For a party that spends entire election cycles telling women to vote in solidarity with their “lady parts,” they sure are selective about which women they’re willing to embrace. In the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings this week, Democrats relentlessly grilled two female federal appeals court nominees to the point of exhaustion. Liberals peppered the women with questions about faith, executive power, and Supreme Court precedents.
Although interrogation is normal for lawyers nominated for such positions, the two women are well beyond qualified for the bench. In fact, they might have fit the bill perfectly as feminist heroes for achieving high levels of both personal and professional success. Their only flaw? They’re conservatives.
Lady Parts Don’t Matter If You’re Religious
Amy Coney Barrett is the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals nominee. If she is confirmed, Barrett would serve as the first Indiana woman to reach the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Despite being a professor at the Notre Dame Law School and a former clerk for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, among other accolades, the committee repeatedly questioned Barrett’s Catholic faith and ability to judge as a religious person and woman rather than her impeccable professional credentials.
The Washington Examiner reported Sen. Dianne Feinstein, that lioness of liberalism, said Barrett’s nomination was “controversial” and barked, “You are controversial. You are controversial because many of us that have lived our lives as women really recognize the value of finally being able to control our reproductive systems.” I’m sure the fact that Barrett is a mother of seven had nothing to do with that absurd comment.
Although Feinstein questioned how Barrett could decide any legal controversies involving pregnancy or abortion as Feinstein wants given Barrett’s strong faith and commitment to the U.S. Constitution, Barrett confidently pledged to follow Supreme Court precedents “without fail.”
These Women Should Be Praised
Joan Larsen, the other nominee questioned, is up for the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. She also received quite an interrogation, particularly about her views on executive power. She batted those off with confidence, noting she would have no problem ruling against the president. Larsen is also quite qualified for this position. After attending Northwestern University School of Law, she too clerked for Scalia and was later appointed to the Michigan Supreme Court. Larsen’s resume is so sound she was on Trump’s short list for potential Supreme Court nominations, the seat Neil Gorsuch ultimately filled.
Committee hearings aside, Barrett and Larsen’s resumes are robust. Sure, they both clerked for Scalia and thus may rule in a more originalist way. Trump and his team likely nominated them for this exact reason, and Americans should celebrate the possibility of having our laws refereed by people committed to following the law as written rather than manipulating it to serve ever-changing identity politics.
But Barrett and Larsen are much more: They are wives, professionals at the top of their game, and well-versed in political theater. The two women should be feminist poster-children just like Sonia Sotomayor or Ruth Bader Ginsburg are. (Remember Sotomayor’s “proud moment for feminism”? ) But they’re not. Why? The rub here is obvious: They’re conservative.
Feminism Is Just a Fake to Manipulate Political Loyalty
First-wave feminism, originally rooted in equality and accomplishments over sex or stature, has faded. Now, decades later, it’s been mostly replaced with ugly mantras banishing men or any ideas rooted in tradition. Still, some continue to argue true feminists are strong, independent, professionally successful, and personally satisfied—truly renaissance women. If anyone fits this bill, it is Barrett and Larsen.
Yet once again, as liberals have proven with fierce attacks on other strong, conservative women, accolades only occur based on political ideology rather than accomplishment. This is not only a shame for such ideologues, who are trapped in their box of absurd feminist talking-points, but for the larger feminist movement, which refuses recognize and applaud women who are doing all the things they’ve been telling us they think women should. We constantly hear calls to affirm women as women, saying this epitomizes feminism, but when it’s time to act on those promises self-styled feminists break faith with the women they claim to represent.
If the Senate Judiciary Committee cares about lawyers who can do their jobs well, they should confirm these two outstanding nominees. Not because they are women, wives, mothers, lawyers, or former Scalia clerks, but because they clearly understand and will implement the rule of law in this country. They are qualified and then some. That’s all that should matter. The fact that they’re women should neither be a boon or a bust, but in true feminist fashion, just another facet of their personal and professional accomplishments.