Memo to Justice Barrett: We will not go backward
27th Oct 2020
This nation cannot go backward.
We cannot go backward in essential human rights.
We cannot go backward in vital workers’ rights.
We cannot go backward in life-saving healthcare rights.
We cannot go backward in hard-fought and established women’s rights.
We cannot go backward in equality-based LGBTQ rights.
We cannot go backward in protective and anti-discriminatory minority rights.
The appointment of Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court justifiably raises concerns and fears about our nation possibly going backward. A self-declared “originalist” in her legal interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, it’s important to note that none of the aforementioned were guaranteed when the document was signed September 17, 1787.
Slavery remained solidly in place. Women could not vote and were treated as property of men. Only property owners could vote in most states – white property owners. Etcetera. In fact, the very rights and privileges Barrett enjoys today as a female jurist were not in place when the U.S. Constitution was born.
The marvel of the U.S. Constitution is that is a living, breathing document that is in step with its living, breathing constituents. And that step is always forward, never backward.
Judging by her answers and non-answers at the Senate confirmation hearings, her conservative group associations, her biased opinions and writings, and her limited but questionable legal rulings, there is no reason to believe Justice Barrett shares that perspective – either personally or as now a voting member of the nation’s highest court.
She is an originalist who may be a key and deciding vote in attempting to move this nation backward.
We’re not going there.
As a result of her unprecedented and rushed appointment by Senate ideologues – she was sworn in just a week before Election Day, without a single vote of approval by the minority party – there presently is an imbalance on the U.S. Supreme Court. And as a result, there is an imbalance in our nation and the real threat of a U-turn on its continued pathway of justice for all. In reality, it will be but a partisan-constructed detour.
There is nothing in the U.S. Constitution to limit the number of justices to nine; both so-called originalists and progressives can agree on that fact. The nation’s founders did not establish a number on that parchment, thereby making it possible to achieve balance on the U.S. Supreme Court by righting a wrong, when necessary.
If it is indeed necessary for the number of justices to be added to ensure the continuation of justice itself, the Constitution allows it, if not invites it. As a nation, we must do whatever is necessary to stay in step with an increasingly diverse America by continually moving this nation forward – always forward, never backward.
Today’s anomaly shall not alter that destination. We the people, the drivers of democracy, will not allow it.
Our vote will see to that.