Opinion | Gearing Up for a Battle Over Amy Coney Barrett

To the Editor:

Re “Trump Pick for Court Opens Dash to Vote” (front page, Sept. 27):

I hate to sound like an apostate, but I think the Democrats are about to make a big mistake with a take-no-prisoners approach to Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation. I don’t like her politics either and am still enraged about the way Merrick Garland wasn’t given a hearing when he was nominated, but I think these facts may be clouding good sense.

President Trump would love to see television-friendly fights and a distraction that would fill the airwaves right up until November. Wouldn’t it be wiser to lower the volume, focus on the many reasons to vote Mr. Trump out of office, and present a proposal for reforming the court after he’s gone?

Judge Barrett’s confirmation is a fight that the Dems are likely to lose and might result in bruises that could affect the election. I say, keep your eyes on the prize.

Alison Dykstra
Santa Rosa, Calif.

To the Editor:

I just read the text of Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s eloquent remarks on being nominated to the Supreme Court. They stir a welling up, in this despiser of President Trump, of a probably futile hope. I hope that Democrats in the Senate might point the way to a rebirth of civility and decency by judging the judge on the grounds of her qualifications and not her political views.

Her record, given a human dimension by her remarks, clearly qualifies her for the Supreme Court. And she has the votes. The decisive revenge against Mitch McConnell for his shameful Merrick Garland blockade is to vote him out of office. As for views on policy, no amount of righteous fuming in the confirmation hearings will change the outcome.

The remedy for an overly conservative court is in a liberal legislature, and in the inexorable sweep of history.

Joel Raphaelson

To the Editor:

Re “Republicans Walk a Political Tightrope With a Lightning-Fast Process” (news article, Sept. 26):

Senator John Cornyn is quoted as saying of the confirmation process: “It’s going to be Kavanaugh on steroids.” Senator Lamar Alexander said, “Either the election can be about Trump or about Covid or about the Supreme Court.”

There is an easy way to avoid this: Democrats should boycott both the Judiciary Committee hearing and the floor vote as a way of highlighting the illegitimacy of President Trump’s selection. Let Lindsey Graham pontificate, and let the Republicans extol Mr. Trump’s nominee to a half-empty Senate floor.

Mitch McConnell has the votes. Why participate in a sham and let the Republicans divert attention from the pandemic and Mr. Trump?

John A. Perrotta
Providence, R.I.

To the Editor:

During a previous judicial confirmation hearing some Democratic senators harassed Amy Coney Barrett because she had affirmed that the goal of a legal career was “building the kingdom of God.”

May I recommend that at the next hearing they avoid criticizing a very noble purpose that many committed liberals like me fully share? Instead I would ask her whether the kingdom of God implies the caging of immigrant children taken from their families; the refusal of asylum to people escaping violence, political reprisal and starvation; and, more generally, the support of the crusade against the poor, the elderly and the sick.

Also I would ask her whether the kingdom of God may be founded on the spider web of lies in which President Trump and his Republican minions have wrapped our nation.

Lodovico Balducci
Tampa, Fla.

To the Editor:

The Supreme Court currently has little religious or regional diversity. Five justices are Roman Catholics (and one more was raised that way), and two have Jewish backgrounds. Their religious backgrounds can’t help but influence their worldviews. Also, with the exception of Neil Gorsuch, they are from the East Coast, and all of them attended either Harvard or Yale Law School.

Now, wouldn’t it be nice to have a justice who is from the heartland and who is a Protestant or, God forbid, an agnostic? Someone who went to a public law school? Just askin’.

Elisabeth Ratcliff-Tate
Garden City, Idaho

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