Republicans try to hijack RBG's legacy for Amy Coney Barrett


The GOP is shamelessly exploiting the feminist icon to jam through their nominee.

The day after Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death, Donald Trump pledged to nominate a female jurist to the Supreme Court. "It will be a woman," he said at an airport rally in North Carolina.

On Saturday, Trump announced he was nominating Amy Coney Barrett, a 48-year-old Catholic judge serving on the 7th Circuit.

Barrett belongs to a religious sect that believes husbands should dominate their wives and is a hardline conservative on reproductive rights and LGBTQ issues. Nevertheless, some conservatives have tried to paint Barrett as the feminist choice, going so far as to liken her to Ginsburg, the first woman to lie in state at the U.S. Capitol.

Republicans are selling "Notorious ACB" tee-shirts, a reference to the "Notorious RBG"— Ginsburg's nickname and a play on the legendary rapper Notorious B.I.G. According to CNN, the White House also intentionally decorated the Rose Garden for Barrett's announcement to mimic the decor for Ginsburg's announcement on June 14, 1993.

"A White House aide who is involved in making the preparations today sent a photo to CNN showing the flags. It is designed to replicate the look of Ginsburg’s announcement," the outlet reported. "President Trump and his advisers specifically asked for the Rose Garden to be adorned in hanging flags after they recently saw the Clinton-Ginsburg announcement replaying on television."

As for Coney, while she promised to respect Ginsburg's legacy in her nomination acceptance speech on Saturday evening, she added that her judicial philosophy more closely aligns with the late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia.

"I will be mindful of who came before me. The flag is still flying at half-staff for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ... She was a woman of enormous talent and consequence ... Particularly poignant to me was her long friendship with Justice Antonin Scalia, my own mentor. They disagreed fiercely in print without rancor in person," Barrett said.

She continued, "[Scalia's] judicial philosophy is mine too. A judge must apply the law as written. Judges are not policy makers. They must be resolute in setting aside any personal policy news they might hold."

Nancy Northup, the CEO and president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, has pointed out that if Barrett is true to her word she would "gut Justice Ginsburg’s legacy and turn back five decades of advancement for reproductive rights."

And as the New York Times notes, her past writings suggest that Barrett is likely to help overturn Roe v. Wade, reverting access to abortion rights to the states.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement on Saturday that Barrett's nomination threatened both Obamacare and women's rights.

"The American people should make no mistake—a vote by any Senator for Judge Amy Coney Barrett is a vote to strike down the Affordable Care Act and eliminate protections for millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions," he said, adding the court appointment "also makes clear that if she is confirmed, the reproductive freedoms that millions of women hold dear would be in grave danger."

As Politico reported, Barrett's nomination is likely intended to shore up support among women voters, who have increasingly negative views of Trump.

According to a Washington Post/ABC News poll conducted between Sept. 21-24, only 36% of women surveyed said they approved of Trump's job performance, compared to 53% of men. And a Quinnipiac poll conducted between Sept. 17-31 that surveyed "likely voters" showed only 38% of women nationally said they would cast a ballot for Trump.

Only 39% of women in that same survey said they held a "favorable" view of Trump, and the same percentage said they approved of the way he was handling his job as president.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.