Amy Coney Barrett could become a catalyst for the government to remove barriers that block the way of more women following in her footsteps.
Acton Institute ([link removed] )
News & Commentary
Justice Amy Coney Barrett:
a new model for working women? ([link removed] )
By Rev. Ben Johnson • October 28, 2020
AP_20301058334273 ([link removed] )
Judge Amy Coney Barrett ([link removed] ) became Justice ([link removed] ) Amy Coney Barrett on Monday night. Barrett has called herself “a different kind of lawyer ([link removed] ) ,” and now she’s breaking new barriers. ACB may serve as an innovative model for professional women, as well as an opponent of misguided government programs and policies that encourage workplace discrimination against women.
“Tonight, Justice Barrett becomes not only the fifth woman to serve on our nation’s highest court, but the very first mother of school-aged children to become a Supreme Court justice,” said ([link removed] ) President Donald Trump at the ceremony – a fact that he deemed “very important.” That it is. Barrett has steadfastly confounded the outdated narrative that women must choose between home or work through her undeniable success in both roles.
The newest justice has been outspoken about balancing the demands of career and family. “I never let the law define my identity or crowd out the rest of my life,” then-Judge Barrett said in her October 12 opening statement. Last February, she discussed ([link removed] ) the mutually respectful decision-making process that she and her husband utilized to assure they found work-life balance: “We evaluated at every step whether things were working well for the family, for the job I was in.” She even brought her seven children to her confirmation hearings in the ultimate celebration of Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day ([link removed] ) (although she noted that one of her children “got very upset ([link removed] ) … during the questioning”).
The Barretts’ seamless blending of work and family confused those who believe women must choose between a life resembling The Handmaid’s Tale ([link removed] ) and regarding men the same way fish value bicycles ([link removed] ) . This model emphasizes ([link removed] ) women single-mindedly pursuing status as a CEO or partner, while simultaneously living a childless lifestyle.
“Barrett’s life story puzzles older feminists like [Sen. Dianne] Feinstein because bearing and raising a bevy of children has long implied retaining a traditional life script – like staying home with the children — that Barrett has obviously not heeded,” wrote ([link removed] ) Erika Bachiochi of the Ethics and Public Policy Center ([link removed] ) , as well as the Abigail Adams Institute ([link removed] ) , in Politico.
That cognitive dissonance led New York Times Magazine and Vanity Fair contributor Vanessa Grigoriadis to say ([link removed] ) , “[O]ne of the things I don’t understand about Amy Comey Barrett is how a potential Supreme Court justice can also be a loving, present mom to seven kids?” Podcaster Meghan Daum, who has 26,000 ([link removed] ) followers, replied ([link removed] ) that senators should inquire ([link removed] ) about Barrett’s childcare arrangements. She admitted that asking about the Barretts’ home life would be altogether “unfair,” but “just because it’s unfair doesn’t mean it’s not worth asking.”
However, the justice’s life serves as a beacon to aspiring women who hope to achieve the same symphony of personal and professional life. Women have told numerous surveys over the years they do not want to give up childbearing; they say their most pressing request ([link removed] ) is flexibility. One representative poll found that 40% ([link removed] ) of women would prefer flexibility ([link removed] ) to a larger salary.
Barrett’s inspiring story also refutes the notion that universal pre-K ([link removed] ) is the longing of every working woman’s heart and the key to her success. Left to their own devices, men and women alike reject taxpayer-funded daycare. Witness President Barack Obama, who had access to the greatest child care money can buy but instead chose to have mother-in-law Marian Robinson move into the White House ([link removed] ) to help raise his daughters. Whatever one may say about some of Obama’s other staffing decisions ([link removed] ) , only two more loving people could possibly have tended to Sasha and Malia. Government programs to separate parents from children, like those proposed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren ([link removed] ) , go against the will of 80% ([link removed] ) of Americans, according to one Pew poll.
Yet they are only part of the problem. Bachiochi wrote:
The sad truth is that nearly 50 years after Roe legalized abortion nationwide, the kinds of accommodations that make childbearing and family life manageable are only beginning to be implemented. Large numbers of companies still engage in rampant pregnancy discrimination ([link removed] ) . Studies show that women with caregiving responsibilities are often assumed ([link removed] ) to be less competent or committed to their work than their unencumbered peers; and when mothers or fathers seek to return to work after caring for children, even a short time, their market absence is more greatly penalized by prospective employers ([link removed] ) than had they simply been unemployed. When a prominent corporate leader — and contender for presidential nominee of the Democratic Party — is reputed to have told a pregnant employee to “kill it,” ([link removed] ) it’s no wonder women feel the need to hide that they are pregnant ([link removed] ) when they are at work.
These maladies are exacerbated by the government in nations with robust, paid leave policies ([link removed] ) . The UK Guardian reported that 40% of managers say they refuse to hire women because of government policy, “with 44% saying the financial costs to their business because of maternity leave are a significant concern.” Government interventions intended to help women stand in their way.
The best policy was enunciated by G.K. Chesterton, who said, “The family is the test of freedom; because the family is the only thing that the free man makes for himself and by himself.” As the Barretts’ splendid life shows, families are better situated to know the best step at each stage of their lives than remote government bureaucrats.
Amy Coney Barrett could become a catalyst for the government to remove barriers ([link removed] ) that block the way of more women following in her footsteps.
Scott Lincicome on Section 230 and social media ([link removed] )
October 28, 2020
20201028 ActonLine ([link removed] )
On October 14, 2020, the New York Post published an expose on former Vice President and current Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, headlined, “Smoking-gun email reveals how Hunter Biden introduced Ukrainian businessman to VP dad.”
Shortly after the article’s publication, the ability to share the link to the story was limited and, in some cases, prohibited by Facebook and Twitter, with those social media companies alleging that the content was unreliable, unverified, or was prohibited for containing hacked information.
This incident has provoked the latest round of calls for reform or repeal of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996.
The U.S. Senate has subpoenaed Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to appear before a hearing to examine the New York Post incident.
Senator Ken Buck, R-Colo., said “condemnation is not enough. It’s time to reform Section 230.” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, called Section 230 “a gift” and “a subsidy from the taxpayers to big tech.” And Sen. Josh Hawley, R.-Mo., has introduced legislation that would allow Americans to file lawsuits against “big tech” companies who breach good faith user agreements by censoring political speech or suppressing content.
What is Section 230? What does it actually say? What role did it play in creating the modern internet? And what would happen if it were changed or repealed?
In this episode Scott Lincicome, an international trade attorney and a Senior Fellow in Economic Studies at the Cato Institute, discusses the issues surrounding Section 230.
Listen to the Episode
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Divided we fall: America after the 2020 election [Virtual] ([link removed] )
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In his new book, Divided We Fall: America's Secession Threat and How to Restore Our Nation, senior editor at The Dispatch David French surveys the landscape of a politically and culturally polarized America, examining the true dimensions and dangers of this widening ideological gap. Just two days after the 2020 election, French will address the impacts the election outcomes (to the extent that they are known) will have on an increasingly divided and tribalistic nation, with each faction believing their distinct cultures and liberties are being threatened by an escalating violent opposition.
This lecture is livestream only. A free livestream of this lecture will be available to view @ 12 noon Eastern on November 5, 2020.