When Amy Coney Barrett confirmed to the Supreme Court of the United States, it was expected but widely condemned. In the time leading up to the final vote, a slew of organizations spoke out on Barrett, as well as politicians and pundits the nation over. Senate Democrats went so far as to hold a "talkathon," all night on Sunday For it they spoke through the night in a performative move given that they were powerless to stop the process. That said, on the day of her actual vote, a few had more to say.
Massachusetts senator Ed Markey took to the mic Monday night to lay bare exactly what was at stake.
'As judge Barrett put it at her own confirmation hearing 'Justice Scalia's judicial philosophy is mine too.'" he said, quoting Barrett, who has never tried a case before. "As judge Barrett describes so-called originalism, it means she's supposed to interpret the constitution's text and understand it to have the meaning it had when the constitution was ratified. But interpreting the constitution in that manner has been used over and over to deny rights to women, to communities of color, and to the LGBTQ individuals, members of our society who had no rights when the constitution was ratified."
This was a point Pete Buttigieg pointed out, perceptively, after hearing only a section of Barrett's opening statement. He called it "judicial activism cloaked in judicial humility," and pointed out that the constitution is a living document that has and should evolve. He quoted Thomas Jefferson who one spoke to that point. But Markey explained it in detail.
"Originalism is sexist!" he said from the podium. "Originalism is homophobic. For originalists like judge Barrett, LGBT stands for Lets' Go Back in Time, a time when you couldn't marry who you love, a time when you couldn't serve in the military if you were trans. A time when rights were not extended to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, or intersex individuals. Originalism is just a fancy word for discrimination."
"It has become a hazy smokescreen for judicial activism by so-called conservatives to achieve from the bench but they can not accomplish through the ballot box." he continued, calling back to Buttigieg's comments.
After Markey's lengthy speech, Barrett was voted in, the third Trump SCOTUS nominee to be approved. She has become a final gem on a four-year process that has seen this administration not only lock in a conservative majority to the highest court in the land, but appoint one-third of the sitting federal appellate court judges, which could usher in an increasingly worrying era in the years to come.