Aside from the opening statements by Senate Judiciary Committee leadership, CNN had ignored day one of Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearing. Instead, they spent another Monday trying to fear-monger on coronavirus. This was in contrast to the Fox News Channel and MSNBC as both carried the hearing from start to finish.
But that changed when vice presidential candidate and Senator Kamala Harris got her turn as CNN Newsroom jumped in so they could marvel at Harris’s “pretty stunning moment” that “remind[ed] Americans watching of the immediate stakes.”
Weekday afternoon host Brianna Keilar relayed viewers were able to hear the “pretty stunning moment there where you have a vice presidential nominee…three weeks before the election with comments saying that the woman you see there on your screen who is the nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, is someone who’s going to undo Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s legacy.”
As chief political analyst Gloria Borger would do, Keilar simply parroted Harris’s claims without a scintilla of scrutiny
KEILAR: [She was] [v]ery much focused on ObamaCare, which is going to be before this court very soon and just that split screen of Barrett listening to Harris as she said that she felt this nomination of Amy Coney Barrett is an attempt to take away the health care of millions of people in the middle of a pandemic. This is a historic moment that we’re watching.
BORGER: It is and she also made it very clear that she felt that the nomination was what she said trying to bypass the will of the voters and have the Supreme Court do their dirty work is the way she put it when it comes to rolling back the Affordable Care Act. So this was clearly a frontal attack, not only on what Amy Coney Barrett would do if she’s confirmed to the Supreme Court, but an attack on the Republican Senate, which clearly she wants to change control of the Senate to Democratic hands, and saying that they are going around the will of the people, that the people ought to decide after this election. Also making the case very clearly, Brianna, that it took 150 days for them to decide what to do with the stimulus bill, which is sitting in the Senate, but 22 days for them to push through a Supreme Court nomination. So very direct, very clear. She outlined the stakes as the Democrats see it very well, and aimed directly at the Republicans and at the nominee.
Supreme Court analyst Joan Biskupic hailed Harris as “more emphatic than we had heard earlier today, but she certainly struck the same notes, and I’m sure we’re going to hear more about the Affordable Care Act tomorrow.”
Playing the role of an in-kind Biden/Harris adviser, Biskupic dismissed the idea that the Trump administration would ensure health coverage for preexisting conditions even though they in federal court looking to have ObamaCare dismissed, adding: “I think that’s what Senator Harris and some of her colleagues who came before her wanting to stress and they’re taking their message obviously to the American people, to the electorate, rather than trying to comment on what might happen in the Senate committee.”
She added that people should also be concerned about “reproductive rights, gay and transgender rights, religious freedom” because Barrett “will be deciding the law of the land for a generation.”
Fresh off of having dismissed Democratic court-packing as a fable ginned up by the Trump campaign, political correspondent Abby Phillip concurred with Biskupic’s latter point and touted Harris’s insinuation that Democrats aren’t really going after Barrett’s faith but rather her legal record.
Right on cue, Borger interjected to offer this scalding hot take:
[T]he only people talking about raising her Catholicism or her religion seem to be the Republicans and not the Democrats at all. The Democrats understand, as Abby is saying, that this is a trump — a trick. And they’re not — you know, they’re just not going to do it. They’re going to talk about health care. That’s what they’re there to talk about.
And for good measure, both Biskupic and chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin griped that, along with Barrett, the right doesn’t actually honor or revere the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg due to their conservative viewpoints (which, not so incidentally, was a point Harris made)
BISKUPIC: Her philosophy, as she’s laid it out, is — is akin to Justice Scalia’s legacy, that he wanted and what she subscribes to is the originalist, textualist approach to the Constitution and statutes…[I]t’s the opposite of where Ruth Bader Ginsburg comes from. Ruth Bader Ginsburg believes that — believed, I’m sorry, I’m still talking about her in the presenting tense — believed that you don’t go back to just what the Framers saw, you can expand the rights and the liberties in the Constitution to fit the dilemmas of today. The difference on that is the difference between upholding Roe v. Wade or striking down Roe v. Wade. The difference is between approving of same-sex marriage and not approving of same-sex marriage….Justice Ginsburg’s legacy in terms of sexual equality for women’s rights and for equal protection for women under federal law and the Constitution is that is unlikely to be rolled back. Just, you know, the way Ruth Bader Ginsburg first made her name as a woman’s rights advocate. I don’t see those kinds of protections for women being undercut, with the exception of being in the area of reproductive rights. Amy Coney Barrett has not ruled in an abortion case but she has certainly spoken about who has the role to safeguard things like reproductive rights and she has said it’s a legislative function, not a court’s function. That’s clearly indicated in her writings.
TOOBIN: I mean, the idea, to listen to all these Republican Senators talk about, oh, I want to pay tribute to Ruth Ginsburg, I wanna say how wonderful she was. By confirming Amy Barrett, they are undermining absolutely everything Ruth Ginsburg stood for. And you know what thinks — you know who thought that? Ruth Ginsburg. I mean, Ruth Ginsburg understood the stakes of this nomination. That’s why she wanted this put off till — till the next president. But, you know, whether it’s abortion, whether it’s gay rights, whether it’s voting rights, whether it’s civil rights…[T]he idea that it is somehow an honor to Ruth Bader Ginsburg to see Amy Coney Barrett nominated to replace her is just an obscene revocation of history. I mean, it’s just — I mean, they could not be more different.
LifeNews Note: Curtis Houck writes for Newsbusters, where this column originally appeared.