Everyone knows the Supreme Court conservatives were lying in their hearings. Everyone

Everyone knows the Supreme Court conservatives were lying in their hearings. Everyone

Author Celeste Headlee has composed a helpful list of quotes from the Supreme Court justices who overturned Roe today, and it’s a reminder that Senate confirmation hearings are, at this point, just another institutionalized venue for lying. Nobody believed what the handpicked far-right nominees were saying, because their far-right patrons would not have pushed for them to take the role if they had not expressed previous support to gut whatever needed gutting to serve the far-right agenda. That was the point.

It should probably go without saying that Amy Coney Barrett was the most flagrant bullshitter.

Amy Coney Barret in confirmation hearing: “Cases [like Roe] are so well settled that no political actors and no people seriously push for their overruling.”

— Celeste Headlee (@CelesteHeadlee) June 24, 2022

But she quickly hedged by saying that while Roe was precedent, it wasn’t “SUPER-precedent.” That is a real thing that an actual Supreme Court nominee argued. It’s also a distinction that the court’s conservatives now have to lean on, as they shred hundreds of years of precedent to come to conclusions based on misogynists and would-be revolutionaries of the 1600s. It doesn’t matter if we erase mere precedents, because they’re not super-precedents. And what’s a super-precedent? It’s whatever the faux-originalists say they are. For example, the personal musings of an utterly creepy misogynist who advocated for executing unmarried women for suspected witchcraft in the 1600s is now “super-precedent” because that’s how far back you need to go to find something modern misogynists can use to erase all the more well-heeled precedents that have been decided since.

But the other nominees peddled similar bullshit. Roe was “precedent,” and “settled,” and it was all fictions that a few particular senators were very, very eager to pretend to believe because being gullible, brick-headed twits is their whole professional persona. Our betters are expected to lie without consequence, because everyone else in the room wants to lie without consequence, too.

Brett Kavanaugh in confirmation hearing: “[Roe] is an important precedent… [Roe and Casey] have been reaffirmed many times. Casey is precedent on precedent.”

— Celeste Headlee (@CelesteHeadlee) June 24, 2022

Brett also claimed that every single witness to his multiple sexual assaults was a liar, which Lindsey Graham personally found so courageous it brought him to beet-red tears.

John Roberts in confirmation hearing: “[Roe] is settled as a precedent of the court, entitled to respect under principles of stare decisis. It is settled.”

— Celeste Headlee (@CelesteHeadlee) June 24, 2022

These are more cagey than the Barrett version, and it’s probably because Republicans scurried so quickly to confirm Barrett before the presidential votes came in that she had barely any time for coaching. The others went through the usual coaching drills to make sure they had honed their evasions to the standard equally dishonest senators wanted to hear.

Samuel Alito in confirmation hearing: “When someone becomes a judge, you really have to put aside the things that you did as a lawyer…I would approach the question with an open mind.”

— Celeste Headlee (@CelesteHeadlee) June 24, 2022

Alito is almost a special case because in his time on the court he, along with ex-justice Scalia and the now sedition-linked Clarence Thomas, sought to throw out precedents with such abandon that not even precedents the three had signed onto mere weeks beforehand were safe. The trio perfected the art of using bizarre historical errata as justification for erasing a hundred years (or four hundred years) of subsequent law, never worrying about whether the logic conflicted from case to case. It’d be almost insulting Alito to suggest that he came into the court with any “judicial” philosophy at all.

Elie Mystal comes in to talk the Supreme Court, guns, and our Constitution on Daily Kos’ The Brief podcast

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