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Dems circulate misleading video purporting to show Amy Coney Barrett opposing filling SCOTUS seat if it would ‘dramatically flip the balance of power’

Dems circulate misleading video purporting to show Amy Coney Barrett opposing filling SCOTUS seat if it would ‘dramatically flip the balance of power’

Full statement: “If you look back at, say, the six [justices] that were confirmed in the 20th century in a presidential election year, all but one of those was confirmed … in a period of united government, where the president and the Senate were the same political party.”

https://youtu.be/AQcsR-hPkLg

Yet another edited video is circulating that shows someone appearing to state exactly the opposite of what was actually stated.  This time, the target is presumptive Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.

All over social media, people are sharing an edited clip from a 2016 interview that completely misrepresents what Barrett stated.

Newsweek is among those circulating the erroneous, edited comments (archive link).

A resurfaced interview that CBS News conducted with Amy Coney Barrett in 2016 shows the former law clerk for Associate Justice Antonin Scalia warning against making changes that would “dramatically flip the balance of power” on the Supreme Court in an election year.

. . . .  During the nearly six-minute interview with CBS News, Barrett mentioned past cases in which new Supreme Court justices were nominated and confirmed during election years, most of which she said occurred during periods of united government. In the case of Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, whose nomination in 1987 was approved in 1988 during a period of divided government and in an election year, Barrett said the circumstances were different from those involved with replacing Scalia.

“The wrangling for the spot, the conversation about the spot, the existence of the spot had been in play for a long time before [the election year],” Barrett said. “Moreover, Kennedy is a moderate Republican, and he replaced a moderate Republican, [Associate Justice Lewis] Powell.

“We’re talking about Justice Scalia, the staunchest conservative on the court, and we’re talking about him being replaced by someone who could dramatically flip the balance of power on the court,” Barrett continued. “It’s not a lateral move.”

The problem?  Barrett was talking about a split government.  In 2016, Obama was in the White House, and Republicans held the Senate.  That is clearly not the case this year, with President Trump in the White House and a Republican majority in the Senate.  Further, that wasn’t even the point she was making.

Even the Washington Post noted the disturbing editing involved in this now viral lie (archive link).

But the full context of Barrett’s remarks make clear she was saying no such thing. In fact, she was explicitly making a point about how rare such a scenario would be in divided government — a situation we don’t have today, with a president and Senate controlled by the same party.

Coney noted that the only recent example of a Senate controlled by the opposite party confirming a president’s nominee in a presidential election year was Anthony M. Kennedy — a Ronald Reagan appointee whom the Democratic-controlled Senate confirmed in early 1988. That vacancy was different from what was happening in 2016, she noted, because it actually came about in 1987, and the Democratic Senate was replacing a moderate Republican appointee (Lewis F. Powell Jr.) with a moderate Republican appointee.

“We’re talking about Justice Scalia, the staunchest conservative on the court, and we’re talking about him being replaced by someone who could dramatically flip the balance of power in the court,” Barrett said. “It’s not a lateral move.”

That’s not taking a position on what’s appropriate; it’s merely summarizing what happened. But beyond that, she was explicitly talking about divided government, which doesn’t apply in 2020.

“The question is what does this precedent establish, and I don’t think it establishes a rule for either side in the debate,” Barrett said. “If you look back at, say, the six [justices] that were confirmed in the 20th century in a presidential election year, all but one of those was confirmed … in a period of united government, where the president and the Senate were the same political party.”

That last part is missing from the clip making the rounds, and it is the point she makes at the beginning of her discussion of the empty Justice Scalia seat, not at the end (full video below).

Joe Scarborough was among the many who shared this video, but he deleted that tweet when it was pointed out to him that it was deceptively edited.

The Washington Examiner notes that the part circulating now has been taken completely out of context.

She was then asked about comments Sen. Marco Rubio made against confirmations during a presidential election year.

Barrett explained that there were six cases of such confirmations during the 20th century but said of the historical record, “I don’t think it establishes a rule for either side in the debate.”

She noted that of the six cases, five came when the same party controlled both the White House and Senate, which meant that there was no strong disagreement.

She then pointed out that the one exception was Anthony Kennedy being confirmed in 1988.

“The arguments will be that that situation was distinguishable,” she said, clearly signaling that what follows is her characterizing the arguments rather than articulating her own position.

She went on to explain that, “The vacancy did not arise in the presidential election year. It arose the year before, in June, when [Justice Lewis] Powell retired. And Justice Kennedy was nominated in November of the prior year. Moreover, he was nominated after [Robert] Bork’s nomination had failed and [Douglas] Ginsburg withdrew his nomination. So the wrangling for the spot, the conversation about the spot, the existence of the spot, had been in play for a long time before that.”

Only then did she get to the part that is now being stripped of all context: “Kennedy is a moderate Republican, and he replaced a moderate Republican, Powell. We’re talking about Justice Scalia, the staunchest conservative on the Court, and we’re talking about him being replaced by someone who could dramatically flip the balance of power on the Court. It’s not a lateral move.”

. . . .  As she wrapped up, she again made it abundantly clear that she wasn’t taking a position one way or another on what ought to happen and that neither side is clearly in the right.

“In sum, the president has the power to nominate, and the Senate has the power to act or not, and I don’t think either one of them can claim that there’s a rule governing one way or the other,” she said.

Here’s the full interview:

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Comments

Not her call even if she did. Going to be pretty hard to the left to keep this up when some of the same knuckle draggers confirmed in 2017.

The Democrats are worse than Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot combined…

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Groundhog Day. | September 26, 2020 at 3:50 pm

    Don’t forget the demon leader of their “pay masters,” Mao.

    No they aren’t. Why would such an obviously absurd claim garner any up-votes whatsoever? The claim doesn’t deserve any more acclaim than do the Democrats’ assertions that Mr Trump is a hybrid of Xi, Hitler, and Putin.

    If you were trying to establish your idiot Democrat tactical credentials, there you go. You succeeded.

The Democrats are worse than Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot combined….

    Groundhog Day in reply to Groundhog Day. | September 26, 2020 at 3:38 pm

    I don’t know how this happened… ;-(

    So far the Democrats haven’t actually murdered anyone. Most of them would probably balk at actual murder. And then they’d be the next up against the wall, as the revolution turns on itself.

      thetaqjr in reply to Milhouse. | September 27, 2020 at 12:45 pm

      “Although the socialist parties had the strength to get anything if they had cared to use force, they were reluctant to do so. They had, without knowing it, set themselves a task which only the ruthless ready to disregard the barriers of accepted morals can execute.”

      Hayek, “The Road to Serfdom”, [Why the Worst Get on Top], p. 159

If your argument is sound, you do not have to lie….

    True, but some people seem to like lying, even when they have sound arguments available. Cf those who, amid all the valid arguments they could make against George Soros, who is truly an enemy of our civilization, insist on trotting out the old lie that he was a nazi collaborator.

The Dims are so retarded. They seem to think it matters what any individual THINKS or FEELS about this.

Yeah sure, because everyone wants a 50 50 split in politics

and I don’t think either one of them can claim that there’s a rule governing one way or the other,” she said.

A strange statement. What do “rules” have to do with it? Appointment and Senatorial “consent” (i.e., ratification or confirmation) of Associate Justices are matters of law—in the sense that the Constitution is law, as explicitly regarded by John Marshall in Marbury—not rules.

Rules are a weird self-imposed mechanism which the Senate uses to keep itself comfortably tied up in its own underwear, but they shouldn’t be allowed to interfere with the other functions of government.

I am old enough to remember that opposition to Robert Bork was rooted (at least in part) to the notion that he would upset the “delicate balance” of the Court, causing some kind Constitutional calamity by merely being there. That was back when the Communists were pretending to revere the Constitution, something they no longer bother to do.

The smearing of Robert Bork in those hearings was an unmitigated evil that continues to haunt the country even today.

We are going to need fast responses. This is a very good start.

Does it really matter what deceptions the Democrats practice? It’s too easy to see through for those who are not affected by TDS.

    If only this were true! Just as there are many Democrats who think they are still in the party of the working man, the anti-commie, pro-middle class party, there are many people who still watch CNN as if it were real news. We have to expose the lies and hope that at least some of these deluded people will find out the truth.

    As someone who is surrounded by Democrats, many of whom are friends, you couldn’t be more wrong. I keep carping about how creepy it is when a friend who is every other way a warm, caring, thoughtful human being starts spewing the hate and lies. It is impossible to have any kind of rational discussion and once they blow up, it’s over.

    They only see and hear what they want and are blind to everything else. Kitchen table family discussions are a thing of the past. Everyone has dug their heels in, a social train wreck. Complete madness.

No no …the MSM are fact based, objective observers and reporters of the whole truth with all the necessary context.

Oh yeah that’s what they used to be in the fond memories of some…though they are false memories. The MSM has never met that standard.

Nice to see that Twitter and CBS are making no pretense of objectivity this early in the confirmation. That makes it that much easier to expose them the rest of the way.

If only they could circulate a video citing the constitution to back up their argument.

If appointing a Supreme Court Justice who will follow the United States Constitution (their job) will “dramatically flip the balance of power,” a serious problem has been admitted by the Democrats. There should be no “balance of power” on the Supreme Court.

    Mac45 in reply to Elric. | September 27, 2020 at 12:28 pm

    The courts are part of the government and all of the government is political. This includes the SCOTUS. And, it has been that way forever. In modern history, look at DC v Heller. The premier “constructionists”, who have been touted as being literalists, Scalia and Thomas, both rewrote the 2nd Amendment in that case. They added the exception that the state could regulated the ownership and carry of weapons by convicted criminals, who had completed their sentence, and the mentally ill, even if those people were not subject to legal guardianship. Where does it say that in the 2nd or anywhere else in the US Constitution? It doesn’t. They made a political decision, not based upon the document under scrutiny. It is all politics, all day, everyday, in government.

Nothing to see here, move along.

Why are people even surprised at the fact that liberals, Progressives and Democrat operatives lie? Would these same people actually believe a used car salesman with white and brown spectator shoes, a checked sport coat, a pencil thin mustache and a gold tooth who told them that the 15 year old car was a cherry that has only been driven to church on Sunday by a little old lady, as he wipes the fresh paint from his hand? Some people are simply TDSTL.

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