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Pete Buttigieg expertly breaks down Amy Coney Barrett’s ominous Supreme Court opening statement

Patrick Kelleher October 12, 2020
Amy Coney Barrett Pete Buttigieg

Amy Coney Barrett (Chip Somodevilla/Getty) and Pete Buttigieg (Alexander Tamargo/Getty)

Pete Buttigieg has expertly broken down the ominous Supreme Court opening statement from Amy Coney Barrett, calling it “a pathway to judicial activism cloaked in judicial humility”.

The gay former presidential hopeful was being interviewed on MSNBC’s AM Joy on Sunday (11 October) when Barrett released her opening statement ahead of her Supreme Court nomination hearing.

In the statement, Amy Coney Barrett said she would make decisions purely based on the law and claimed that she would bring “new perspectives” to the Supreme Court.

“Courts have a vital responsibility to enforce the rule of law, which is critical to a free society,” she wrote in the statement.

“But courts are not designed to solve every problem or right every wrong in our public life. The policy decisions and value judgements of government must be made by the political branches elected by and accountable to the people.

“The public should not expect courts to do so, and courts should not try.”

Amy Coney Barrett praised anti-LGBT+ former Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia.

Barrett went on to praise former Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia, who pushed back against LGBT+ rights at almost every opportunity throughout his career.

Many within the LGBT+ community fear that Barrett, a staunchly anti-LGBT+ Roman Catholic, could be instrumental in rolling back queer people’s rights if she is appointed to the court.

Buttigieg was unprepared to speak about Barrett’s opening statement, but quickly picked it apart live on MSNBC.

“This is what nominees do,” the former South Bend, Indiana mayor said. “They write the most seemingly unobjectionable, dry stuff. But really what I see in there is a pathway to judicial activism cloaked in judicial humility.”

“At the end of the day, rights in this country have been expanded because courts have understood what the true meaning of the letter of the law and the spirit of the constitution is.

“That is not about time-travelling yourself back to the 18th century and subjecting yourself to the same prejudices and limitations as the people who write these words.

“The constitution is a living document because the English language is a living language. And you need to have some readiness to understand that in order to serve on the court in a way that will actually make life better.

Buttigieg continued: “It was actually Thomas Jefferson himself who said that, ‘We might as well ask a man to still wear the coat which fitted him when he was a boy as expect future generations to live under’ – what he called – ‘the regime of their barbarous ancestors.’

“So even the founders that these kind of dead-end originalists clam fidelity to understood better than their ideological descendants – today’s judicial so-called conservatives – the importance of keeping with the times. And we deserve judges and justices who understand that.”

If Barrett is confirmed by the Senate, the Supreme Court will shift to a strong 6-to-3 conservative majority.

At 48 years old, she would be the youngest justice on the Supreme Court, meaning she could have a hand in shaping major legal decisions in the US for decades to come.

 

More: Amy Coney Barrett, MSNBC, Pete Buttigieg, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, supreme court

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