Democrats are lining up to oppose putting a woman on the U.S. Supreme Court. If the roles were reversed, you’d be hearing cries of sexism.
President Donald Trump has said he’ll nominate a woman to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The current favorite is Amy Coney Barrett, a judge on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Barrett would be an impressive candidate. She once clerked for Justice Antonin Scalia and taught for 15 years at Notre Dame Law School before joining the bench. She’s the mother of seven children, including two adopted from Haiti, and a practicing Catholic.
Barbara Lagoa, the other leading candidate, is no less impressive. She’s the daughter of Cuban exiles and sits on the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. She served on the Florida Supreme Court. Before that she worked pro bono to keep Elián Gonzalez in the United States. She’s Catholic and a mother of three.
For decades, Democrats have positioned themselves as the pro-woman party. In 2012, they accused Republicans and then-presidential nominee Mitt Romney of waging a “war on women.” Sticking scissors into the skulls of preborn babies has been repackaged as “women’s health care.” RBG herself was a feminist icon. Nevada Democrats have bragged frequently that the state Legislature is majority female.
If Democrats were serious about being pro-women, they’d be thrilled to vote for one of these intelligent, successful women. Both judges have achieved success both professionally and personally. You could even argue that Ginsburg herself helped pave the way for their legal careers.
Yet, Democrats are already opposing putting a woman on the Supreme Court.
“Let me be clear: The voters should pick a president, and that president should select a successor to Justice Ginsburg,” Joe Biden said Friday.
Given his mental state, Biden may not realize it, but that’s exactly what’s going to happen. Voters picked Trump as president. Trump is selecting Ginsburg’s successor. There’s been flip-flopping on both sides over whether a president should appoint a justice during an election year. This is different from 2016, though, because the same party controls the presidency and Senate.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi went even further in her opposition. She hinted Democrats might use impeachment as a tool to tie up the Senate calendar. That would be a Hail Mary effort. For daring to add a woman to the Supreme Court, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said congressional Republicans “are ruthless.”
Why are these Democrats so afraid of a powerful woman?
Alternatively, identity politics — one of the left’s favorite weapons to use against conservatives — is shallow and vacuous. Democrats oppose Trump’s nominee, not because of her gender, but because of her constitutional philosophy.
For decades, Democrats have viewed the court as a super-legislature. The Supreme Court has given them victories — such as abortion and gay marriage — the electorate wasn’t willing to provide at the time. The nomination of either Barrett or Lagoa threatens that. Both have demonstrated a belief that a judge’s job is to apply the law, not create it.
But until Democrats repudiate identity politics, it’s fair to hold them to their own standard. Democrats are now engaged in a “war on women.”
Victor Joecks’ column appears in the Opinion section each Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. Listen to him discuss his columns each Monday at 3 p.m. with Kevin Wall on AM 670 KMZQ Right Talk. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-4698. Follow @victorjoecks on Twitter.