Opinion | The Supreme Court hearings were pointless but terrifying

The Republicans were obviously going to shove Amy Coney Barret through the committee, but what we saw in them was horrifying for the future of our laws.


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A picture of the supreme court, with the US flag waving in front of the phrase “Equal Justice Under Law”

Hannah Pinski, Opinions Columnist

From Oct. 12-15, I kept up with what was supposed to be an educational experience on the future of our Supreme Court and country. However, to put it bluntly, the time I spent watching the Amy Coney Barret updates were a waste of time. And what I did see has me scared for the future of America.

Let’s start with the initial problem: these hearings shouldn’t have happened in the first place. While the president does have the constitutional right to fill the seat, what’s more important is the fact that America is a democracy where the president should have a majority support from the people for them to uphold such power.

The hearings took place not only during an election year, but at a time where it was less than a month away until election day and polls proving that Trump doesn’t have the support. Fifty-two percent of registered voters also favored filling the seat should be left to the winner of the presidential election.

But the Republican Party was more concerned with rushing to fill a seat for their advantage instead of thinking of the American people. If our country is supposed to be a democracy, why wasn’t the Senate focused on providing relief to businesses and families suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic?

Second, the actual hearings themselves were pointless because Barret dodged almost any question that was thrown at her. In fact, the only thing Americans can say with confidence about her is that she doesn’t hate little warm puppies.

It’s not just the fact that we learned nothing. Her refusal to give answers on basic principles that America is based on and facts has me worried for the future of our country.

Iowa Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst accused the Democrats of using scare tactics during the hearings. However, I personally don’t believe that asking questions about the future of rights, policy, and basic American principles is really a “scare tactic.”

When asked if the constitution gives the president the authority to delay an election under any circumstance, she responded by saying she would need to hear arguments and read briefs before giving a straightforward answer.

Elections are one of the key components to a democracy, and the fact alone that Trump wants to postpone the only way Americans can participate in government is scary enough.

Her continuation of dodging basic questions related to Roe v. Wade, the ACA, and climate change threatens women’s rights, the future of our environment, and accessibility to quality health care for thousands of Americans.

In addition, her offensive language against the LGBTQ community and inability to name all five freedoms of the First Amendment displays that she is unfit to serve for all of the American people.

While the Amy Coney Barret hearings shouldn’t have happened at all, there is one thing we can take away: I’m afraid for the future of our democracy if she’s confirmed.

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.