My Interview with Ann Coney Barrett

Updated: Nov 26, 2021



This interview may seem a bit strange, since I composed the whole thing. Still, your nomination to the Supreme Court raises some interesting questions.

Do you think God wants you to join the Supreme Court?

I think so.

Does it matter how you got there?

What do you mean?

In Catholic ethical theory, one can justify the means if the end is a greater good than the harm of the means.

That’s right. It’s the end that matters, unless the means to that end are really bad.

And you don’t see Trump’s behavior as really bad?

It is what it is.

As a judge, I assume you pray that your decisions are correct?

Of course.

And do you get any guidance in your prayers?

You mean on particular cases?

Yes

No, I am an originalist and follow what the text says.

So, you do not expect your prayers to make any difference?

This doesn’t seem like a good question.

OK, as an originalist, what do you think of the 14th Amendment?

“Equal protection under the law” is fundamental to our democracy.

I agree, but why did the Constitution need to be amended?

I don’t know what you are getting at?

Well, an originalist believes that the Constitution should be read in terms of what the authors intended. They did intend to count enslaved people as 3/5th of a person, but I doubt if they intended “equal protection under the law,” or even the 19th Amendment for that matter.

I see.

Actually, it was the Republican party that passed the 14th Amendment without the consent of the representatives of the slave states, such as your family’s state of Louisiana.

And your point?

As an originalist, are you against “amending” the Constitution?

No, no, that would be going too far.

What about the idea of the Equal Rights Amendment?

I don’t think I can answer that since I am not writing this interview.

Fair enough.

OK, let’s turn to your attendance at the Rose Garden. You did not wear a mask. Would you have worn one if everyone else had?

I suppose so.

But you didn’t. Even after the ceremony, you did not put on a mask. Do you agree with the CDC guidelines?

Yes, of course.

I know you have had the virus and are perhaps immune, but would you have worn a mask if the President had asked you to?

Of course.

Does this mean that you tend to do what the President wants?

That’s not a good question.

OK, Have you heard of the idea that you should dance with the person who brought you?

Yes,

So, who brought you?

President Trump

So, should you dance with him?

No, in this case, I don’t think so.

Let me put it another way. What groups do you belong to?

My family, my church, my professional associations. Is that what you mean?

Not exactly. There are some groups we belong to not by how we see ourselves, but rather by how others see us. Others see me as a male, as white, as privileged, and so on. I assume that others see you as a teacher, mother, legal scholar, and so on. Does that make sense?

Of course.

Well, it appears that your journey to this nomination belongs to a larger story of a group of powerful conservative men who have used their money and influence to protect their privileges. I don’t know if you chose this group, but it appears that the group has chosen you, which, in my eyes, makes you a member. The only question is what kind of member you will be.

I think I am an independent judge.

I think that such a statement can only come from members of privileged social groups that allow us to say such things. The groups that brought you to the dance, in other words, probably assumed that you would take such a position.

Well, I think I am my own person.

Right., I have to ask you one last question. I promise. What do you think of the idea of a climate of justice?

I don’t understand it.

It’s about our social climate or context in which we make decisions. The argument is that we now live in a climate of injustice, where some have more at the expense of others, and we must change this climate before we can create a viable future.

I think that’s above my pay grade.

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