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Republican President Donald Trump nominated Republican Judge Barrett to the Supreme Court on September 26, 2020. Waiting in the wings, Barrett was Trump’s runner up in his race to tilt the Supreme Court on key controversial cases when he nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the U,S, Supreme Court on July 9, 2018.

LUMPENPROLETARIAT—The Senate Judicial Committee began its Supreme Court Justice Confirmation Hearings today.  The Republican Party seeks to install Republican Judge and Christian Right favorite Amy   In an unprecedented move, President Trump stands to seat his third Supreme Court Judge.  This will likely tip the scales on the nine-seat w Supreme Court, such that the Republican Party and President Trump will be able to reverse key decisions by taking new controversial cases, which can overturn legal precedents, such as Roe v. Wade, the Affordable Health Care Act, and same-sex marriage rights.  Let’s listen closely and take notes, shall we?

Messina

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Channel:  PBS Newshour [1]
Program:  “The Barrett Confirmation Hearings” [Day 1], link
Date:  Monday, 12 OCT 2020

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BROADCAST NOTES:

(c. 5:30) Drama begins shortly…

Senator Lindsey Graham served as the Senate Judicial Committee Chair.

Ranking member Democrat Senator Feinstein offered a mealy-mouthed opening, with little-to-no forcefulness of opposition to the Trump judicial end run. She seemed more interested in preserving her political legacy, than in mounting a meaningful opposition to the Republican judicial confirmation.

Senator Grassley spoke in favor of the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Senator Durbin spoke against the confirmation of Republican Judge Barett

(c. 1:09:36) Senator Lee spoke again in favor of confirming Republican Judge Barrett.

(c. 40:52) Senator Leahy speaks against the confirmation of Judge Barrett.

snip—

(c. 1:20:54) [TW] Democrat Senator Whitehouse (Rhode Island) spoke against confirming Republican Judge Barrett to the Supreme Court.

(c. 1:31:30) Republican Senator Ted Cruz spoke in favor of confirming Republican Judge Barrett.  He spoke nonchalantly about Barrett’s “impeccable” credentials.  Never mind the broader political consequences to the credibility of the Supreme Court as an institution.   Cruz argued that this Republican move is not unprecedented and cited the three branches checks and balances as reassurance to the public, even as the Republican Party’s agenda is to politically capture the Supreme Court.

Republican Senator Josh Hawley (Missouri) spoke in favor of confirming Republican Judge Barret to the Supreme Court.  His rhetoric smacks of narcissistic abuse, in light ot the facts. But it likely played well to the Republican base.

—snip—

(c. 2:25:22)  Senator Blumenthal(sp?) [TW]

(c. 2:36:46) Republican Senator Tillis spoke in favor of confirming Republican judge Barrett.

(c. 2:43:09) Recess. Very interesting discussion. [TW]

(c. 3:07:25)  A “political correspondent” reported live from the Senate building.  Others joined later.

(c. 3:28:11)  PBS host transitioned back to testimony in progress on the Senate floor.  Senator Hirono began speaking a moment earlier.  Woodruff and guest finished making one last point, as they watched Senator Hirono testifying.

(c. 3:32:35) PBS Host Judy Woodruff interrupted Senator Hirono’s testimony livestream to sign out of the televised broadcast.  Woodruff informed viewers they must go online, if they want to continue observing the hearings.  Never mind the digital divide.

(c. 3:39:10) Republican Senator Joni Ernst from Iowa spoke in favor, arguing against a “super legislature” in the Supreme Court.  Ernst argued against “the left” and its “judicial activism” in the Supreme Court, evidently gaslighting the nation, as the Republican Party proceeds to do just what their blaming “the left” for doing.  Ernst doesn’t even seem to understand the American political spectrum because there is no “leftwing the USA.  She fearmongers against “the left”, but Democrats are centrists.  Socialists and communists were vilified, criminalized, and run aground after WWII.  Ernst even sniped at the “left” accusing Judge Barrett as a “handmaid” in an ominous referenceto The Handmaif Tale right-wing dystopia.

(c. 3:47:40) Democratic Senator Corey Booker spoke against the confirmation of Republican Judge Amy Coney Barrett. 

(c. 4:00:03)  Republican Senator Crapo spoke in favor of the confirmation of Republican Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court. Crapo made a series of straw man arguments, evidently hoping no one would notice.

Crapo bullshit argument number one:  Republicans are railroading this in a legally unprecedented fashion.  Crapo’s take-down of this argument involved listing a number of historical precedents when Supreme Court justices were seated within weeks of the passing of the previous Justice.  Hogwash, he moaned.  Of course, he knows as well as we do, the contention is not about the time between the death and the new confirmation.  The contention is over the ethics of confirming a new justice so close to an election day, when millions of Americans have already voted, and there is a pandemic going on, as such controversial cases are at stake in an already conservative Supreme Court, in terms of the controversial cases. 

Crapo bullshit argument number two. Crapo played some games of semantics around the terminology of the political science term, court packing.  Crapo proceeded to gaslight the nation by claiming the Republican Party agenda is not to fill the Republican Party is not trying to fill the seat with ideologically conservative or right-wing justices.  Crapo seemed to do this by deflecting to the personal character of Judge Barrett, rather than the political character of the Republican Party and its well publicized agenda.

When Crapo did talk about the Republican Party and its political character, he bemoaned that the Democrats had vetoed their earlier “$600 billion covid relief package.”

(c. 4:07:50)  “Judge, let me talk about you,” said Crapo, before Crapo proceeding to once again laud Barrett’s personal character.

Another bullshit argument Crapo made was in his conclusion of celebrating Barrett’s bio.  Crapo waxed poetically about how Barrett is a disciple of the right-wing Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.  Crapo was either unaware, or feigned ignorance, of the fact that being a disciple of another judge makes a candidate less qualified for the Supteme Court, not more, because such a judge would be less independent, by definition.  “She also stated that the judicial philosophy of Antonin Scalia was hers, too. […]  That’s what we need,” he proclaimed triumphantly, a fresh new judge in the mold of Scalia, indeed personally mentored by Scalia. 

(c. 4:11:00)  Democrat Senator Kamala Harris spoke against the confirmation of Republican Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S Supreme Court.  Suspiciously, if comically, as the Democrat Vice Presidential nominee is about to speak, the Republican chair of the Senate Judicial Committee  Mith McConnell struggled with technical difficulties, as Senator Harris sounded like she was in the middle of a Saturday Night Live satire.

(c. 4:21:30) [TW] Republican Senator John Kennedy from Louisiana spoke in favor of the confirmation of Republican Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S Supreme Court.  The Senator from Louisiana definitely turned up the volume and the drama on the Senate floor when he invoked the Democrat Party challenge to the previous Republican Party nomination to the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh.  We recall Kavanaugh became embroiled in scandal stemming from allegations of his youthful indiscretions, when one “Christine Blasey Ford told the Washington Post Mr Kavanaugh had pinned her to a bed and tried to undress her when they were both teenagers.”  That scandal arose in the context of his nomination by President Trump, who himself had to deal with a number of scandals himself.  In one video, he was recorded talking about grabbing women by the pussy.  Evidently, he was unaware such behavior constitutes sexual assault.  Oy vey.

— snip —

(c. 4:3?2:30) [TW] Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn from Tennessee spoke in favor of the confirmation of Republican Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S Supreme Court.

(c. 4:42:30)  Republican Senator Lindsey Graham did some housekeeping, as chair of the Senate Judicial Committee.

(c. 4:45:06)  A shillish Republican Senator interjected  to ask what the obvious term “CDC compliant” means, which Graham ran with to fret about being accused of not testing for covid or wearing a mask and whatnot.  The two engaged in a bit of political theater, which surely played well to the flag-wabing, gun-toting anti-maskers.

(c. 4:45:06)  Grahamspeak

(c. 4:46:21) Republican Senator Todd Young spoke in favor of the confirmation of Republican Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S Supreme Court.

(c. 4:51:02) Republican Senator Mike Braun from Indiana spoke in favor of the confirmation of Republican Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S Supreme Court.  Braun billed her as “a legal tiger that drives a minivan”, from the Midwest not the East Coast, he chided.

Technical difficulties.

4:57:45

(c. 4:59:35) Judge Amy Coney Barrett spoke in favor of her own confirmation to the U.S Supreme Court.

(c. 5:11:50) O’Hara, Barrett’s “recruiter” spoke in favor of the confirmation of Republican Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S Supreme Court. Describing

(c. 5:19:28) Judicial Committee Chair Lindsey Graham gave his closing remarks, concluding Day One of the Amy Coney Barrett Confirmation Hearings.

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[1]  “In 1992, radio broadcaster David Barsamian called the NewsHour “stenographers to power,” accusing them and other American news media of having a pro-establishment bias.”

“In October 2006 the media criticism group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) accused the NewsHour of lacking balance, diversity, and viewpoints of the general public, and for presenting corporate viewpoints. FAIR found that the NewsHour‘s guest list from October 2005 to March 2006 had Republicans outnumbering Democrats 2–1, and minorities accounting for 15 percent of U.S.-based sources. FAIR also protested in 1995 when Liberty Media purchased a majority of the program, citing Liberty’s majority owner, John Malone, for his “Machiavellian business tactics” and right-wing sentiments.”

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[16 OCT 2020]

[Last modified on 16 OCT 2020 at 23:35 PDT]