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SCOTUS Shortlister Amy Coney Barrett on Overturning Precedent and Judicial Deference to Lawmakers

Reviewing the record of a possible replacement for Justice Anthony Kennedy.

C-SPANC-SPANJudge Amy Coney Barrett of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit is reportedly among a handful of finalists under consideration by President Donald Trump to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Barrett, 46, was confirmed to the 7th Circuit last October after undergoing a highly contentious confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. A committed Catholic who has written frequently about the intersection of faith and law, Barrett was questioned by Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) about whether her religion would prevent her from serving as an impartial jurist. "The dogma lives loudly within you, and that's of concern when you come to big issues that people have fought for for years in this country," Feinstein said to the nominee.

Feinstein was undoubtedly referring to Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that recognized a constitutional right to abortion. The senator's implication was that Barrett's religious views might lead her to limit or even overturn that decision.

Before her judicial appointment last year, Barrett was a distinguished law professor at Notre Dame University, where she produced a highly respected body of scholarly work. Because of her short tenure on the federal bench, that scholarship offers perhaps the best indication of what sort of Supreme Court justice she might turn out to be.

Consider her writings on the crucial issue of precedent. When is it appropriate for the Supreme Court to overturn one of its own prior rulings? And is it ever appropriate for the Court to overturn a precedent simply because a new majority disagrees with the methodological approach of its predecessor? In other words, would it be appropriate for a living constitutionalist Court to overturn a case like District of Columbia v. Heller because the later Court disagreed with the Heller majority's originalist methodology?

Barrett grappled with such questions in a 2013 Texas Law Review article. In it, she sketched out and defended an approach that she called "weak" or "soft stare decisis." Given the competing interpretive methodologies on the Court, she argued, "a more relaxed form of constitutional stare decisis is both inevitable and probably desirable, at least in those cases in which methodologies clash."

"Were there greater agreement about the nature of the Constitution—for example, whether it is originalist or evolving—we might expect to see greater (although of course still imperfect) stability," Barrett wrote. "In the world we live in, however, that level of stability is more than we have experienced or should expect in particularly divisive areas of constitutional law." Reversing precedent "because of honest jurisprudential disagreement," she concluded, "is illegitimate only if it is done without adequate consideration of, and due deference to, the arguments in favor of letting the precedent stand."

As for her own approach, she wrote: "I tend to agree with those who say that a justice's duty is to the Constitution and that it is thus more legitimate for her to enforce her best understanding of the Constitution rather than a precedent she thinks clearly in conflict with it."

Barrett's writings also reveal her to be a sharp critic of the libertarian legal movement. In a 2017 article for Constitutional Commentary, Barrett acknowledged that libertarian legal scholars such as Georgetown's Randy Barnett have a point when they fault conservatives for placing too much emphasis on the notion of judicial restraint. "Deference to a democratic majority should not supersede a judge's duty to apply clear text," she wrote.

But Barrett then suggested that the libertarian legal movement has gone too far in the opposite direction by embracing a sweeping theory of economic liberty that is itself unmoored from constitutional text. What is more, Barrett defended the Supreme Court's current approach in cases dealing with economic regulation, in which the scales are tipped in favor of lawmakers via the highly permissive standard of judicial review known as the rational-basis test. "Deferential judicial review of run-of-the-mill legislation," Barrett wrote, is defensible on the grounds that such judicial deference "is consistent with the reality that the harm inflicted by the Supreme Court's erroneous interference in the democratic process is harder to remedy than the harm inflicted by an ill-advised statute."

Notably, that view not only places Barrett in conflict with the libertarian legal movement, but it also places her in conflict with another possible SCOTUS finalist: Judge Don Willett, who appeared on Trump's original SCOTUS shortlist and was rumored to be among the finalists under consideration to replace Justice Antonin Scalia. Willett is considered to be in the running yet again for Kennedy's seat.

In 2015, while serving as a justice on the Texas Supreme Court, Willett (who is now a federal appellate court judge) concurred in the case of Patel v. Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. Willett's opinion laid out an explicitly constitutional case for the judicial recognition and protection of economic liberty. (Willett favorably cited my book, Overruled, in this opinion.)

"The Fourteenth Amendment's legislative record," Willett pointed out, "is replete with indications that 'privileges or immunities' encompassed the right to earn a living free from unreasonable government intrusion." To say the least, Willett displayed little patience for what Barrett has defended as "deferential judicial review of run-of-the-mill legislation."

If Amy Coney Barrett gets the nomination to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, I look forward to the Senate Judiciary Committee questioning her about these fundamental matters of legal theory and constitutional interpretation.

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  • John||

    No, they do not. These hearings are just a form of bear baiting where instead of having a pack of dogs attack a bear, a pack of complete morons attacks an expert in a field about that field.

  • Zeb||

    That analogy made me happy.

  • Lester224||

    Yes, like when Education Sec nominee Betsy DeVos was asked if she knew what the term proficiency vs. grown meant on standardized testing. She had no idea. Those terms are known by every education admin.

    Or when Trump's nominee for U.S. district court Matthew Petersen was asked basic questions about law terms and whether he had ever tried a jury trial- by a Republican Senator- and he couldn't give satisfactory answers. Definely morons attacking experts.

  • John||

    Devos not speaking the idiotic language of Education schools was one of her most appealing features. And yes, occasionally the pack of morons win like they did against Peterson. It takes a pretty sorry bear to lose to the dogs, but Peterson was one such bear. That, however, does not make those questioning Peterson anything other than morons.

    I do have to give Peterson credit, to actually be dumber than a Progressive is an impressive feat of stupidity.

  • lap83||

    "She had no idea. Those terms are known by every education admin."

    Omg! how did she get anywhere in life by not knowing a few standardized testing terms. Oh wait, probably because it has no value outside of the stupid little bubble that is the public school system

  • damikesc||

    No joke. It's not like Ed majors are held in high esteem in any college in the country. At my school, football players looked down at ed majors for taking cupcake classes.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    It is a well known fact that education majors have the lowest SAT scores of any other major.

  • BYODB||

    Thus proving the adage of 'those who can, do; those who can not, teach.

  • Zeb||

    I don't think that's what that is supposed to mean. I've always been a bit confused by it though. It's certainly not desirable to have the dumbest people dominate teaching.

  • livelikearefugee||

    And, those who can't even teach become administrators and speak entirely in jargon.

  • fdog50||

    And those who can't teach, teach others how to teach.

  • markm23||

    "It is a well known fact that education majors have the lowest SAT scores of any other major." Not quite. School administration and social work majors are slightly lower. (What does that say about how we value child care and education?)

    And they aren't washing the stupid ones out - these three fields also score at the bottom of the GRE, administered in the senior year. Although part of that is that graduate degrees are highly important for job advancement in these fields (as a substitute for actual performance ratings, which the average school principal is too dumb to measure), and so a high percentage of the seniors take the GRE. By comparison, most of the other "college for dummies" students intend to be done with education after they get their 4-year degree as a sort of union card, and so don't bother with the GRE.

  • Presskh||

    When I was an undergrad, I had an Intro to Theater professor once say, "Well, the standard path for many students is to start out in engineering, where they quickly fail, switch to arts & sciences, where they have a hard time, switch to business, where they still can't quite make the grade, and finally land in that purview of last resort, education, where they pick up their degrees at the drive-in window." I also had a roommate in college who was in education. He hardly ever studied, went to all of the ball games and a lot of parties, and graduated magna cum laude in education with a concentration in history. Meanwhile, with my intense mechanical engineering curriculum, I hardly had time to get in some daily exercise and keep my clothes clean. However, 35 years later, I earn about 2.5 to 3 times what he does.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Yet I always hear teachers whining how they are grossly underpaid for their 3/4 time job because they only make about $32k per year starting out where I live. Which is almost the area average. After ten years, they make about double that. Still only working 3/4 time.

    So tired of these huge fucking crybabies, many of whom don't do that great a job to begin with, and many of whom are progtards.

  • Steve S.||

    He is mistaken about the jargon.

  • Steve S.||

    Yes, like when Education Sec nominee Betsy DeVos was asked if she knew what the term proficiency vs. grown meant on standardized testing. She had no idea. Those terms are known by every education admin.

    Respectfully, no, they are not. The jargon used regionally is quite varied, and those terms are far from universal.

    I am an administrator in childhood education. I speak from experience.

    And to your point, we have about 1/3 of our kids who don't actually have any standardized testing. Even that isn't universal, so I can't realistically believe anyone who would know anything about the subject would think they were.

    The uproar was more manufactured nonsense by a select group of people who live in a bubble and think everyone else does too.

  • Finrod||

    You win the thread.

  • Sevo||

    "Yes, like when Education Sec nominee Betsy DeVos was asked if she knew what the term proficiency vs. grown meant on standardized testing. She had no idea."

    So she failed a trivia test on Ed. jargon? The horrors!
    Why, I'll bet she doesn't know the number of radians in a circle, either!

  • Pat_||

    Betsy DeVos was asked if she knew what the term proficiency vs. grown meant on standardized testing. She had no idea. Those terms are known by every education admin.

    Devos knew more about actual education issues than ANY of the Senators. And what most edcuaion administrators know is how to commit fraud on the standardized tests.

  • perlchpr||

    And most of Congress is lawyers to start with.

    So, you think it's bad when a bunch of lawyers incompetently question another lawyer about law stuff, but that's really nothing compared to when that same group of lawyers questions, say, a mathematician about cryptography. It's like watching someone try to explain physics to a herd of goats.

  • tlapp||

    The questions are mostly political posturing. It's a sickening process.

  • I can't even||

    I look forward to the Senate Judiciary Committee questioning her about these fundamental matters of legal theory and constitutional interpretation.

    I look forward to temper tantrums, Catholic bashing, panic attacks, misogynistic slurs that only feminists are allowed to utter these days, showboating by everyone one the committee, and probably some charges that she kicked a dog or fingered a baby 15 years ago.

  • Just Say'n||

    I'm sure Root will call out the invalidity of religious tests as forcefully as he did here

  • John||

    If she were a liberal and wore a burka every day, only racists would dream of even asking her about it. But since she is a conservative and a Catholic, she is going to be expected to prove that she isn't taking orders directly from the Pope, who is a communist anyway but somehow Progs seem to forget that when its convenient.

  • Rock Lobster||

    And besides, real communism hasn't been tried yet.

  • BYODB||

    Just like real libertarianism hasn't been tried yet either.

    I'll admit it makes me laugh.

  • Rock Lobster||

    I guess the joke's on us, then. At least the communists managed to kill a few million people.

  • Michael Cook||

    Sixty million is more than a few. Where did you go to school?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    "I guess the joke's on us, then. At least the communists managed to kill a few HUNDRED million people."

    FIFY.

  • perlchpr||

    Well, that's true, but there have at least actually been governments on planet Earth that claimed to be communist. I am unaware of any republic thus far that has even advertised itself as "libertarian".

  • Rock Lobster||

    I suppose, although the satire of the comment is rooted in the fact that communism as espoused by true believers is, well... impossible. As for libertarian republics, to paraphrase Sean Connery in The Untouchables, "Who would claim to be that who is not?" (Hihn, Tony, PB, the Good Rev. et al don't really count)

  • Sevo||

    "Well, that's true, but there have at least actually been governments on planet Earth that claimed to be communist. I am unaware of any republic thus far that has even advertised itself as "libertarian"."
    There has been one that didn't bother to claim an ideology, but which was pretty damn near "libertarian", and should have made the world take notice:

    "Some of us just write about libertarian ideas. This guy actually made them public policy for millions."
    https://fee.org/articles/the-
    man-behind-the-hong-kong-miracle/

  • fdog50||

    He's worse than a Communist, he's an Argentine.

  • FlameCCT||

    Communist, Democratic-Socialist, Progressive; no difference!

  • I can't even||

    Somewhere else today I read:

    "Democrats today have far more in common with Lee Harvey Oswald than JFK."

  • John||

    Pretty much. If you look at the substance of JFK's administration, it is not that different from Trump's. Sixty years ago, Trump would have been a Democrat. Indeed, most of the country and its elected officials were. Then the hard left took over the Democratic Party. Somehow, crazy, angry and stupid has driven a lot of people away from the party. Who knew?

  • Cathy L||

    Trump was a Democrat much more recently than 60 years ago. More like 60 months ago.

  • John||

    He did business in New York City. Being a Democrat is a cost of doing business there.

    Beyond that, I don't think Trump is committed to either party. It amazes me how political people and the media don't understand why that is one of the most appealing parts of him to his supporters. Watching his GOP opponents spend 2016 claiming he wasn't a "real Republican" or a "real conservative" thinking that was going to convince anyone not to vote for him was high comedy. They really didn't understand that most people in this country can't stand ideologues of any sort and really don't give a shit about either political party. Claiming he wasn't really a Republican was making the case for him.

  • Curly4||

    What both parties did not understand the US needed someone who IS NOT either a republican or a democrat. We the citizens of the US have had a democrat or a republican for far to long and see what it brought the US to. Now maybe Trump will be able to repair the damage they have done. That may depend on more of the republicans, for I know that the democrats will not, support Trump's actions instead of openly opposing him.

  • Don't look at me.||

    Plus, we had an ass-full of Clintons and Bushes for long enough.

  • Cathy L||

    Pretty sure Trump's opponents understand that he's an unprincipled opportunist appealing to bass populism.

  • Cathy L||

    (*base)

  • livelikearefugee||

    I'd like him a lot better if he just stuck to appealing to bass. I'd much rather see him on a fishing show than in the white house.

  • Ricardo Vacilon||

    No, bass. There are more bassi than tenors on the average, so it makes sense to go after the bassi vote.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    At least throw a few bones to the mezzo sopranos.

  • John||

    Cathy, principled is just a polite way of saying "fanatic" in many cases. I am always amazed at how many people wax poetic about their principles and how they stick to them like it makes them sound smart. It doesn't. It makes you sound like an earnest 8th grader. Principles are the easy part. Any idiot can come up with a set of principles and mindlessly apply them to every situation consequences be damned. What is hard is living in the real world where principles have their limits and conflict to create moral dilemmas. That is what real life is and the problems that adults face. Children and morons sit around and appeal to "principles" as if that is some kind of meaningful answer in most cases. If principles answered the question, it wouldn't be a problem.

  • John||

    You know who else appealed to bass populism?

    These guys?

    http://www.wideopenspaces.com/.....rs-time-2/

  • livelikearefugee||

    That first guy could be Trump's brother. That is, if he wasn't already dead.

  • John||

    I also laugh when people throw around the term "populism". What does that even mean? It does have a technical meaning, which is the appeal to the populace based on the notion that they are being oppressed by shadowy and unknown forces. But, the people using the term almost never mean that. It is instead, just an all-purpose insult for anyone who appeals to people the speaker doesn't like or to interests other than the speaker. It is 21st Century code for "my God that guy wants to give people a voice in their government and expects governments to act in the best interests of their voters instead of out of some fanatical allegiance to an ideology or set of all-important 'principles, which of course always happen to benefit the speaker'".

  • I can't even||

    I assume it comes from the "Populares" who represented the lower classes during the Roman Republic. They probably aren't well regarded since they kicked off the civil war then supported Caesar's take over.

  • Rock Lobster||

    Some of his opponents, sure. Progressives, however, just understand that he isn't a progressive and is therefore Hitler. Jeb Bush would've been Hitler, as well.

  • perlchpr||

    They called Romney a Nazi. Hell, they probably called Dole a Nazi too.

    They pretty much just used that insult right up. "Yeah, yeah, I get it, anyone you dislike is Hitler. Whatever."

  • Nuwanda||

    I can confirm this. I once caught a bass and it was a very popular. But it wasn't base.

  • Sevo||

    "Pretty sure Trump's opponents understand that he's an unprincipled opportunist appealing to bass populism."

    Could well be, but he's hit more libertarian ON buttons than the last 6 POTUS put together.

  • damikesc||

    Mind you, your party is going insane over the most moderate Republican they will have on almost every single social issue ever.

    When people see how insane y'all act about this, it makes the whole "We shouldn't elect absolutists" a bit hard to support.

    You will never have a Republican as willing to compromise on so many issues as Trump.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    Who is this "you" you're jabbering about?

    Are you under the delusion that we're Republicans here?

  • Pro Libertate||

    By bass populism, I assume you're using shorthand for Bass-O-Matic?

    Spokesman: How many times has this happened to you? You have a bass, and you're trying to find an exciting new way to prepare it for the dinner table. You could scale the bass, remove the bass' tail, head and bones, and serve the fish as you would any other fish dinner. But why bother, now that you can use Rovco's amazing new kitchen tool, the Super Bass-o-Matic '76. Yes, fish-eaters, the days of troublesome scaling, cutting and gutting are over, because Super Bass-o-Matic '76 is the tool that lets you use the bass with no fish waste, and without scaling, cutting or gutting.

    Here's how it works: Catch a bass, remove the hook, and drop the bass - that's the whole bass - into the Super Bass-o-Matic '76. [ drops the bass into the blender ] Now, adjust the control dial so that the bass is blended just the way you like it. [ turns blender on and grinds it to a pulp ] Yes, it's that simple!

  • Aloysious||

    Boy am I embarrassed. I thought you all were talking about Big Mouth Billy Bass .

  • livelikearefugee||

    A giant technological advance for civilization.

  • BSL1||

    But is it a floor wax, or a dessert topping?

  • JWatts||

    "Trump was a Democrat much more recently than 60 years ago. More like 60 months ago."

    Speaking to the point, Trump would have been a middle of the road Democrat in the 1980's and 1990's. It's in the last 20 years that the Democrat party has steadily moved to the Right. Trump is hardly the only Democrat who's now outside the boundaries of the acceptable party.

  • Harvard||

    I disagree. The party went batshit over Viet Nam and turned ever harder to uber batshit. Zell Miller and Scoop Jackson were moderate Democrats and both would be considered well right of Ryan, McConnell and McCain today.

  • FlameCCT||

    Slight correction: "...Then the Progressives took over the Democratic Party..."

  • Zeb||

    There is one clear religious test for Supreme Court justices: you have to be Catholic or Jewish. So she passes.

    On a slightly more serious note, while it is not a good thing to reject (or promote) a candidate simply because they belong (or don't belong) to a particular religious group, examining their personal religious beliefs and how they influence their legal reasoning does seem like a good idea.

  • John||

    Sure it does. I don't think that there is anything wrong with asking someone how if at all their religious beliefs form their judicial opinions. I think that the person should be taken at their word whatever it is. I do not think they should have to prove that they are not swayed by religious beliefs. And I don't think there is anything necessarily wrong with religious values influencing their decisions.

    All of that assumes an intelligent and reasonable conversation about the issue. That is unlikely to happen. Instead, it will be a bunch of "prove you are not taking orders from the Vatican to overturn Roe v. Wade" kind of nonsense.

  • Zeb||

    I agree. When religion is brought up it is not likely to be in a thoughtful or intelligent way.

    It's clear that Catholics, Jews and everyone else are capable of having all kinds of political and legal views. So it's how the individual applies their beliefs that matters.

  • Just Say'n||

    Good thing the founders didn't agree. Religious tests will be applied as well as hate speech laws

  • Just Say'n||

    Catholics today, Muslims tomorrow, and atheists next week

  • Zeb||

    See, I don't think it's like that at this point. No one is rejecting Catholics as a group. There are plenty of liberal Catholics that Democrats would love on the court (including some that are already there). Catholics are a very diverse group politically (and in pretty much every way). So it's about an individuals beliefs. Now maybe personal beliefs like that should be off the table, but that's a different question. If someone believes that Roe V. Wade is a wrong (or correct) decision, does the Senate need to know what their personal feelings on abortion are, whether religiously motivated or not? Maybe not, but the Senators can ask.

  • Just Say'n||

    Sure, it may not be driven by bigotry in terms of Catholics as a whole, but I don't think that holds true for Muslims who are more foreign to Americans. But the only way to prevent unfair treatment of one is to forbid unfair treatment of all.

  • Zeb||

    But the only way to prevent unfair treatment of one is to forbid unfair treatment of all.

    That may be true. But I think that forbidding Senators from pursuing certain lines of questioning presents other significant constitutional problems. As far as I can tell, the only thing the Constitution forbids is requiring membership in a certain religion or forbidding members of certain religions from serving.

    The big problem, as with free speech, I think, is that tolerance is a declining value.

  • John||

    I don't think asking someone to explain how their religious values color their jurisprudence is a religious test. Again, there is nothing wrong with it doing so. But there is also nothing wrong with asking for a nominee to explain how.

  • Zeb||

    I'm with John on this. Asking about beliefs isn't a religious test. Especially if a person is public about their beliefs and proclaim them to be fundamental to how they behave in the world, it's quite relevant and it would be stupid not to ask about it. It's not as if there aren't plenty of examples of Judges inappropriately injecting their own religious beliefs into their rulings.

    Not that I expect a lot of intelligent questions about religious belief from the Senate.

  • BYODB||

    I'd agree.

    The thing that bothers me is that they don't limit their questioning to their legal opinions, but couch it in terms of the persons religion which is utterly unnecessary.

    You don't need to know the persons religion to ask about their views on case law, precedent, or anything else unless you have a set of preconceptions in your head that you want to apply to someone without actually understanding their true position.

    And it's unlike being a communist, capitalist, or other and being asked about it since there is no real limitation in asking about those. There is such a rule against religious tests for office, and asking questions about a persons religion in a confirmation hearing is hard to tell apart from a religious test for office.

    They aren't necessarily the same, but again there isn't much point in even asking about religion unless the persons faith somehow disqualifies them based purely on it's label.

  • Just Say'n||

    Agreed, BYODB

  • EscherEnigma||

    If conservative Christians don't want people to ask if they can compartmentalize their religion away from their work, they should probably stop arguing in court that they cannot compartmentalize their religion away from their work.

  • Just Say'n||

    You should probably stop being a bigot and insisting that the constitution be violated. That would work better

  • EscherEnigma||

    I have insisted nothing. I have, at worst, been unsympathetic.

  • Just Say'n||

    Unsympathetic to a constitutional protection that protects those of faith and those without. If Republicans questioned a judge's atheism would that be OK? Because you seem to suggest it is.

    And I apologize if I misconstrued your intentions

  • Paloma||

    You think Pope Francis would want to overturn Roe v Wade?

  • EscherEnigma||

    The Catholic Church has publicly opposed every "privacy rights" decision going back to Griswald. It has opposed birth control as disease-prevention (see: condoms and AIDS) and abortion *even* to save the life of the mother (there was a particularly infamous case from Ireland a few years back).

    So sure, it's *possible* he disagrees with the Church's official stance. But there is no reason to think so.

    All of which is entirely irrelevant, as what matters is the views of Trump's nominee (whoever that is) and not Francis or the Vatican.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I demand a Methodist justice!

  • RoyMo||

    Catholic bashing just makes Catholic voters vote affiliation over morality. Since other than abortion Catholic statist morality is closer to the Democrats than to Republicans it only helps Republicans. Nobody votes Democratic anymore because they aren't anti Catholic enough, and since plenty of Catholics don't vote Republican because they remember the Republicans anti Catholic history, it doesn't profit the Democrats to appear anti Catholic.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    Yep, Willett would definitely have been the best choice, but unfortunately he's not one of the finalists. Maybe next time.

    The ugly, hateful old Mensheviks in the democratic caucus have made it clear that they're going to virulently oppose whoever the nominee is.

    But it doesn't matter because Joe Manchin and Joe Donnelly are going to vote 'Yes' for Barrett, and probably for whoever the nominee is if it's not her (which would probably be Kavanaugh).

  • John||

    Trump choosing Willett, a guy who is also famous for Tweeting a lot, would have been awesome. Willet would make a great Justice. It is a shame he won't get it. But hopefully whoever does will be acceptable and not another Suiter or Justice Penaltax.

  • damikesc||

    The press thinks he's not serious enough because he doesn't tweet idiocy like Jim Acosta does.

  • Curly4||

    Yes the democrats will oppose whomever Trump nominate even it the candidate was God himself.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    If we're going to consider fictional candidates, what about this guy?

  • Zeb||

    So, the Reverend is an atheist?

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Agnostic. Atheism is no better (or perhaps scantly better) than organized religion.

  • soldiermedic76||

    Wrong, a true agnostic doesn't know of God does or doesn't exist, e.g. they would never label God a fictional character. Once again you show your ignorance.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    It seems safe to observe that the male "capital g" god of common understanding is a fictional character. If a god exists, the likelihood that such a god has any association with a current organized religion is remote. I therefore am comfortable referring to Curly4's "God" as a work of fiction.

  • soldiermedic76||

    Do you have any proof that it is fictional?Other than your own bias? Assertions are not facts. It is a completely u testable hypothesis. You can neither prove nor disproven the existence of God not can you, with any evidence, state that the Judeo-Christian God does or does not exist. To attempt to pass that assertion off as fact is simply sophomoric. Once again you attempt to pass your own bias off as some sort of enlightenment, however, everyone sees it for what it is... Purr Bullshit! You tend to be impressed with your own lukewarm intelligence, however, you lack the true depth of thought required for an actual intellectual.

  • Rock Lobster||

    Especially if the candidate was God himself. Besides, every woke person knows that God is Hitler.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Who says Willett is not a finalist?

    This is the media passing a wishlist and recruiting freakout as the plan that Trump has.

    We all know that the media has zero idea what Trump will do.

  • Longtobefree||

    Can the supremes overturn a precedent if it is based on a made up right to advance apolitical point of view?

  • Eddy||

    "If Amy Coney Barrett gets the nomination to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, I look forward to the Senate Judiciary Committee questioning her about these fundamental matters of legal theory and constitutional interpretation."

    HA HA HA HA...wait, you're serious?

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    The only important issue is his: what about Hoe vs. Shade?

  • Don't look at me.||

    Moe vs Shemp?

  • John||

    Starting with Wickard, the Progressives spent the last 70 years of the 20th Century totally destroying Supreme Court Precedent and any allegiance by the court to the actual substance of the Constitution and the intent of its drafters. Now suddenly after losing control of the courts, they are all about precedent and stare decisis. And Root takes them seriously.

  • Tony||

    Why can't we get back to the laissez-faire Christian theocracy the Constitution intended!

  • John||

    That doesn't even make sense as an insult.

  • Tony||

    It's a commentary on how the constitution doesn't say anything about the type of national economy we're supposed to have, and it explicitly forbids religious law of any flavor.

    But like any run-of-the-mill mendacious old Republicunt, you think the creator of the cosmos Himself hath declared that taxes should be low on billionaires and the first amendment is about your right to shit on gay people.

  • Zeb||

    Where are you getting the God shit from? Abortion isn't the only thing in the world to care about. The court has done a lot of shit to get around the clear text of the constitution in many other areas. And the conservative wing is hardly blameless there either.

  • BYODB||

    ^ This. It's amazing that the court, just as a simple example, managed to class certain colors of people as inhuman in order to get around the simple language of Constitution making it clear that everyone had the same rights.

    On a purely rational reading of the Constitution, that was unconstitutional. They had to fiddle with the definition of what is human to arrive there.

  • damikesc||

    It's a commentary on how the constitution doesn't say anything about the type of national economy we're supposed to have, and it explicitly forbids religious law of any flavor.

    ...but stare decisis is vital? Is that correct?

    And what religious laws has anybody advocated? I don't see any demands that you have to give money to churches outside of the not-scientific "environmental" movement.

  • Brian||

    This is from the people who find a right to abortion in the bill of rights, but not drugs, and no right to bear arms to speak of.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    "But like any run-of-the-mill mendacious old Republicunt, you think the creator of the cosmos Himself hath declared that taxes should be low on billionaires and the first amendment is about your right to shit on gay people."

    Ok, faggot (I say faggot not as a pejorative towards gays in general, just to attack you), let's get a few things straight (no pun intended). Taxes should be no higher or lower as the constitution specifies equal protection under the law, not singling out and punishing particular group based on whatever you feel like.

    As far as 'shitting on gay people', yes, the first amendment allows for people to use their speech in that manner just as you may use yours to insult good conservatives and republicans. The rest of us may also use OUR speech to shout you down as a completely worthless Leninist moron.

    Does that clear it up for you?

  • Jack Klompus Magic Ink||

    You're a retarded fucking douchebag.

  • MJBinAL||

    Dude, it's TONY!

  • Curly4||

    Judge Amy Coney Barrett a great judge but I am concerned that her strong Catholic roots may color her judgement if a law favoring religion was passed. The US should not pass a law favoring one segment of religion over another, law such as Sunday closing which is a religious law favoring those who worship on Sunday over any religion that has another day of worship.

  • Eddy||

    IIRC it was Felix Frankfurter who got Chief Justice Warren to uphold Sunday closing laws - Warren figured that if there was anything wrong with the law then Frankfurter, being Jewish, would object. Frankfurter meanwhile was for near-masochistic judicial restraint so he wanted the law upheld, as it was.

  • RoyMo||

    A lot of American Sunday Blue laws were created and sustained for so long because Catholics like to enjoy themselves on Sunday, so of all the Catholic things for a libertarian to legitimately object to, Sabbatarianism is probably not the one to go for.

  • Paloma||

    When has the US federal government passed such a law?

  • BSL1||

    I am not aware of a federal law requiring businesses to close on Sunday. Can someone enlighten me on which federal law that might be?

  • Tony||

    If only she were yet another tediously devout Catholic who somehow made it all the way through academia still believing in sky fairies. What about the fact that she's reportedly in a freaking cult?

  • MJBinAL||

    Well Tony, which is it? A fact, or just reported?

    And if anyone could be an authority on tedious, you would have to be the one, Tony.

  • MJBinAL||

    Tony,

    Your link leads to a multilocation evangelical christian church site. Is that what a cult looks like to you?

    You are just another bigot.

  • Tony||

    All religions look like cults to me. That one looks particularly culty.

  • John||

    All religions look like cults to me.

    That is because you are an idiot Tony. Stop being proud of it.

  • Tony||

    What is Christianity but literally a cult of Jesus?

  • Harvard||

    How long will you rail against God for making you a fairy? It's time to let it go.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Tony, your only religion is the rectum of young teenage boys, you goddamn chickenhawk.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    There's more reporting on this particular cult -- seems not so bad as Opus Dei, but that's a scant qualification -- elsewhere, you superstitious rube.

    Is Opus Dei a cult, MJB?

  • retiredfire||

    The answer would depend on one's definition of the word "cult".
    But, since you commies have your own definitions of words, that don't necessarily conform to convention, we'll give your answer all the consideration it is due.

  • Nardz||

    "we'll give your answer all the consideration it is due."

    Didn't read it

  • damikesc||

    Well, Catholicism is slightly more scientifically vigorous than environmentalism.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    For those who think superstition is science, good point. For everyone else . . .

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    You just described progressives. AGW is a dogmatic cult founded on feelz, Marx, and bad/doctored math.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    It is just like Lysenkoism, as Chris Morton wrote.

  • RoyMo||

    They allow Lutherans in?

  • BYODB||


    A committed Catholic who has written frequently about the intersection of faith and law, Barrett was questioned by Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) about whether her religion would prevent her from serving as an impartial jurist. "The dogma lives loudly within you, and that's of concern when you come to big issues that people have fought for for years in this country," Feinstein said to the nominee.


    Ah, yes. A religious test for office. Seems legit by plenty of progressives, yes?

  • Zeb||

    Well, I don't see why religious affiliation should be treated differently from being a member of any other group. I don't see how it's in any way unreasonable to ask questions like that of someone who says that their faith is very important to how they operate in the world.

    A religious test would be saying "you are Catholic, so I won't vote for you". Asking about an individual's beliefs and how they affect their judgements is something that should happen in hearings. Feinstein's question is silly and over-braod, but it shouldn't be off-limits or frowned upon to ask about religious beliefs.

  • BYODB||


    I don't see how it's in any way unreasonable to ask questions like that of someone who says that their faith is very important to how they operate in the world.

    Simply put, it's because the person's religion isn't what's being discussed it's their views on certain issues. It isn't necessary to ask about the persons religious views when asking how they might rule on this or that, and there's no rule that says that the person being asked questions can't voluntarily mention that one of their reasons might be their religion.

    A religious test would be saying "you are Catholic, so I won't vote for you".

    Absolutely correct. The idea was to make sure that being a particular religion wasn't a requirement for office, however on the flip side of that removing someone for consideration purely on the basis of not being religious is in the same vein and is essentially what's being attempted here.

  • BYODB||

    Whoops, I screwed that last bit up:

    ...removing someone for consideration purely on the basis of being religious is in the same vein and is essentially what's being attempted here.

  • Zeb||

    OK, you make a fair distinction there. Bringing up the religion itself isn't necessary or particularly productive. But when dealing with a devoutly religious person, it's pretty hard to avoid the subject.

  • BYODB||


    But when dealing with a devoutly religious person, it's pretty hard to avoid the subject.

    I would also agree there. When dealing with a devoutly religious person inevitably they would be forced to rely on it in a discussion thus making is a perfectly valid point of contention. My problem is the state being the one to bring it up.

    Functionally speaking, of course, it's sort of semantic since there are plenty of leading questions that would amount to the same thing but it would at least give the person questioned the ability to rely on other justifications as well.

    I have nothing against weeding out nut job religious people from office, merely that they should be the one's to hang themselves by being given enough rope to do so.

  • Paloma||

    Clarence Thomas, a Catholic, was educated by Jesuits, as were Fidel Castro and Pope Francis. Doesn't seem to make him a leftist.

  • Nardz||

    "The dogma lives loudly within you, and that's of concern"

  • retiredfire||

    Maybe the farce of a religion being granted Constitutional protections, despite tenets that clearly separate it from what is normally considered a religion - like death to infidels, apostates, and many others who violate its rules - the Nazis should declare their ideology, a religion.
    Say that Hitler is as much a prophet as was Mohammed, or L. Ron Hubbard.
    Have all of them threaten Congress with lawsuits, unless it is granted religious status.
    It worked for scientology.
    Once we begin to separate religion, as described as a group, whose sole ideology is of personal worship of a deity, from pseudo religions that want to force its beliefs, and adherence to its tenets, on everyone, with death being the alternative. Then we can have a discussion about how religion should be included in judicial decision-making.

  • John||

    I think people confuse there being a law with when a legislator is a jerk or just doesn't like someone's religion. The prohibition against religious tests means the government can't pass a law saying "no Catholics on the bench". It does not mean Senator Blow can't vote against someone for the bench because he hates Catholics. The second is not a religious test. It is an act of discrimination on Blow's part. It may suck and make Blow an asshole but it is not something that the Constitution prohibits.

  • BYODB||

    It becomes an issue any time religion is brought up in confirmation hearings because, notably, one can not be sure if a religious test is occurring unless the person being questioned brings it up themselves.

    How can you be sure that a religious test isn't occurring, by law or otherwise, when religious questions are being asked in the hearings themselves?

    I don't disagree with the fact that your interpretation is the current one, but I disagree with that interpretation because a religious test doesn't necessarily need to be by law. It can occur just as easily if, say, the legislature was overwhelmingly catholic and simply decided not to confirm anyone who was not catholic. That is still a religious test, if not a test that is explicitly written down.

    Obviously, this is an idealistic view on my part and probably not possible in any perfect form. Asking legislatures to refrain from even mentioning religion unless the person being questioned mentions it is a simple resolution that avoids at least some of the appearance of a religious test for office.

  • John||

    I don't know how you could read the ban on religious tests the way you claim and have it be meaningful without being able to read people's minds. At best you just get Blow to lie and come up with some subterfuge for his vote. I don't think there is any way the framers intended to prohibit discrimination by individual Senators. They meant it as a prohibition against laws. Any other interpretation is just unworkable and ultimately meaningless.

  • BYODB||

    I admitted above that it's almost certainly an idealistic point of view that I have here, and that functionally it wouldn't do much. It simply rankles me that Senators have the gall to outright question someone's fitness for office based on nothing more than their religion.

    I'm pretty sure the framers also didn't intend for atheism or agnosticism to be a requirement to hold office either, which is functionally what this type of behavior is intended to result in.

  • Eddy||

    I'm sure nobody would object if a Senator asked a nominee, "do you believe that we are endowed by our creater with certain inalienable rights, and that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?"

    If a nominee's religion is fair game, that would be an obvious question to ask.

  • Eddy||

    Creator

  • Eddy||

    Such a question might have kept Justice Holmes off the court.

  • Eddy||

    Talk about a judge who allowed himself to be influenced by his (non) religious opinions!

  • BYODB||

    It is an observation I've made more than a few times that the actual underpinning of American law and the constitution itself are products of a particular religious view. Indeed, the very notion of rights themselves is thought to originate with a creator.

    Without a creator, where do rights flow from? Well, naturally they flow from the state and this is perfectly represented by the Positive Rights interpretation.

    If God is dead, than so too are your 'inalienable' rights.

    Notably, it's generally accepted the Descartes was wrong which makes it confusing that the same isn't noted in terms of natural rights.

    I choose to believe in natural rights, even while I'm an agnostic, but those who view rights in the negative interpretation have some explaining to do if they are not religious.

  • EscherEnigma||

    "Without a creator, where do rights flow from?"
    The barrel of a gun.

    And ultimately, wherever you think they "really" come from, it's that gun that's going to make it meaningful. And if the world incentives a "fake" right, but it's willing to assert and defend it with that gun? Then regardless of how you feel, it's effectively as "real" as the ones to like.

    I don't know why libertarians pretend confusion on this point.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Well, confusion beyond that engineered by my autocorrect.

  • sparkstable||

    I don't think libertarians are confused on this part. It's actually just two things. One, what rights do we have? A right being violated does not mean it doesn't exist. Two, what are the different ways and likelihood that rights will be violated? Well... with guns and often. It is a statement about what we ought to do in the first case, something by which to judge the answer to the second question of what DO we do.

  • EscherEnigma||

    A right being violated does not mean that it doesn't exist. But it does mean it's not "natural" or "inalienable". It does mean that it is granted by, and taken away by, your fellow man.

    Which is why I find the question of "where do rights flow from" to be a tediously mendacious question. Your rights flow from people willing to arrange to for them. No more. No less.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    The creator need not be a fictional, supernatural fantasy being.

    Why not nature?

    Observing that people who choose reason over superstition 'have some explaining to do' is silly.

  • Paloma||

    See if they can recite the Lord's Prayer backwards! That should eliminate them.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    It simply rankles me that Senators have the gall to outright question someone's fitness for office based on nothing more than their religion.

    The Scientologists, Satanists, and Cannibalistic Pagans endorse your sentiment.

    The agnostics who get called "godless commies" by conservative Christians wonder which planet you inhabit.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    "It may suck and make Blow an asshole"

    These euphemisms

  • King's Ransom||

    What's good for the goose is good for the gander I say. As a private citizen and employer I cannot ask a candidate what religion they subscribe to along with a myriad of other inane govt imposed "protections"...so Senator fuckface should live by them same rules...no credit checks either.

  • LarryA||

    "The dogma lives loudly within you, and that's of concern when you come to big issues that people have fought for for years in this country," Feinstein said to the nominee.

    And Feinstein has been singing from the same dogma since 1992.

  • BenjaminTheDonkey||

    If Roe were overturned, it would demotivate half the GOP base. The value of the issue is keeping it forever out of reach. Once it was overturned for 20 years, there would be an avalanche of young Democrats and Socialists who would've otherwise been aborted flooding the polling booths. She might have theological convictions, but is she really devoid of strategic thinking skills? Political theater needs Roe v. Wade as an issue, if she won't flip on the issue, another "conservative" justice will just to keep the narrative going.

  • Eddy||

    Prolifers already know how cynical the Republican Party leadership is about the abortion issue.

    That's why God invented primary elections.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    That's the sort of thinking, by political consultants, that has had the GOP running a bait and switch operation for at least a generation, maybe two.

    The alternative perspective is that not delivering on your promises, when you manifestly have gained the power to do so,, demotivates your supporters, by proving to them that you're lying whenever you say something they like.

    Whereas delivering on promises motivates your supporters, by making them think maybe you're honestly on their side.

    I think the logic you're describing actually originated as an effort to rationalize not delivering on promises the Republican establishment didn't WANT to fulfill. It isn't really logical, it's just an excuse.

  • sparkstable||

    And seeing how Trump is doing... I think your claim of keeping promises being more politically valuable is correct.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    Nominating a woman would drive the left absolutely crazy. You'll hear so much sexism from the talking heads in the media.

    Also she'll be the most attractive justice ever. Might give Clarence Thomas a heart attack.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    I should add that Amul Thapar would also be epic trolling of the left.

  • The Last American Hero||

    They're keeping that one for when RGB keels over.

  • Rock Lobster||

    It would be quite a sight to see Elizabeth Warren confronted by a real Indian.

  • Nardz||

    Google Sam Morningstar.

    His work on Quora, as well, is quite stellar.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Justice Ann Coulter has a nice ring to it.

  • BSL1||

    The left would just claim she's not really a woman, because of what she believes. Kind of like they do with Clarence Thomas, saying he's not really black.

  • JP88||

    "I look forward to the Senate Judiciary Committee questioning her about these fundamental matters of legal theory and constitutional interpretation."

    This made me laugh out loud. They won't ask her actual, meaningful questions!

    What do you mean by economic liberty? If you are talking about Raich v. Gonzalez, I am with you 100%. Bad decision, maybe the worst of Scalia's career. That's why Justice Thomas is my man.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    "In other words, would it be appropriate for a living constitutionalist Court to overturn a case like District of Columbia v. Heller because the later Court disagreed with the Heller majority's originalist methodology?"

    Well, no, but only because a living constitutionalist Court would be pulling the new 'meaning' out of it's own ass. Not because overturning old wrong precedents, like Dredd Scott, or the Slaugherhouse cases, is wrong in principle.

  • John C. Randolph||

    If she doesn't recognize my right to do business without government interference as long as I'm not hurting anyone, she can go fuck herself right along with Fineswine.

    -jcr

  • Eddy||

    Can you imagine Feinstein and Schumer giving her a had time about economic liberties? Maybe if "economic liberties" means court-mandated government services.

  • perlchpr||

    I know, right? I'm not certain I would put either of them directly at the top of the list of "congressmen most hostile to economic liberty", but they'd definitely be in the top ten.

  • EscherEnigma||

    I'm not sure you'd find any potential Justice that would sign on to ruling that the CRA, FHA, ADA, and others are unconstitutional.

  • The Last American Hero||

    Republican appointed SC justice retires, is replaced by a Republican appointee with approval by a Republican Senate. 5-4 majority becomes 5-4 majority.

    People lose their minds. The End Times are truly upon us.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    To be fair, Kennedy voted with lefties justices sometimes on lefty unconstitutional positions.

    I dont see Gorsuch ever doing that.

    I would bet that Trump picks another justice who will never do that either.

    Furthermore, the lefties were hoping that Trump would have mercy on them because Breyer and RBG will need replacement during trump's 8 years as president.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    You guys seem convinced there are enough uneducated, broadly intolerant, disaffected, stale-thinking yahoos to keep Trump afloat for another term, or that he will be able to pull off another double bank shot.

    I do not see the evidence.

    But I recognize that faith is enough for the gullible.

  • Rock Lobster||

    Rev, it's not that Trump or the Republicans are paragons of libertarian virtue; clearly, they're not. It's just that by comparison, the Democrats are so spectacularly awful on the subject. And the failure of Democratic machine to drag HRC across the finish line ahead of Trump has driven the left to double down on their collectivist, SJW, politically correct nonsense.

    The regular people you deride as unenlightened, bigoted rubes notice this, and they don't particularly like being insulted or threatened, either.

    Good luck with that strategy.

  • Tony||

    They both overlap in some places, but not the same places. Just depends on what your priorities are, and what you're willing to give up for them. Republicans are evil, but believe in tax cuts. (That's about it.) They win!

  • Rock Lobster||

    "They both overlap in some places, but not the same places."

    Tony, this makes absolutely no sense. Your thoughts are pretty disorganized, even by prog standards.

    "Republicans are evil..."

    Yeah... as an argument, that doesn't seem to be working very well anymore. Unfortunately, it seems like that's all the Democrats have to contribute to the discussion. I guess that's why they're trying by and large to shut any rational debate down.

    But you do you, Tony. Bless your heart!

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    The regular people you deride.


    Plenty of regular people manage to be educated, tolerant, decent, reasoning, accomplished, progress-preferring people who live in strong, modern communities.
  • Rock Lobster||

    Again, good luck with that strategy.

    Carry on, cling-on.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    My strategy is to prefer progress and to oppose backwardness, ignorance, superstition, intolerance, dogma, and insularity. That strategy has worked in America throughout my lifetime -- on issues ranging from racism to prayer in schools, from gay-bashing to environmentalism, from abusive policing to abortion, from creationism in science classes to voter suppression, and I expect it to continue to work, much to the sweet aggravation of conservatives and faux libertarians, who will continue to object to science, reason, inclusivity, education, and tolerance.

    Carry on, clingers.

  • Rock Lobster||

    "My strategy is to prefer progress..."

    Obviously, although this begs the question, progress toward what exactly? Certainly not a society with a smaller, less active, less powerful government.

    And since you are such an ardent advocate for state mediated "solutions" to the grab bag of vague bugaboos and activist-friendly issues you list--"solutions" you apparently believe can be so easily and effectively imposed without regard to the damage done in the process to individual liberty and personal responsibility--you ought to come right out and forthrightly declare that you are a proud progressive.

    On that note, I can't help but notice a few omissions in your exhaustive list of preferences, chiefly any mention of freedom or sovereignty of the individual. That you could not be bothered to include them is telling, and this isn't an oversight on your part. Your statement is an obfuscation, but then, there is no mention of honesty in your list either.

    In short, good Rev, the "L" in your name doesn't stand for "libertarian," as you claim. It stands for liar. Deception and dissembling, at which you are very skilled, are hallmarks of the left. I prefer the direct, libertarian approach.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Stale-thinking, intolerant right-wingers seem to dislike my positions.

    I am content.

  • Rock Lobster||

    "I am content." That, and ad-hominem insults are all you have left.

    I rest my case.

  • Jack Klompus Magic Ink||

    Actually most people just think you're a twat.

  • Nardz||

    In fairness, the "L" could also stand for "low T"

    Might explain his fanatic insecurity

  • wreckinball||

    The tolerance part seems to be a little lacking. Like tolerating opposing views.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    One of the anti-Barret talking points on the left suggests she's weak on Miranda. Anybody have any credible information with what exactly they are referencing?

  • JayJayTheTooth||

    Hey guys, did you know Judge Willett cited Damon's book Overrulled once?

  • Karl Hungus||

    Any idea on where she's at on 2A? Information seems to be scant.

  • Rock Lobster||

    "Deference to a democratic majority should not supersede a judge's duty to apply clear text," she wrote.

    I haven't really seen anything specific from her on the 2A, either, but this quote from the article seems to speak to that in general terms, at least. I doubt she would be recommended by the Federalist Society if she was given to creative interpretation of the plain text of the Constitution. As for the 2A, anyone who can diagram a sentence and possesses basic honesty knows that "shall not be infringed" means exactly that.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    The 2A is a collective right, giving the people the power to form a militia. In this case, that's the National Guard. Therefore, the 2A gives the government the right to have a military. QED.

    Now, let me show you the right to abortion and privacy in the Bill of Rights...

  • Sevo||

    "The 2A is a collective right, giving the people the power to form a militia."
    Bullshit.
    An assertion is not an argument.

  • Rock Lobster||

    Collective rights are a figment of collectivists' imagination. Any so called "right" that cannot be exercised at the individual level is not a right at all.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The states can form militias. The People also have a right to keep and bear Arms which shall not be infringed.

    The 2nd Amendment mentions both rights.

  • Phos||

    The states can form militias. Ford can make trucks. It does not follow that all militias are state militias, or that all trucks are Fords.

    In the terms of the day, 'the militia' referred to the entire adult able bodied (male) population.

    The Militia Act of 1792, Passed May 8, 1792, providing federal standards for the organization of the Militia.

    An ACT more effectually to provide for the National Defence, by establishing an Uniform Militia throughout the United States.

    I. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective States, resident therein, who is or shall be of age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years (except as is herein after excepted) shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia, by the Captain or Commanding Officer of the company, within whose bounds such citizen shall reside

  • Mickey Rat||

    It is concerning when a Senator seems to be suggesting imposing a religious test for holding high appointments, Senator Feinstein.

  • shane_c||

    "Deference to a democratic majority should not supersede a judge's duty to apply clear text," she wrote.

    That seems like a dig at Randy Barnett too, like she's criticizing his more broad interpretation of the text even though it seems like she's agreeing with him at first.

    I don't think she's going to be the nominee anyhow. I think Trump decided on Kavanaugh a long time ago, maybe even before Kennedy retired figuring he would retire. It's possible he and Kennedy had an sort of informal agreement that Kavanagh would be his pick since he was Kennedy's clerk and out of all the judges on that list he may be one the most likely to be similar to Kennedy. Its probably tempting to pick Amy Barrett because she's a woman and a babe, but I doubt he'll do it. He will also be able to justify not picking her by thinking Ginsburg will retire soon anyhow and he'll have another chance to pick a woman.

  • Sevo||

    "He will also be able to justify not picking her by thinking Ginsburg will retire soon anyhow and he'll have another chance to pick a woman."
    I don't think this is "5D chess", just plain old politics.
    You can make the point that Trump was never elected to office prior to this, but he certainly did 'deal' for the 'votes' in business negotiations and there's no doubt he can see the trade-offs in the nominations.
    It's possible that RBG could live long enough to give the nomination to Trump's successor, but I'm guessing she was sure of the hag's election and prolly waited too long.
    I am not always sorry when a particular individual dies...

  • Brian||

    The funny part about all the religious hysteria is this: leftist democrats and progressives owe practically their entire egalitarian, socialist ideals to Christian concepts of serving others (taking care of the meek, the widows, etc.)

    Basically, they're just atheist/agnostics who haven't figured out anything better to do, just different reasons for doing it.

  • Eddy||

    The progressives are a bit wobbly on 2 Thessalonians 3:10.

  • Brian||

    They've got moral cudgeling down.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    If you are saying that not all Christians are narrow-minded, old-timey bigots and science-denying kooks, good point.

    If you are saying that the religious right does not consist of intolerant, ignorant, authoritarian, backward yahoos, that's daft.

  • Brian||

    Let me try again, since you didn't get it the first time:

    Possibly the only reason communism/socialism could gain a foothold in the USA is the degree to which some Christian zealots hate the concepts of wealth and property ("wealth leads to sin, and can only be dealt with by giving it away and sharing everything! Oh, look: Marx hates wealth, too!")

    Basically, leftist socialism/progressivism is really a very narrow, regressive form of Christian zealotry, trying to pat itself on the back for hating God in concept, even though they still believe and act practically the same, with their own heretics and sins.

    If they could keep going, they might become libertarians, and the largely drop the whole heretic/sinner paradigm completely. But they're only smart enough to doubt the existence of God; they can't actually come up with anything else to do, like quit moralizing on everyone, drop the moral cudgels, and let go. So, instead, we get leftist progressive democrats.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Bible-thumpers can use the Bible to push for everything from slavery to abolition, from focus on the poor to prosperity gospel, from embrace of everyone to dogmatic intolerance.

    I'm not impressed, especially when the thumping is being done by right-wing bigots.

    Choose reason. Every time.

    Especially over sacred ignorance and dogmatic intolerance. Most especially if you are older than 12 or so, and can no longer claim childhood indoctrination as an excuse.

    Choose reason. Be an adult. Or, at least, try.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    I'll see adults choosing adulthood when they stop screaming "burn the witch/heretic/racist/guy who won't bake gay wedding cakes!"

  • wreckinball||

    See the Rev being a liberal has double standards. Forcing someone to bake a cake is OK and reasonable.

  • Praveen R.||

    Christianity doesnt have a monopoly on those values.

  • Mark22||

    Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.): "The dogma lives loudly within you,

    Oh the irony and lack of self awareness! It's precious!

  • Michael Cook||

    If Democrats are going to argue that Amy Barrett doesn't know enough law to be a Supreme Court Justice, but Elena Kagan does, then in meteorological terms they are going for the 500-year lie.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Great. What we need is a mystical papist to force fertile women into the labor of bearing unwanted offspring with total disregard for the Thirteenth Amendment. Republicans passed the Comstock laws via voter supression and prohibited "any drug or medicine, or any article whatever for the prevention of conception, or for causing unlawful abortion"--this included diaphragms and condoms. It also made it a prison offense for a mom to tell her daughter about birth control and established the tradition of book burning for the Third Reich to emulate.
    Why doesn't Reason invite Barrett to debate ethics professor Tara Smith on the ethical standards underlying such laws?

  • vek||

    First and foremost, I'd probably hit it after like 4 or 5 drinks. Not bad for an older broad.

    Second, she can't be any worse than Kennedy. He wasn't an outright leftist, but he was squishy enough on a lot of things that he was the deciding vote in the wrong direction.

    I'm sure anybody Trump picks will be OKAY. I'd obviously like a hardcore right-libertarian type person, but whatevs. At least it's not Hillary who got to pick two justices... We'd literally be getting hate speech laws upheld, 2A destroyed, etc after this appointment.

  • grickm||

    Her concept of "soft stare decisis" should hinge on whether the older decision was a good decision. Two decisions that come to mind are Wickard v. Filburn and National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius. Both decisions involved emanations from penumbras. There is no justification for either decision in the text of the constitution. For those needing a refresher, the former decision held that a man growing wheat on his own property for his own use had an influence on interstate commerce therefore his farming behavior could be regulated by the government. The latter decision held that the government may force private citizens to buy a product from a private company. One could say these decisions confirmed FDR's view that the US and USSR would become more alike with the passage of time.

  • wreckinball||

    She is the best of the three. Any of them would be OK though.

  • Praveen R.||

    The most bangable supreme court justice ever if she gets confirmed.

  • LifeStrategies||

    I've seen that Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) questioning her about whether her religion would prevent her from serving as an impartial jurist are in fact inadmissible.

    Are such questions on religion inadmissible or even illegal?

  • LifeStrategies||

    Wickard was not just "a man growing wheat on his own property for his own use had an influence on interstate commerce therefore his farming behavior could be regulated by the government". It was actually:

    "a man growing wheat on his own property SOLELY for his own use had a SUBSTANTIAL influence on interstate commerce therefore his farming behavior could be regulated by the government"

    Along with Scott Dred, were there any decisions more egregiously biased?

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