Amy Coney Barrett ~ “just another brick in the wall”

President* Trump,

It’s silly, but I was hoping you were born in either the year of the rat or the snake. You weren’t, 1946 was a dog year, which is a drag since dogs are generally companionable, loyal, trustworthy, and friendly and you are none of these things except when it comes to sucking up to autocrats and patrons. Sigh.

Still, though, the basic idea of you being a shifty, conniving piece of work is sound no matter what your astrological whatevers indicate. With each passing day, the fact that you are our POTUS becomes more and more surreal and horrifying even as I have gotten beyond shock and have become fairly numb to the outrages you perpetrate so readily. So, although it’s a big freaking deal, your nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to replace RBG on the Supreme Court feels like just another brick in the wall that’s closing in on us, that’s trashing our democracy.

I spent some time with the Interactive Constitution website today in an attempt to get a rudimentary understanding of the difference between “originalist” and “living” interpretations of the Constitution

(https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/white-papers/on-originalism-in-constitutional-interpretation) since ACB (she missed an opportunity on the name ordering, didn’t she?) is apparently a stalwart originalist. Here are the basic descriptions of originalist interpretations…

Originalists believe that the constitutional text ought to be given the original public meaning that it would have had at the time that it became law.

and living Constitution interpretations:

Living constitutionalists believe that the meaning of the constitutional text changes over time, as social attitudes change, even without the adoption of a formal constitutional amendment pursuant to Article V of the Constitution.

One might think that originalists are always more conservative, but the website points out that from 1877 until 1954, living constitutionalists believed that segregation was constitutional because (White) public opinion was in favor of it while originalists held that it wasn’t because the 14th Amendment was in place. Thus, it’s possible that you/Mitch could be in for some nasty surprises as far as ACB decisions go. Seems to me that an originalist could take serious issue with the gutting of the Voting Rights Act given the 14th and 19th Amendments. Similarly, it sure stands to reason (in my mind) that the Citizens United decision ruling that corporations can have person-status (and f*cking wreak havoc in our elections and thus with our democracy) is in direct violation of the first Constitutional principle that…

“… divides and allocates power between We the People, who are sovereign, and the government, which is given only limited and enumerated powers.”

The Constitution doesn’t read “We the People/Corporations,” does it? If ACB were to go after Citizens United, I bet there’d be some sad, droopy faces in the GOP ranks, and whoa-doggies, if she also went after the ruling gutting the Voting Rights Acts, that would put a serious crimp in your all’s machinations.

On the other hand, since the Equal Rights Amendment is still pending, could she claim that people who identify as women are not constitutionally in the group that has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? That certainly seems extreme, but you/Mitch are nothing, if not extreme, so shit – you may well have found a woman who will join forces with the SCOTUS regressives to set women back mightily. I wonder if she has daughters….

Before I wrap this up, I want to mention that I screwed up and attributed “There Ain’t No Sunshine” to Joe Cocker. Bill Withers wrote it and performed the hit version but when I Googled it, the version by the White rocker came up and unfortunately it didn’t occur to me to see if the song actually originated with him. I’m still a work in progress.

May we be safe from shifty, conniving pieces of work.
May we be willing to keep track of the bricks in the wall.
May we keep up our strength so that we can dismantle the wall some day soon.
May we accept that our democracy is teetering on the brink and that it desperately needs us.

Sincerely,
Tracy Simpson

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