Amy Coney Barrett, Day Two: Liveblogging Our Descent Into Gilead!
Did y'all see all those lines of people voting in Georgia yesterday? That's because Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham are cramming the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett through literally while people are already voting.
It's time for the first day of questioning in Coney Barrett's confirmation hearings. It's going to be a really long day, because they're going to try to cram 22 senators each going for 30 minutes into ONE DAY. You know, because they've got a really tight schedule if they're going to ruin American democracy with Coney Barrett before Joe Biden beats the shit out of Trump on November 3.
It's going to be awful.
Live: Amy Coney Barrett Senate Confirmation Hearings | Day 2 | NBC News www.youtube.com
9:06: Lindsey Graham opens with some long-ass whine about how ACTUALLY Obamacare is bad.
9:08: GRAHAM: You are an originalist, right? What does that mean, IN ENGLISH?
ACB: It means I won't put any of my feelings into judging, just what I think Jesus thinks.
9:11: ACB will now tell us why Brown v. Board of Education is SUPER-precedent, as opposed to other Supreme Court rulings, which aren't SUPER-precedent, because reasons.
The point is that it seems like we are having a discussion about how if Amy Coney Barrett wants to destroy abortion access or marriage equality, somebody has to bring her a REALLY GOOD CASE to make her do it with!
9:16: ACB says she will totally listen to both sides if somebody tries to bring her a bullshit "fetal heartbeat" abortion case. (And then we know how she will rule.)
9:18: Amy Coney Barrett has a gun.
9:19: Lindsey Graham is VERY MAD about all this money in politics all of a sudden. WONDER WHY.
9:20: GRAHAM: If a state tried to ban marriage equality, would somebody have to bring you a really good case to make it easier for you?
ACB: Yes. And first lower courts (that have been court-packed by Trump) would have to flout Obergefell, in order for that to get to SCOTUS, and that could never possibly happen, in lower courts (that have been court-packed by Trump).
9:30: Lindsey Graham's entire line of questioning is designed to trick people into thinking ACB will not overturn Roe, and to paint ACB as an extremely sympathetic figure who just HAPPENS to be a conservative woman, which is just the hardest thing in the world to be.
9:32: FEINSTEIN, because it is Feinstein's turn: Introduce your one thousand kids again, like we all care!
ACB: Here they are!
FEINSTEIN: I remember going to Stanford and people going to Mexico for abortions. Anyway, your mentor Scalia said Roe was wrongly decided. Will you go ahead and agree with him, since you obviously do?
ACB: Oh, I definitely won't, it will be a surprise! (It is not a surprise.)
She says she doesn't have an "agenda" to overrule Planned Parenthood v. Casey. It is not on her day-planner. (It is in her heart.)
9:42: By the way, all of this is exciting and all (you bet), but Senator Amy Klobuchar really kicked everybody's asses in the hearings yesterday, and exposed them for them sham they are. You should watch it.
9:49: Amy Coney Barrett has no thoughts on any of the judicial elements of the Obamacare case that is coming before the Court just after the election. Just none!
9:50: FEINSTEIN: Is the president allowed to delay the election?
ACB: I would have to hear both sides!
NO YOU WOULDN'T, SERENA.
Feinstein is like uhhhhhhhhhhh.
9:53: FEINSTEIN: Lemme ask you a question just as a person. Can you just be a person?
FEINSTEIN: It is about whether you would actually uphold Brown v. Board of Education.
ACB: As a person, I will not answer that. Racism is bad.
9:55: Feinstein is telling the story of Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin, the trailblazing lesbian couple whose lives and work have contributed to so many landmark decisions in LGBT rights, including repealing DOMA and enacting marriage equality.
FEINSTEIN; Point is, does God hate fags like your pal Scalia did?
ACB: I am not Scalia! I am just a whole lot like him! Anyway, not answering.
10:00: And now Chuck Grassley takes over. He will ask some questions, but we think he's going to lecture us now, wank wank wank.
Remember that Chuck Grassley is one of the senators who has refused a COVID test.
10:02: Hahahahaha, oh fuck you, Grassley says DEMOCRATS don't understand what judges do, and that it is REPUBLICANS who simply want judges to interpret the law, not to be ACTIVISTS like DEMOCRATS want them to be.
Anyway, they want her to overturn Roe and murder Obamacare in its crib. Chuck Grassley is simply saying all this because he is a liar.
10:04: You hear that? NOBODY has a right to suggest ACB doesn't care about people's access to healthcare. NOBODY.
10:10: Chuck Grassley talked to himself for 100 minutes and it put us to sleep. Now they are talking about how Scalia didn't like using "legislative history" as a guide in ruling, just the text of the statutes themselves. It is still a lot of Chuck Grassley talking.
10:17: This is a really good point from MSNBC's Kyle Griffin:
We should have noticed that ourselves, due to how we are a gay. But we didn't, because we are bad at gay today, apparently.
10:19: GRASSLEY: Have you made any promises to anybody about how you would rule on anything?
ACB: Only to my very weird version of Jesus!
10:20: And Chuck Grassley finishes early, but reserves his time. (Hopefully we will forget.)
Democratic Senator Pat Leahy takes over on Zoom, because he, unlike the Republicans who probably all have COVID, acknowledges that COVID is real.
10:22: LEAHY: Do you know how many people's insurance you'd be ripping away if you killed ACA?
LEAHY: 20 million. You know how many people under 26 are on their parents' insurance?
LEAHY: Do you know things about anything?
10:26: LEAHY: Trump said any nominee he puts up will repeal ACA. It's literally in the Republican party platform. There are no secrets here. Would Trump break a PROMISE to the American people he made, to hurt their healthcare? Did you know the Republicans have tried to repeal ACA 70 fucking times?
Amy Coney Barrett does not know these things.
10:31: By the way, here is a good article about what Amy Coney Barrett has written criticizing Obamacare.
Leahy now noting that Trump has said he needs nine justices on the Supreme Court to steal him the election. Will ACB recuse herself from election dispute cases?
ACB restates that she HAS NOT promised anybody how she would kill Obamacare (just read her past writings).
Leahy asks if she knows how Senator Josh Hawley (R-Gilead) has said he wouldn't vote for anybody who wouldn't kill Roe, yet he has zero problem with ACB, who promises YET AGAIN that she hasn't told anybody what she would do (except for in her entire judicial career before this).
Still has not answered the question about committing to recuse herself from election dispute cases.
10:43: The Leahy questioning is really a slog, with technical difficulties and the fact that Leahy is old balls and should just let Amy Klobuchar and Kamala Harris beat ass. Democrats, just yell at ACB and yell at the process and stop giving it legitimacy. Then go out for lunch. This is stupid.
ACB really respects Merrick Garland, by the way, totally, much respect, you bet.
10:46: Leahy noting that the group that created the letter ACB signed that called abortion "barbaric" ALSO thinks that in vitro fertilization should be prosecuted like manslaughter. ACB answers by pretending she didn't hear the question and saying SHE didn't sign a statement on in vitro. Says she supports life from "fertilization to death."
Which ... THAT IS A TELL. Class, can you all tell us what happens to fertilized eggs that do not implant? THEY DON'T CAUSE A PREGNANCY.
10:49: ACB: Obergefell says marriage equality is constitutional.
LEAHY: And you agree with that?
ACB: How could I know, what am I, a JUDGE?
10:55: John Cornyn is VERY impressed that ACB didn't bring notes. That's right, Judge Handmaid bullshits from memory!
10:56: Cornyn literally just referred to the upcoming Obamacare case as "ACA vs. ACB." Haw haw, we get it.
Also during the handoff, Lindsey Graham promised he had never discussed "severability" on the golf course with Donald Trump. That is because Donald Trump doesn't know what any words mean.
10:57: Hahahaha Cornyn is trying to score political points against Joe Biden by noting that Obergefell struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, which Biden voted for. YA BURNT, Joe!
Except for how DOMA, which turned out to be a very bad law that obviously had to go, was a compromise from back in the 1990s to try to stop conservatives like ACB from going further and enshrining a ban on marriage equality in the Constitution.
11:06: After a jaunty exchange (not jaunty) about the Establishment Clause, John Cornyn reserve the rest of his time.
Dick Durbin begins by calling bullshit on GOP whining that Democrats somehow made up the idea that Trump is using ACB's fast-tracked nomination for his own political purposes. Read the damn tweets, he says. Start there!
Also there will be a break soon, ALLEGEDLY.
11:08: Here is a fun fact about Amy Coney Barrett:
11:10: BARRETT: Why would you think I am hostile to the ACA just because I have written so very hostilely about the ACA?
11:12: DURBIN: Have you seen the George Floyd video?
BARRETT: I have two Black children, it was very personal.
DURBIN: So as an originalist, how do you think about that whole ORIGINAL American sin of slavery and systemic racism?
BARRETT: I cannot possibly comment any more on this because I just can't, because I'm a judge, and judges can't say things.
11:23: This is a good primer on Kanter v. Barr, the gun rights case where ACB wrote the lone dissent, arguing that the Constitution doesn't allow the government to prohibit felons from owning guns. ACB just said that's crazy, because in some places you can become a felon for selling a pig without a license!
11:27: ACB will not say whether she sees voting rights the same way. Obviously.
11:35: EVERYBODY GET A MASK ON, MIKE LEE IS MAKING COVID-BREATHS.
11:40: BORING COVID-BREATHS.
11:43: BARRETT: Have you not heard me say UNDER OATH WITH MY FINGERS NOT EVEN CROSSED BEHIND MY BACK that I have not been given instructions on how to rule on Obamacare?
Um, Judge, we are pretty used to Republicans lying under oath to Congress at this point.
11:48: LEE: Wouldn't you agree that what is bad about Roe is that it makes it impossible for wingnut Republicans like me to take people's constitutional rights from them? And also that tiny clumps of cells feel pain?
11:51: Mike Lee is VERY MAD people are fundraising off the possibility that Amy Coney Barrett will kill your healthcare and take all your abortions. Have we created a MONSTER?
11:56: Amy Coney Barrett says she likes to read her own opinions from the perspective of whoever she's fucking over that day, to make sure they will at least respect her brilliant reason for fucking them over.
11:57: LEE: Does the Constitution say how big the Supreme Court should be?
LEE: But it's statutory and has bearing on constitutional issues, right? And if we changed it, wouldn't it be BAD?
ACB: Dunno, dude, I don't know if I can actually help you on this one.
12:01: LEE: Nine is my favorite number nine is the only number that exists all other numbers are bad nine nine nine nine nine nineNINNENININIEN99999999999999999999999999999!
12:09: Mike Lee ends his fail-session by talking some more about how he hates democracy, which he started last week. And now we are on break!
12:30: Wanna see something really sick from the guy whose wife told him WAP was a medical condition?
12:47: And we are back with Sheldon Whitehouse.
12:48: WHITEHOUSE: Why is this a sham? Why do I say people are pulling political strings here? Here's why:
1. Because these fucks supported you before there was even a nominee.
2. Because of the "POLITICAL RAMJOB" (not rimjob) where they are RAMMING her nomination through.
3. Because these fucks have totally 180-ed on confirming SCOTUS justices in an election year.
That is why this is all a sham.
12:54: Republicans so mad everybody is bringing up how Barrett obviously wants to kill Roe and Obergefell, like HOW DARE YOU SAY OUR HANDMAID JUDGE IS NOT INDEPENDENT? Whitehouse got charts:
He had charts for ACA and Obergefell too.
He's not asking questions, he's just explaining the Failing-Upward-Wingnut-Judicial-Welfare machine of the Federalist Society.
1:02: Hahahahaha, Sheldon is STILL GOING, spilling tea on Leonard Leo and the Federalist Society and Carrie Severino, and all the judicial incest they do. Will give you video if/when we feel like it!
1:04: One good thing Whitehouse pointed out, re: Barrett saying courts can't just OVERTURN stuff, they have to get cases because lower courts disagree, is that these same judicial incest networks RAMJOB cases into the courts, a mile a minute, to try to get cases all the way up to SCOTUS.
It is like that thing where only one out of every 1,000 sea turtle hatchlings make it to the sea, or if you throw one thousand poops at the wall, hopefully one of them will stick to the wall.
1:06: Seriously, look at the man's damn CHARTS.
1:10: This is a fucking MASTER CLASS. We are in the chatcave right now trying to force somebody to write you a whole post on it, it is that good.
1:14: Here is a good video of Sheldon Whitehouse not even interested in this dickhead "nominee":
Whitehouse uses visual props to paint a web of dark right-wing money and influence swirling around the judiciary, m… https://t.co/vtXh96eaVr— TPM Livewire (@TPM Livewire)1602609077.0
1:15: It is Ted Cruz's turn, everybody recoil in horror at his Halloween costume haha just kidding that is his face.
1:17: CRUZ: Let's have a whinefest together about religious freedom and how Christians are persecuted!
BARRETT: You sing the melody, I'll sing the harmony! (Women don't get to sing the melody in Gilead.)
1:20: CRUZ: Can't we talk about how if Roe is repealed, abortion doesn't go AWAY? It just goes into back alleys and becomes even harder to access for poor people in red states! Can we talk about THAT?
1:23: Ted Cruz is very mad about dark money in politics that goes to Democrats, WHOSE FAULT IS THAT? Oh yeah, it is Citizens United, those Republican SCOTUS judges with that shitty ruling.
1:24: Ted Cruz is also very mad about Sheldon Whitehouse saying besmirch statements about the Federalist Society, because have you heard about this other DEMOCRAT GROUP that does DEMOCRAT THINGS?
Ted Cruz is mad at Sheldon Whitehouse, in general.
1:28: Yeeeeeeah, Whitehouse struck a nerve.
Here @SenWhitehouse, I fixed it for you. https://t.co/cLKYsEwxFt— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@Sen. Marsha Blackburn)1602609252.0
1:32: Ted Cruz is not even asking questions anymore, he is just jerking himself off into soup cans about Democrats appointing justices who want to ban books (LOL) and TAKE YR GUNS and this has turned into a campaign event.
1:36: CRUZ: Democrats are going to take the crosses off the Bibles and the Ten Commandments off the Supreme Court and AIYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
1:40: Ted Cruz thinks nuns being forced to provide contraception to employees is the "most important" issue in the November election.
Finally Ted Cruz asks a question. Does Amy Coney Barrett speak any foreign? French but not well. Does she make sweet music? On the piano! Her kids take piano lessons, but the older ones are doing too much soccer to keep doing piano WOMP WOMP! Ted Cruz forces his kids to take piano lessons, because he is a monstrous human being.
And now Ted Cruz is literally asking Amy Coney Barrett what quarantine was like with seven children.
Oh my god.
1:45: Amy Klobuchar gets to follow that garbage. Starts by noting that Joe Biden is a Catholic, a practicing one, so let's fuck off with the bitching about "religious freedom." Also 214,000 Americans have died in a pandemic, and Ted Cruz's "less than voluntary" beliefs about piano lessons and forced birth aren't relevant to that.
1:49: Klobuchar is giving the hearing a "reset" by reminding everyone this is abnormal and weird and bad and all Republicans should feel bad.
1:51: KLOBS: When Trump says it would be a great win if his new SCOTUS justice killed Obamacare, that would be a great "win," should we believe him, or assume he is lying?
BARRETT: I cannot even answer that question, because I do not answer questions.
1:59: KLOBUCHAR: All I have to do is follow the ELK TRACKS of your ELK RECORD to see that you are a VERY BAD ELK.
2:04: Klobuchar brings up Coney Barrett's dissent in Kanter v. Barr where she argued that you really shouldn't take gun rights away from ALL felons, but that things like voting and serving on juries should belong to "virtuous citizens." Got that? You are not virtuous if you have a felony on your record, but Amy Bony Carrot will go to Walmart with you and help you pick out a gun.
2:09: Can ACB answer questions about the case that gutted the Voting Rights Act and whether she thinks that was totally cool? Nah.
2:11: Oh damn, Klobuchar is pissed now. Ticking of literally all of the things Republicans have pulled lately to make it harder to vote, IN THE MIDDLE OF A PANDEMIC, cases Ruth Bader Ginsburg always stood up for, and yet again, this fucking dick asshole nominee won't answer a question.
SO LET'S TALK ABOUT GERRYMANDERING, says Amy Klobuchar, who is not finished.
2:14: Asshole literally just hid behind Ruth Bader Ginsburg to avoid answering a question AGAIN. Can't answer about gerrymandering, can't answer about voter intimidation, nothing.
2:18: KLOBUCHAR: You say Brown is super-precedent. Is Roe?
ACB: Define the word I used myself.
KLOBS: That it is settled law.
ACB: Words words words, but no, Roe is different because reasons, SHHHHHH IT'S A SECRET BUT I AM THE HANDMAID'S TALE.
2:24: Amy Coney Barrett's definition of "originalism" sounds a lot like "idiot." She seems to be saying simultaneously that you should use the SPIRIT of the text (on issues you want to use it that way for) and also sometimes you go EXACTLY BY THE TEXT (on issues you want to use it that way for).
For example, for the latter, you could say "AIN'T NO GAY MURGE IN THE CONSTITUTION!" and that is being "originalist." But yeah, you can definitely write some shit into the "spirit" of the text, should you want to use it for your own (bigoted) purposes.
It's kind of like conservative Christian theology in that way.
Speaking of, Ben Sasse is asking the questions now.
2:32: Ben Sasse is just doing bullshit time-wasting garbage getting ACB to answer questions like "What is Robe" and "What is Court," and she is restating her lies about how the Supreme Court can't even comment on things unless a case suddenly and very surprisingly shows up at their door. (You know, like if the Federalist Society and the Judicial Crisis Network throw one million bullshit cases at the Court and one of them slips through, which happens several times a year!)
2:38: Ben Sasse just really wants the American people to understand why Amy Coney Barrett is hiding her real beliefs from the American people.
2:46: CHRIS COONS: There's two things we're waiting for over here in the Senate: Trump's healthcare plan and his taxes!
3:00: Amy Coney Barrett would like to say for the 57th time today that she has made NO SECRET DEALS with Trump to kill the ACA. Got that? NO SECRET DEALS.
Of course, Mafia Daddy never gives instructions out loud.
3:19: Commander Hawley is here to ask ACB why all these mean Democrat people are persecuting her just for loving Jesus too much.
We have reached the point of the day where it is getting extremely repetitive and blahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
So updates will be slower. That said, we are monitoring, because fun people like Mazie Hirono and Kamala Harris are coming up. At some point!
3:56: We are back from a break. Dick Blumenthal is talking now, we are sorry we got lulled into a dreamy sleep by Josh Hawley and his gentle theocratic voice, good GOD, what a horrible man. Remember, folks, after Trump is over, Hawley is the next anti-Christ waiting in the wings, according to prophecy.
Blumenthal hammering down on how Trump has been very clear that he wants Bony Carrot on the Court to steal the election for him by disqualifying real ballots from real Americans.
4:04: By the way, the word "severability" has been bandied about a lot today. If you need a primer on that here's one. But the general question is whether a provision of a statute the Court finds unconstitutional is severable from the law in its entirety. Coney Barrett is being VERY CAGY BIG SURPRISE! about whether she believes the portion of the law coming before the Court on (maybe) her first day of school is severable from the ACA in its entirety.
Also Amy Bony Carrot is now saying that she didn't mean to not disclose that letter she signed that called abortion "barbaric," and Blumenthal is like "oh maybe if we had MORE TIME you might have given it to us?" Also Blumenthal points out he didn't get that document a couple years ago when she was nominated to her lower court position, HUH.
4:11: OH WEASEL WORDS. Blumenthal tells the story of a person, a rape survivor, who needed an abortion, and asks if the Constitution provides for that person's right to have an abortion. Amy Comet Ping-Ping answers by saying these cases (Roe and Casey) say it does. Doesn't just answer yes.
Says the statements she signed about abortion being "barbaric" were her personal beliefs. Will she say Roe was correctly decided? She will not say that out loud.
4:26: Blumenthal going hard at ACB on the implications of her dissent in Kanter v. Barr, you know, the LET (SOME) FELONS GO HAVE SO MANY GUNS dissent.
4:34: Oh good, Thom Tillis is going to whine now about how some people are calling Serena Joy Waterford a "handmaid." WHIIIIIINE.
4:52: Oh hey, Mazie Hirono! You are our favorite and you say cusses! Let's see how this goes!
5:01: Hirono is great and thorough, laying out how everybody knows that ACB is only there to rule against ACA and overturn Roe. That's it. That's her only role. She probably believes she was chosen by God for it.
5:04: Oh yeah, Hirono also reminds us that earlier, Amy Coney Barrett used the words "sexual preference" to describe LGBT people, used only by homophobic assholes, to insinuate that sexual orientation is a choice. So yeah, she told us something right there. So again, ACB wants to kill marriage equality.
5:08: Hirono using the arguments of Scalia -- ACB's mentor -- to really go chapter and verse through why we can totally tell Judge Westboro Baptist here wants to fuck over LGBTQ people.
5:10: Wow, Amy Comey Bing Bong actually apologized for saying "sexual preference." Thanks, Mazie Hirono for calling her out.
5:15: Oh good, Joni Ernst is reading endorsement letters from the Susan B. Anthony List, and tells the Democrats not to be "squeamish," because of how the anti-abortion assholes think she is UNBIASSSSS.
Fuck you, Ernst, enjoy unemployment.
5:18: Joni Ernst JOKES that "agency rulemaking" is a "really sexy topic" and Amycomeybingbing LOLs and oh, the Republican white women are to be laughing!
5:24: Ernst ends by commending Amycomeybingbong on her "demeanor" during this hearing. Cory Booker starts, and Amycomeybingbong is literally like "Hey, senator." Like they're pals or something. You betcha.
5:28: BOOKER: All your former classmates wrote a letter today telling you to drop TF out. That was not a question.
Moving on, gotta ask some fucked up questions that wouldn't be asked in any other world under any other presidency. Do you condemn white supremacy?
BOOKER: Dude who nominated you won't. Do you think presidents should promise a peaceful transfer of power?
ACB: I cannot possibly answer, because "political controversy."
BOOKER: Oh fuck off. Really?
ACB: I think peaceful transfers of power are good. Unpeaceful transfers in other countries bad.
BOOKER: Can Trump pardon himself for committing too many crimes?
ACB: Legal question, cannot say words!11!1!!1!
BOOKER: Should Trump have to disclose if he is owned by, say, the Russians, and owes them one billion moneys?
ACB: Legal question, cannot say words!11!!
BOOKER: I know, these questions are super fucked!
5:35: BOOKER: Do you even understand, do you possess empathy, for why people are fucking afraid of what will happen if you have power over their lives?
ACB: I have empathy sort of kind of for certain things but not really that I dunno. (Pretty sure her Bible doesn't really have "empathy" in it.)
5:51: Interesting. Cory Booker is going back to the "sexual preference" thing, and ACB is really like yeah I am SO SORRY, I didn't mean that, and she seemed to acknowledge that sexual orientation is an immutable characteristic. She also called Obergefell important precedent, but then almost seemed to try to backtrack, because we all know ACB sees a big difference between precedent, super precedent, and super duper precedent.
BOOKER: Can a hairdresser/baker/florist refuse service to a Black couple's wedding?
BOOKER: What about inter-faith?
ACB: I see what you are doing, and you are trying to get me in trouble, because I don't want to put my big Christian supremacist foot in my mouth! Discrimination is bad! I am getting tired!
Booker is doing a good job.
6:03: OK, kids. Mike Crapo started and MSNBC got bored. After the dinner break, there is CRAZY John Kennedy and CRAZY Marsha Blackburn and BADASS Kamala Harris. We'll keep our eye out for what happens, and you can stay and watch, but for all practical purposes, we are leaving you by yourself in this liveblog.
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