The confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett will start on Monday morning despite, well, everything.
A week ago, it seemed like the covid outbreak at the White House—thought to trace back to the Rose Garden ceremony in honor of Coney Barrett’s nomination—might delay the hearings somewhat significantly, given that more than a dozen members of the Trump administration as well as several Republican members of Congress had tested positive for the virus.
But in typical, cynical fashion, Republicans have decided to plow on, with what may be little resistance from the Democrats under the leadership of Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
We already know, more or less, what’s ahead. Over the weekend, Coney Barrett’s opening remarks were released to the press. She plans to emphasize her experience, of course—her time clerking with the late Justice Antonin Scalia, her brief tenure on the Seventh Circuit. She will tout those features of her personal life which Republicans believe make her character irreproachable, like being a mother to seven children—including two who are adopted, and one who has Down Syndrome. On display will be that particular version of conservative womanhood that Trump wants us to believe is feminist.
When senators ask her about how she would rule on Roe v. Wade, she’ll likely demur. Maybe she’ll call the landmark abortion rights ruling “settled law,” or insist that Trump didn’t impose a litmus test for Roe when he appointed her—and she wouldn’t have agreed to one if he had. She will ask us to see her as thoughtful and reasonable and decent, even as she’s complicit in the Republican agenda to ram through her confirmation with brute force mere weeks from a presidential election.
Yes, we’re doing all of this again.