Justice Amy Coney Barrett, the newest member of the U.S. Supreme Court whose nomination was rammed through the Senate by then-Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, on Sunday told guests invited to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the McConnell Center at the University of Louisville, “My goal today is to convince you that this court is not comprised of a bunch of partisan hacks.”
She was roundly criticized and mocked for that claim, which was reported by the Louisville Courier Journal.
Barrett was nominated immediately after liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg‘s death, before she had even been buried. She was confirmed one week before the November 2020 election in a 52-48 vote, entirely on party lines, and sworn in the very next day, all thanks to the efforts of Senator Mitch McConnell. McConnell in 2016 infamously blocked President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, from even getting a committee hearing, then pushed through Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh before Barrett’s nomination.
Here’s Senator McConnell celebrating Barrett’s confirmation, which indeed was on former U.S. Secretary of State and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s birthday:
McConnell: “It was a wonderful birthday present for Hillary Clinton to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court…” pic.twitter.com/CIjsKCH270
— The Daily Wire (@realDailyWire) October 29, 2020
The court now sits with a 6-3 highly-conservative majority, and some across the country feel several of the conservatives have flouted judicial ethics by weighing in on issues, directly or in directly. Justice Clarence Thomas’s wife, Ginni Thomas, is a far right wing lobbyist who used to run a Tea Party organization. She is believed to have had a hand in President Donald Trump’s expulsion of transgender service members from the U.S. Armed Forces. And Justice Kavanaugh, during his Senate confirmation hearing, infamously threatened revenge against Democrats.
In fact, as Amy Coney Barrett was being sworn in, The New Republic published an opinion piece stating she and Justice Kavanaugh “have demonstrated this week that they should be thought of as political operatives, not justices.”
Barrett of course brought this perception on herself, allowing her nomination to be pushed through in the weeks before a highly controversial presidential election, appearing at a super-spreader event at the White House celebrating her nomination, then later standing on the White House balcony with President Trump, days before the election, all of which effectively worked as an endorsement of his re-election.
MOMENTS AGO: Justice Amy Coney Barrett and President Trump stand on White House balcony after she is sworn in to the Supreme Court. pic.twitter.com/XEJcY7msCE
— The Hill (@thehill) October 27, 2020
L.A. Times columnist Jackie Calmes noted at the time just how unprecedented this single act was:
Trump, posing on the White House balcony with new Justice Amy Coney Barrett, is an unprecedented bit of staging. Unprecedented because the 3 branches of government traditionally maintained the appearance of separation of powers, and of the independence of the judiciary.
— Jackie Calmes (@jackiekcalmes) October 27, 2020
Many are mocking Barrett’s claim.
“let me show that SCOTUS is nonpartisan by speaking at the McConnell Center & being introduced by Sen. McConnell who is taking a victory lap and being honored *precisely because* he used partisan politics to allow the GOP take control of SCOTUS appointments” is some next level BS https://t.co/LJ4PAuc32I
— Leah Litman (@LeahLitman) September 13, 2021
truly. at this point it’s borderline trolling. “now that we’ve used bare knuckled partisan politics to take control of the court, accept it as legitimate!”
— Leah Litman (@LeahLitman) September 13, 2021
“also I sure hope no one sees my interview from 2016 where I acted as a GOP surrogate and argued that replacing a dead Justice in an election year with someone ideologically different is simply wrong” https://t.co/eY5REPrUrj
— I Need a New Name (@warybear) September 13, 2021
Justice Amy Coney Barrett expressed concern Sunday that she can’t have her cake and eat it too
— Scott Shapiro (@scottjshapiro) September 13, 2021
In the frame with Amy Coney Barrett is Mitch McConnell, who confirmed her the week before the 2020 election when he ran the Senate, to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died a month earlier. Barrett spoke at the U of Louisville’s McConnell Center.
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) September 13, 2021
This is an actual photograph of Amy Coney Barrett complaining that people see the Supreme Court as a partisan Republican tool nowadays pic.twitter.com/o0llujWusP
— Arlen Parsa (@arlenparsa) September 13, 2021
#BREAKING:So let’s get this straight. Justice Amy Coney Barrett, speaking at SUPER PARTISAN Mitch McConnell’s event, is worried about public perception of SCOTUS as a partisan institution?
How about NOT speaking at a Mitch McConnell event?🤦♀️https://t.co/rhfRs4p2vR
— Emoluments Clause (@Emolclause) September 13, 2021
Amy Coney Barrett is an unqualified extremist partisan hack who is a danger to democracy and a traitor to women.
— The USA Singers (@TheUSASingers) September 13, 2021
Fair. The phrase is “fundamentalist zealots with no respect for the law”. https://t.co/aP8VGFrnoQ
— Amanda Marcotte (@AmandaMarcotte) September 13, 2021
Amy Coney Barrett sitting up there with McConnell saying she’s not a partisan hack is a flex. But the flex is “Look at all the dumb media who will uncritically republish this clear lie.”
She basically gave a “bad note” test and the media, again, is unable to speak to power.
— Elie Mystal (@ElieNYC) September 13, 2021
“Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett expressed concerns Sunday that the public may increasingly see the court as a partisan institution.”
Now that the Federalist Society Justices have the power to impose God’s will, we didn’t think you even cared how America sees you
— Duty To Warn 🔉 (@duty2warn) September 13, 2021
Amy Coney Barrett now says she is worried that the public sees the Supreme Court as a “bunch of partisan hacks”.
No shit, lady. When you let men hunt women down for a $10,000 bounty, pretty sure you’re completely compromised & we are thoroughly fucked.
— Kyla In The Burgh 🏳️🌈🏴☠️ (@KylaInTheBurgh) September 13, 2021
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