CNN Supreme Court reporter Joan Biskupic joined Friday’s CNN Newsroom to pay homage to the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and, in previewing the future of the Court, she fretted that Trump’s replacement (which, according to reports by early evening, would be Amy Coney Barrett) will mean “many, many types of rights and liberties” are now “in the balance.”
She added that such “rights and liberties” would be at risk in much in the same way that they were when Clarence Thomas replaced Thurgood Marshall. In other words, “rights and liberties” are only things liberals fought for and, therefore, something conservatives want to take away. Of course, there was no pushback for Biskupic’s tilted framing.
Host Jim Sciutto gave Biskupic wide leeway to sound off on “the Court is about to experience as a result of her passing and we should note that the President has tomorrow, he’s going to announce his nominee to replace here and the Senate has said they will vote on the nominee.”
Biskupic immediately went into fully hyperbole mode to do what CNN does best, which is to instill fear in viewers: “We really can’t overstate the transformation about to happen. We’ve already had a very conservative court, a 5-4 conservative court. It’s about to go 6-3 conservative.”
Ironically, sirens could be heard in the vicinity of CNN’s D.C. bureau (where she was speaking from an outside camera position), leaving an amusing sense of irony as Biskupic spoke in almost apocalyptic terms about how American would change (ostensibly for the worse).
“Very conservative” was a weird way to describe a Court that upheld ObamaCare, declared same-sex marriage a constitutional right, and featured Chief Justice John Roberts moving to the left (whom Biskupic recently wrote a book about, framing him as a staunch conservative).
Talking about the effect of Ginsburg’s death, Biskupic declared that “the equality rights that Ruth Bader Ginsburg fought for, just one of many, many types of rights and liberties that are now in the balance in a much more serious way .”
Which rights would those be? It’s not like the Court would reverse the VMI decision the media have cited constantly over the past week or declare women aren’t equal. Presumably, the unspoken rights center around abortion.
As for Ginsburg’s legacy, she claimed conservatives radicalized her (and not noting how that’s almost never a concern for liberal jurists going to the right): “When she started, Jim, she was a much more measured jurist. She was — she herself was more of an incrementalist from her time on a lower court. But through the years on the Supreme Court as it became more conservative in the majority, she moved to the left and certainly had inspired the total of four justices who were still liberals on this court and now there will only be three.”
Biskupic also claimed that, like Clarence Thomas in 1991, the nominee will not be a civil rights advocate replacing another: “And the contrast between a Donald Trump successor to Ruth Bader Ginsburg really takes us back to, you know, at minimum, when Clarence Thomas succeeded another civil rights icon, Thurgood Marshall.”
Before going back to Sciutto, she restated the likely nomination of Barrett with a sense of doom and gloom: “So much ahead from immediately with the election to, you know, gun rights, civil rights, everything, Jim. Everything.”
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