Markey blasts Barrett’s judicial philosophy: ‘Originalism is just a fancy word for discrimination’

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Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., ripped the judicial philosophy espoused by Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett as lawmakers prepared for her confirmation vote on Monday night.

“Originalism is racist. Originalism is sexist. Originalism is homophobic. Originalism is just a fancy word for discrimination,” Markey wrote on Twitter.

The Senate is expected to confirm Barrett to the nation’s highest court in what would mark the third such appointment during the Trump administration. Leading Democrats have fiercely opposed Barrett’s candidacy, arguing that Republicans ignored precedent by moving forward with her nomination during an election year.

Barrett has described herself as a constitutional originalist. Often associated with the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, originalism refers to the judicial philosophy that laws should be interpreted as they were written

Barrett once served as a clerk for Scalia and has described the conservative icon as one of her mentors. She explained her judicial outlook in detail during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this month.


“In English, that means that I interpret the Constitution as a law, that I interpret its text as text, and I understand it to have the meaning that it had at the time people ratified it,” Barrett said. “So that meaning doesn’t change over time and it’s not up to me to update it or infuse my own policy views into it.”

Democratic lawmakers took aim at Barrett’s support of originalism during her confirmation hearing, with Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn, referring to the philosophy as a “smokescreen” used by “activist” judges.

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