In a sea of unhinged responses to the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) managed to outdo the rest when he characterized Barrett’s judicial philosophy as stemming from fundamental bigotry.
Barrett is known for her legal approach of constitutional originalism – meaning that she takes the Constitution at its word. She doesn’t layer her own biases, the whims of modern American society, or any of a thousand other irrelevant factors into her interpretation of a case. This is the polar opposite of a liberal judge’s approach, and it really irked Sen. Markey.
“Originalism is racist,” he tweeted. “Originalism is sexist. Originalism is homophobic. Originalism is just a fancy word for discrimination.”
Markey’s idiotic take on originalism is not unique to him by any means. Democrats are constantly making this deceptive argument. The idea is that Barrett and other originalists believe that we should still be able to own slaves, women should not be able to vote, and various other ridiculous ideas.
This is nonsense, of course. An originalist doesn’t believe that the Constitution begins and ends with its original writing; they believe in the subsequent changes and amendments just as much as the original document. Furthermore, they believe that laws are written by the legislature and should be respected according to THEIR texts. What they don’t believe is that it’s up to the courts to “update” the Constitution whenever they feel like it.
In an interview on Tuesday, Sen Mike Lee (R-UT) said that Markey’s remarks were among the “worst” takes on Barrett that he’d yet heard.
“Of all the irresponsible and inflammatory statements I’ve heard over the last few weeks, and I’ve heard some doozies, this might well be the worst,” Lee said. “If you think about what he is really saying there, Sen. Markey has essentially said that our Constitution is racist. And an effort to understand it, understand its words at the time they were written is itself racist and bigoted. I can’t think of a statement that has a greater tendency to undermine the foundation of our Constitutional Republic. I hope, expect, and demand that Sen. Markey retract his statement. It is irresponsible; he can’t defend that.”
Rather than take Lee’s advice and retract his statement, Markey tweeted: “As soon as the Democrats retake the Senate we must abolish the filibuster.”
Never mind that mucking around with the filibuster is exactly what landed the Democrats in this jam to begin with.
But then, if his remarks about originalism are any indication, history isn’t Markey’s strong suit. Come to think of it, we’re not sure what IS.