Juan Williams: Trump's Supreme Court takeover

Juan Williams: Trump's Supreme Court takeover
© Greg Nash

A near party-line vote in the Senate is likely coming today to confirm Judge Amy Coney BarrettAmy Coney BarrettOvernight Health Care: Takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision | COVID-19 cost 5.5 million years of American life | Biden administration investing billions in antiviral pills for COVID-19 Five takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision Supreme Court unanimously sides with Catholic adoption agency that turned away same-sex couples MORE for a seat on the Supreme Court. This makes it clear that Christian evangelicals have reason to think they made the right move in backing President TrumpDonald TrumpChinese apps could face subpoenas, bans under Biden executive order: report Kim says North Korea needs to be 'prepared' for 'confrontation' with US Ex-Colorado GOP chair accused of stealing more than 0K from pro-Trump PAC MORE.

With opposition to abortion as their guiding light, they have ignored multiple women who have charged Trump with sexual assault, his pay-offs to porn stars, the rise in white supremacy under his watch and his policies separating immigrant children from their parents.


But with Barrett on the high court, the evangelicals can see a big pay-off on their number one issue – banning abortion.

Her confirmation hearing created an “Alice in Wonderland” moment.

Everyone watching saw the obvious — but no one was allowed to say — that President Trump, the GOP majority on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and evangelicals favored Barrett principally because of her opposition to abortion.

To keep up the charade, Barrett denied the obvious by claiming to have no opinion on abortion.

But Barrett signed her name to a 2006 newspaper ad that explicitly called for the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision to be overturned and decried its “barbaric legacy” of abortion.

It should be noted that Barrett failed to disclose this fact to the Senate Judiciary Committee in her official nomination paperwork.

Oh, and in 2013 she signed another anti-abortion advertisement condemning Roe v. Wade as a ruling that “killed 55 million unborn children.”

She also did not initially disclose that she was a featured speaker for two anti-abortion groups at Notre Dame.

Barrett told the Senate Judiciary Committee she signed one ad on her “way out of church,” and that her personal views on abortion will not impact her rulings as a judge.

If that’s the case, then why did she refuse to tell the committee her opinion of the 1973 Roe case establishing a constitutional right to abortion?

She also refused to reveal her views on the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision which reaffirmed Roe and the right for women to have an abortion.

Barrett said it would “actually be wrong — a violation of the canons — for me to do that as a sitting judge…If I say I love it or I hate it, it signals to litigants that I might tilt one way or another on a pending case.”

When he ran for president, Trump said plainly the Supreme Court would overturn abortion rights “automatically” if he was elected and able to appoint enough justices to the court.

When asked last month on Fox News if a Supreme Court with three of his nominees would end abortion rights, Trump said: “It’s certainly possible…And maybe they’d give it back to the states. You just don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Oh, sure.

In his rhetoric and actions, Trump is ignoring a clear majority of Americans who support abortion rights.

An ABC/Washington Post poll this month found 62 percent of registered voters saying Roe v. Wade should be upheld, while 24 percent believed it should be overturned.

Barrett kept up the pretense of having no opinion on abortion when she refused to say if she agrees with the 1965 Griswold case which ended all state bans on birth control and gave Americans the right to privacy as a constitutional right. It is the foundation of the Roe decision.

Note that Chief Justice Roberts said Griswold was rightly decided at his confirmation hearing. Even Justices Alito and Thomas, fellow Catholics, said it was the right decision.

Instead, Barrett has pointed to the confirmation hearing for Justice Thurgood Marshall to argue that past statements and advocacy should not disqualify her from a seat on the court.

“Justice Marshall was chosen by Lyndon Johnson precisely because he was a hero in the fight for racial equality. It would be odd if those principles kept him from sitting in school desegregation cases, even if they made his judgments fairly predictable,” Barrett wrote as the co-author of a 1998 article.

Objection, your honor.

As a biographer of Justice Marshall — my bestselling book is called “Thurgood Marshall — American Revolutionary” — I know something about the man and his beliefs.

Marshall’s jurisprudence was rooted in expanding equal rights protection for all.


Barrett’s jurisprudence is rooted in a belief that some rights should be restricted and eliminated on religious grounds — whether it is the rights of gay people to marry the person they love or a woman’s right to end her pregnancy.

Marshall was part of a 7-2 majority that voted in favor of legalizing abortion in the Roe case.

And in a 1977 case on the legality of using Medicaid to pay for abortions, he wrote that poor women, especially racial minorities, lose their right to equal protection under law when rich women can pay for an abortion but poor women do not have the same right.

“I am appalled at the ethical bankruptcy of those who preach a ‘right to life’ that means, under present social policies, a bare existence in utter misery for so many poor women and their children,” Marshall wrote in dissent.

So, Judge Barrett, I knew Justice Marshall and you are no Justice Marshall. 

Juan Williams is an author and a political analyst for Fox News Channel.