Hearings on the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court began this morning. It’s my understanding that today’s hearing was devoted to speeches. I didn’t have the stomach to listen to them.
A reader who listened to the first few speeches writes:
I’m watching the “hearing” about Judge Barrett’s nomination. Senator Leahy is now describing how “Vermonters” are “scared” that Judge Barrett’s nomination will mean that Vermonters will lose healthcare and that the government will become a modern-day version of the Gestapo.
The narrative seems to be that the sinister Judge Barrett is plotting to join the Supreme Court so that she and a right-wing cabal of maniacs will “strip” “Vermonters” and other Americans of their rights. Meanwhile, Judge Barrett enjoys the privilege of sitting there all day listening to one speech after another by members of the Committee.
I think I’ll take my TV clicker and see if I can find a good rerun of the “Love Boat.”
There is no validity to the notion that Judge Barrett is going to deprive Americans of their healthcare. As I said in this post, it’s true that the Supreme Court will soon hear a case challenging the constitutionality of Obamacare. However, there is almost no chance that this challenge will gain anywhere close to five votes, with or without Amy Barrett on the Court.
It does criticize the methodology Chief Justice Roberts used to uphold the constitutionality of the individual mandate in 2012 (which was not the only reasoning by which the same result could have been reached, in theory). However, that decision stands, and there is no indication that it will be revisited.
Nor need it be. The penalty associated with the individual mandate has been repealed. The question before the Supreme Court in the coming term isn’t the constitutionality of the mandate. Rather, it is whether, now that mandate has been invalidated, the entire Affordable Care Act must be dismantled. As noted, there is very little chance the Supreme Court will agree that it must be.
Thus, the attempt to tie Barrett’s confirmation to Obamacare is “disingenuous,” as McCarthy kindly puts it. Democrats hope (1) to score points against Republican Senators facing reelection who will vote to confirm Barrett and (2) to build momentum for a push to pack the Supreme Court as quickly as possible, assuming Democrats take control of the White House and the Senate.
“Love Boat” reruns, anyone?