Commentary

What we learn from the rhetorical disputes over SCOTUS nominations

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It’s Supreme Court nomination time again, and the result is predictable. The usual suspects on the progressive left, especially those whose hair is most likely to spontaneously combust when cameras are nearby, are behaving like raving lunatics.

Like they did with Brett Kavanaugh, the left is hysterical because they are convinced a believing Catholic nominee will lead the Supreme Court to repeal Roe v. Wade, the decades-old decision that ruled the individual states could not prohibit the practice of abortion. Legal scholars have argued over the findings of the decision since it was handed down, but it has been considered “settled law” for decades. In other words, “keep your damn hands off it.”

Like most far-reaching issues of this sort, new linguistic constructs evolve to influence public sentiments on the subject. I’m reminded of this quote:

“It’s often the case that when a critic uses an embarrassingly accurate term to describe what a wrong-doer is doing, the wrong-doer protests: ‘Why don’t you use my white-washed, conscience-soothing euphemism?’ Such euphemisms, they claim, help promote ‘civilized debate.”

In the case of abortion, which became far more prevalent nationwide after the ruling and a holy sacrament of many on the left, the term “reproductive rights” was created to buff up the image of an otherwise abhorrent (and almost never necessary) medical procedure that ends an innocent life. Screaming, shouting advocates reliably show up to disrupt any official hearing or other gathering to discuss the subject.

As we listen to the growing chorus of resistance over President Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, a truism emerges. Much as the left denies that they favor activist judges in activist courts to provide an alternative to making law through the legislative process, the truth of the obvious rises to the top.

Their protests are because they believe the nominee will act on her personal beliefs and biases rather than behaving as judges are obligated to behave – in strict compliance with applicable law, the Constitution that constrains such law and the government empowered to enact and enforce it.

In the process, the leftists give away their own desires to appoint activist judges to turn the courts into activist bodies that create legislation by their decisions, outside the lawmaking framework prescribed by the framers in the Constitution.

Their hair-on-fire reaction to nominees like Judge Coney Barrett is an act of projection; since they hold that judges they nominate should be able to make law through court decisions, they think all judges intend to act as their nominees would be expected to act. And they apparently believe that a sitting justice can simply decide to bring an issue before the Court without any referred case from lower courts (which is another indication of what they would have their appointees do).

They simply cannot accept that any nominee to this ultimate judicial position would do otherwise. It is simply “inconceivable” to them. Which, when you think about it, is an ironic comment on the subject of reproductive rights.

About Pem Schaeffer

Pem Schaeffer is a retired engineer who progressed to a position in business development leadership in defense electronics. He lives and writes in Brunswick, Maine, and blogs at: http://othersideofbrunswick.blogspot.com/ He can be reached at pemster4062@yahoo.com or you can always buy him lunch at an MHPC luncheon. He's easy that way, and he'll still respect you if you do.

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