When It Comes to Algebra or Anything Else, ACB Never Equals RBG.
For a man who prides himself on being an unpredictable “disruptor”, Donald
Trump is actually very predictable. Aside from being a racist, misogynist, pro-
billionaire buffoon, he is also a massive religious hypocrite. An individual more
aloof of Christian principle it would be hard to imagine – multiple marriages,
“relationships” with porn stars, and hatred for most of mankind. So, it comes as
no surprise that he has picked Amy Coney Barrett (ACB) as a Supreme Court
successor to Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG). Surprise-surprise.
ACB is a woman of the Catholic faith. An interpretation of that faith that in
her case is particularly bigoted and hurtful. Her views on affordable health
care and immigration are straight out of the Dark Ages, while her views on
women’s reproductive rights, specifically abortion, are out of the Stone Age.
ACB is a vociferous opponent of abortion, adamantly insisting that life begins at
the very second of conception.
RBG, in sharp contrast, was an icon of social justice, female enfranchisement
and progressive thought. Prior to the rise and subsequent impact of RBG,
women’s rights in the US were severely curtailed. For example, until RBG helped
push through the Equal Credit Opportunity Act in 1974, a woman could not have
a bank account without a male co-signer, not could she apply for a mortgage in
her name alone. Similarly, in 1996, RBG was the lead Supreme Court voice
determining that state-funded educational institutions of any kind, including
military academies, could no longer bar women from entry. She was also
instrumental in pushing for equal pay for women and the legalization of same-
Consequently, she coined the hard-hitting statement that:
“Women belong in all places where decisions are being made…It shouldn't be
that women are the exception.”
Of course, such strident determination and social progress is absolutely lost on
Donald Trump and his GOP backers. For as long as trump has been in office
(which hopefully won’t be much longer) the GOP have viewed Trump as a useful
fool for their long-time dream of an overwhelmingly conservative judiciary
holding sway over legal and Constitutional interpretation for decades to come.
Which is of course perfectly encapsulated by their rush to have ACB in place on
the Supreme Court as soon as possible, irrespective of that being as close as it
will be to a Presidential election. Cast your mind back to 2016 and you’ll recall
McConnell et al blocking Merrick Garland, Obama’s Supreme Court pick, because
it was a Presidential election year and they wanted the American people to
“make that decision.” That Garland was nominated eight months prior to the
election, as opposed to a mere 50 days per ACB, is of no concern to the power-
hungry, eighteenth century fixated reactionaries of the GOP.
With ACB on the Supreme Court, the conservative majority will be 6 – 3. This
has potentially lethal consequences for the Affordable Care Act, gun reform,
and, the gold standard of every Republican’s fantasy, the repeal of Roe -v-
Wade. Female health and reproductive rights are now front and center in
cross-hairs of the GOP. The irony here? Who knows just how many abortions
Trump has paid for and / or created? Even more ironic is that the life that
Trump experienced growing up, compared to that of ACB, are galaxies apart.
Trump was a decadent, material-obsessed, adulterer who has been married
three times. Those are things you won’t find on ACB’s resume, no matter how
hard you look.
Long after Trump has gone, ACB could well still be on the Supreme Court,
presiding over life-changing legal decisions for the worse for millions and
millions of Americans. For Trump, meh? As long as it secures him a few more
votes in an election that he is more than likely to lose. For the rest of us? This
is about as serious as it gets. Presidents come and go. Supreme Court Justices
are around for life if they so choose.
RBG was a once in a lifetime Justice. Her legacy is profound. ACB is poised to
set a new legacy – a bleak, harrowing version of what American life should be,
especially so if you happen to be a woman.
Even though this looks like a win-win for Trump and conservatives, there are
still ways around this. The number of Justices that sit in the Supreme Court
does not have to be fixed at nine. It could be expanded to 13 so as to redress
the conservative imbalance. For that to have any chance of happening, the
Democrats would need to control both the House and the Senate.