and evil from birth, threatening them with punishment of hell, and giving them religion as a “solution” to the fear you indoctrinated them with.

    That’s exactly the same way they’re teaching CRT. They’re admonishing “white” children that they’re evil from birth because of their skin color, that they’re guilty by proxy because their ancestors did bad things, they threaten them with punishment of being excluded and hated by society and then they come with the “solution”. And for “black” children, they’re applying the best recipe to plunge them into depression, by telling them they’re helpless, that they’ll never be able to accomplish anything because society is constantly racist and hates them, and then comes with the “solution” of “but we, the Church of Woke, love you and we’ll take care of you if you’re good and listen to us”.
    The only thing CRT does different from Christianity is that it’s splitting the carrot and stick based on race. “Whitey” gets the stick, and every other race gets a poisoned carrot meant to make you an ideological slave.

    1. This is your first comment, so please read the posting rules on the right. First, don’t accuse someone of lying unless you know they’re lying. She said she didn’t review her daughter’s textbooks, and maybe she did, and maybe she didn’t. We don’t know.

      Second, you imply that CRT is taught pervasively in American schools and is taught in a certain way. You are wrong about that, and are overgeneralizing. There is some truth in what you say, but around here we try to say it without overgeneralizing, and also to say it with civility.

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