Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Trump To Appoint Right-Wing Catholic Sect Member To Supreme Court – Handmaid’s Tale Fiction to Become an American Reality?

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As expected, it looks as if Trump is going to choose as his Supreme Court nominee, an anti-abortionist disciple of a cult that could have come …

Trump To Appoint Right-Wing Catholic Sect Member To Supreme Court

US President Donald Trump plans to nominate a woman, Amy Coney Barrett, to his country’s Supreme Court. Ms Barrett is a member of a very creepy Catholic Church cult called “People of Praise”. Amy Goodman, host of “Democracy Now”, investigates.

Amy Coney Barrett, husband Jesse, Handmaid’s Tale, People of Praise

We’re looking at Amy Barrett’s membership in a secretive Catholic group with rigid gender roles and a lifelong loyalty oath. We’re now joined by a former member of People of Praise who’s now speaking out against the group. Coral Anika Theill was a People of Praise member for five years, from 1979 to 1984, after being forced to join the organization by her then-husband. She documented her experience in her memoir titled Bonsheá: Making Light of the Dark.

Coral, thanks so much for joining us from Corvallis, Oregon. Can you describe People of Praise and what happened to you while you lived in the community?

CORAL ANIKA THEILL: Thank you for having me on your show, and I’m a fan of you and your show.

I was a member of the People of Praise — many call it a community, but I describe it as a cult — in Corvallis, Oregon. I experienced abuse and torture by my husband, Marty Warner, Independence, Oregon, and the cult leaders, as well as shunning, shaming and a smear campaign against me when I escaped and left. For safety, I legally changed my name, and I’ve lived under a state address protection program from my ex-husband for the past 20 years.”

Ms Coney-Barrett has a frightening judicial record :

“Her short time on the bench has been marked by a series of objectionable votes that predict how calamitous her appointment to the high court would become: Barrett believes that women should not be permitted to obtain an abortion even in cases of severe fetal abnormality. Even if a judge finds that a pregnant minor is mature enough to exercise her right to choose to terminate the pregnancy, Barrett believes that the minors’ parents must be told. Combine that with her view that health care should be stripped from Americans (a position she has not publicly repudiated even in the midst of a pandemic) and it reveals a supremely cruel vision of the law — a total betrayal of Ginsburg’s ethos. People will die and families will go financially and emotionally bankrupt under Barrett’s medieval jurisprudence.”

“Barrett refused to halt the deportation of an immigrant who faced torture at home, seemingly placing her in the camp of officials who justified throwing children into cages, citing Romans 13. She’s committed to making sure that meritorious Establishment Clause litigants never see the inside of a courtroom by denying standing standing.”

“During the pandemic, Barrett has ruled that religious services should be exempt from a general ban on large gatherings in Illinois, even though the ban applied to other large gatherings, such as political rallies, and even though the sweeping exemption undermines the entire point of the emergency health order. This dangerous decision put the 7th Circuit at odds with the vast majority of federal courts, which have correctly concluded that religion does not entitle a believer to flout public health laws.”

“Barrett’s writings, statements and affiliations attest to her conviction that Catholic lawyers are on a religious mission to serve their God and build that deity’s kingdom — clearly conflicting with the oath Supreme Court justices must take to uphold our secular Constitution. Giving Barrett’s misguided judicial outlook, a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court would have far-reaching and ruinous effects on a woman’s right to choose, the right to die with dignity, the death penalty, and the collision of Catholic health care and our secular law.”

FFRF is committed to fighting any nominee who is so clearly hostile to American secularism and values.

Some readers might think the US Democratic Party will organise effective opposition. Do not jump to that conclusion!

The American Democratic Party – Tweedledum alongside the Republican Tweedledee – offers generally useless “opposition” to President Donald Trump. But maybe Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court is a step too far? Precedents are ominous : The 87 year old chair of the US Senate’s oversight committee is Dianne Feinstein :

Libby Watson reports :

Which leads us to another problem: The Democratic charge will be led by 87-year-old Dianne Feinstein, the party’s ranking member of the Judiciary Committee. Feinstein is resolutely not interested in the idea of breaking any kind of norm to win. As recently as a week before Ginsburg’s death, Feinstein criticized the idea of abolishing the filibuster and refused to say whether, as chair of the committee during a Biden administration, she would continue a recent Republican practice of ignoring opposition committee members who object to judicial nominees from their home state. The long-standing “blue slip” process, she said, “fosters bipartisan engagement in the nomination process.” Truly, we are living in a golden age of well-fostered bipartisan engagement!

“Concerns about Feinstein’s role in the upcoming confirmation process are not some petty, factional whining of disgruntled leftists. As Politico reported, these fears—that Feinstein is not up to the task of grilling Trump’s nominee for Ginsberg’s seat—are “widespread” among Democrats in Congress, who fret that Feinstein “gets confused by reporters’ questions, or will offer different answers to the same question depending on where or when she’s asked” and appears “frail.” These are normal things for an 87-year-old to do or be; they are perhaps not the ideal characteristics for the person tasked with being the face of the Democratic resistance to another right-wing psychocrat being placed on the court for decades to possess. (The Los Angeles Times’ report on Feinstein’s love of the blue slip process included the detail that she “wasn’t aware” that “Republicans had confirmed judges without them.” Her office later provided a tally: The GOP has done so 17 times in the Trump era.)”

“More importantly, Politico notes that Feinstein whiffed badly the last go-around. She waited weeks to disclose the letter she received from Christine Blasey Ford alleging that Brett Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her and only did so after The Intercept reported on the existence of an allegation. One unnamed senator was candid—as candid as an anonymous source can be, I suppose—in their criticism: She’s “not sure what she’s doing,” and the party “may be short two senators” because of her handling of Kavanaugh.”

The Irish Radio Service RTÉ Radio 1 Extra broadcasts “Democracy Now” every weekday 3-4 pm (Irish Time) Monday to Friday . Recommended!

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