Honor is a word President Trump’s latest nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court – Amy Coney Barrett – employed twice in the first few seconds of her remarks during that Rose Garden ceremony on the last Saturday in September.
Of course, Judge Barrett, who’s taught at law schools, employed definitionally appropriate usage of the word honor when she expressed her esteem and high respect during that ceremony now shamed as a COVID-19 Super Spreader event due to numerous attendees afterward testing positive for the virus.
However, the problem for Barrett and too many others in ranking governmental positions is the apparent abandonment of another common usage for the word honor – the definition that includes integrity, truthfulness and adherence to what is right.
Judge Barrett, in the second sentence of her remarks, said she was “deeply honored” by the nomination to America’s most powerful court from President Trump, easily the most dishonorable president in the nation’s history.
Two sentences after Barrett’s homage to Trump, Barrett highlighted the “honor” of a Senate confirmation of her nomination. The Senate’s Republican majority is set to bum-rush Barrett’s high court confirmation. That Republican majority is inclusive of GOP Senators who define dishonor with their hypocrisy. Those hypocrites cravenly blocked President Obama’s early 2016 election year Supreme Court nominee yet crassly support Trump’s late 2020 election year nomination of Barrett.
Barrett’s acceptance of Trump’s nomination is another stain on the “honorable judiciary” that the Code of Conduct for federal judges declares is “indispensable to justice in our society.”
Abandonment of classic honor is evident at all levels of government, on all sides of the partisan divide…although it predominates among Republicans. This lack of adherence to what is right for the greater good contaminates people in governmental positions irrespective of gender and race.
Daniel Cameron, the Republican Attorney General in Kentucky, who is African American, now confronts demands for his resignation. Those demands arise from Cameron’s ham-handed handling of the grand jury investigation that excused police misconduct directly related to the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor.
What underlies condemnation of Cameron nationwide? His questionable adherence to Kentucky’s Code of Ethics that requires actions by officials that “promote public confidence in the integrity of government.”
Cameron has yet to address his seeming aversion to what is right – even the appearance of doing what is right – from incidents during Cameron’s self-described ‘independent’ investigation into the police killing of Taylor.. Cameron’s deliverance of a law-&-order speech at the RNC National Convention in August and his attendance at a pro-law enforcement White House confab in June, undermined public confidence in the integrity of government…at least Cameron’s governance.
Where is the honor among top federal public health officials who publicly appease deliriums of President Trump like his dangerous support for injections of poisonous bleach to cure COVID-19? Honor would dictate resignations. A former CDC Director recently called-out the current CDC Director to resign to protest President Trump’s “knee on the neck of the public health community” that sabotages effective response to COVID-19.
Judge Barrett’s service on the U.S. Supreme Court would be an honorific achievement for her. That court, for nearly 200-years, was all-male. That changed in 1981, when the first female joined that bench, followed by three others to date. That court in 1872 ruled the legal profession was not a place for women.
Barrett, during her Rose Garden remarks, gave duplicitous tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsberg, the liberal Justice she’s slated to replace and the Justice whose stances on what constitutes justice are the antidthesis of Barrett’s lockstep conservatism.
Barrett praised her mentor, Antonin Scalia, the late, right-wing Supreme Court Justice that GOP Senators blocked former President Obama from replacing in 2016.
Barrett said she shares the “judicial philosophy” of Scalia, the Justice who awarded her a prestigious, career-elevating Supreme Court clerkship.
(Interestingly, Ginsberg and Scalia – although ideological opposites – shared something in common: each did little to reverse the Supreme Court’s legacy of racially discriminatory exclusion of Blacks from clerkships with Ginsberg only appointing a single black clerk while a SOTUS Justice.)
Barrett pledged in her remarks to “do equal right to the poor…” That pledge clashes with Barrett’s willful engagement in a dishonorable confirmation process where President Trump and the GOP Senators who back her Supreme Court installation have turned their collective backs on the unprecedented Pandemic-spawned suffering ripping millions of American families from the poor through the middle class.
Barrett placed a lot of focus on the virtues of family when she addressed that Rose Garden assemblage, where few attendees wore masks and fewer practiced social distancing.
Barrett’s focus on her motherhood without even passing reference to Pandemic agonies endured by millions of other mothers across America displayed an indifference to human suffering that contradict characterizations of her as honorable.
Millions of mothers without any income, unlike Barrett with her secure judicial paycheck, now face circumstances like evictions and no food for their children because the same GOP Senators intent on elevating Barrett to the Supreme Court have stalled new, substantive stimulus aid to mitigate the Pandemic’s financial pain on American families.
Barrett’s participation in this perverted confirmation process affirms her profound lack of adherence to what is right. She lacks honor.