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Op-ed Placement

Democrats oppose Amy Coney Barrett because she'll stop their unconstitutional agenda

on 10/12/20.

The vice presidential debate certainly lacked the theatrics we saw in the first presidential debate. However, there was one notable exception where Sen. Kamala Harris cranked up the hyperbole on healthcare and the Supreme Court. If you listened to her tell it, you’d think Amy Coney Barrett was a thoughtless, bloodless robot programmed only to destroy the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Suffice it to say, this is not the case.

However, there’s a reason Harris resorted to such tactics: because she and every other politician in the Democratic Party knows that they may not have the Supreme Court to defend their unconstitutional agenda anymore. Barrett scares the Left because she is an originalist in the mold of her late boss, Justice Antonin Scalia. That means she will not hesitate to strike down unconstitutional laws such as Obamacare should she be confirmed to the high court.

If Barrett is confirmed before the presidential election, she will be on hand to hear the oral arguments in California v. Texas. The questions before the court in that case are whether the individual mandate is now unconstitutional because Congress has reduced the penalty to zero dollars, whether the individual mandate is severable from the rest of the law, and whether or not Texas and the others bringing the challenge have standing to sue.

The fact that the Left has almost universally recognized that the appointment of a constitutional originalist would mean the end of Obamacare means they all know the law is unconstitutional. The only reason the law was upheld in the first place was on the dubious assertion that the individual mandate’s penalty was a tax. Now that the individual mandate has been zeroed out, there is not even a flimsy pretense that it is constitutionally defensible as a “tax” and Harris knows it. That is the panic viewers got to see at the debate.

This says quite a bit about the way the Democrats view our system of governance and about what their agenda would mean. The Supreme Court’s role, properly understood, is to interpret the law. They do not make law. The Democrats’ objections to a Supreme Court nominee do not include any constitutional considerations, but only policy outcomes. This is because they believe the court is only another means to accomplish their policy goals, which are clearly out of step with our framers’ vision for America.

When the Right takes issue with a judge, it is most often because of an overly broad interpretation of the Constitution, or a willingness to let their own views cloud their judgment. This has recently been the case with Chief Justice John Roberts, who lately seems to be more concerned with his legacy than the preservation of the Constitution. It is also the case with many judges appointed by Democratic presidents. Activist judges are perhaps the greatest reason the Left has been able to defend its abuse of and disregard for the Constitution.

This is ultimately why Joe Biden and Harris want to make the debate over Barrett’s qualifications one about their political views. If we are honestly interpreting the Constitution, they simply have no argument. And they know it. This is also a tacit admission that Barrett’s qualifications are unassailable, which is why they’ve chosen to focus on Obamacare or even attack her faith. It is also why they won’t rule out packing the court if they win. Their agenda doesn’t stand a chance otherwise. Adding Barrett to the Supreme Court would be the death knell for blatantly unconstitutional laws. It is only fitting that Obamacare be the first of many to fall.

Parissa Sedghi is an executive vice president at FreedomWorks.