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Amy Coney Barrett's Constitutional Canards Redux
About a year ago, on Facebook, I shared a lecture given by Judge Amy Coney Barrett of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, noting that:
(1) it was an excellent lecture, and
(2) she could well be the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
I can see now from this video's pathetic view count (791 views!) that most of my Facebook friends did not take me up on my invitation. However, now that Judge Barrett is indeed the frontrunner to become the next Supreme Court justice, maybe it's time you, my public readership, corrected the errors of my Facebook friends?
Feel free to watch this at 2x speed. It makes the time pass much faster. Also, the actual lecture ends at the 44-minute mark. The last part of the video is Q&A, which is much less interesting, because most Q&A at lectures of this sort is off-topic and low-quality.
The topic of the lecture is "Canards of Contemporary Analysis." Riffing on a 1989 lecture by Justice Scalia at the same school, Barrett names several very common legal ideas -- ideas so commonplace they usually slip past without any scrutiny -- and scrutinizes them.
The canards she dismantles are:
"Textualism is literalism."
"A dictionary is a textualist's most important tool."
"Textualists always agree."
"We must never forget that it is a Constitution we are expounding."
"Judicial activism is a meaningful term."
"Congressional silence is acquiescence."
P.S. I think there's a 75-80% chance President Trump's nominee will be confirmed to the Supreme Court before Inauguration Day 2021, and a 55-60% chance that his nominee will be Amy Coney Barrett.
(Nate Silver also rates the odds of Trump's re-election at about 25%, which would give any Trump nominee very roughly a 100% chance of confirmation.)
So I guess I'm giving ACB about a 58% chance overall of being the next Supreme Court Justice. So she's the frontrunner, but there's still a LOT of different people in contention.
For one example, check out my surprise interview with Supreme Court contender Thomas Hardiman, who strenuously and rightly objected to my characterization of him several years ago. Judge Hardiman is still on the President's approved list, although it is unlikely a man will be appointed to fill the late Justice Ginsburg's seat, may she rest in peace.