VIDEO: Autopsy of a really slick LIE

I am watch the Senate debate on the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.   I watch recordings at high speed when possible.

Right now I was just infuriated by a serious LIE by omission uttered by the serpentine Sen Feinstein.

There are different ways to lie.  This is one of them: omission, exclusionary detailing.

Watch this.

In regard to Barrett’s position about Roe v. Wade, pro-abortion Feinstein slyly LIED about Barrett’s position.

Feinstein said that Barrett would not call Roe v Wade a “super precedent“.  A super precedent is a precedent that is so important that no one challenges it.

Examples of a super precedent is Marbury v Madison or Mapp v Ohio or  Brown v. Board.   No one challenges the exercise of judicial review, or that the 4th Amendment is incorporated against states through the 14th Amendment, or that the 14th Amendment prohibits states from segregating school on the basis of race).  Those are super precedents.

Constant challenges to a law demonstrate that the law is not a super precedent.  Stare decisis still might hold, however.  Laws can be important precedents without being super precedents.

There are constant challenges to Roe v Wade: hence, Roe is not super precedent.

But listen to what sidewinding Feinstein does.   She says (at 1:05 below) that Barrett would not say that Roe v Wade is a super precedent.  Then lying Feinstein shifts the terms (at 1:25) and moves into the category “settled law” (re: Griswold) and “important precedent” (Casey and ROE), hoping you don’t catch the slight of hand.


Slithery Feinstein is too smart not to know what she did.    She lied by misrepresentation, exclusionary detailing.

Barrett did NOT say that Griswold, Casey and Roe were NOT precedents.  She didn’t say that they were important precedents.  Barrett understands that cases might come before her on the Court that deal with these precedents, and so she is bound not to discuss them.  The problem is they are constantly being challenged, which slippery Feinstein herself acknowledged.  Barrett rightly said that Roe is not a super precedent.

Ooooo… this is … Jesuitical.   She is as bad as some clergy who screw language into pretzels to deceive without seeming to deceive.

Except that the clergy, for example, those who by omission, who teach only part of the Church’s teachings about certain moral issues, are worse, because by their false teaching they can lead souls to HELL instead of merely be left on the Court of Appeals rather than the SCOTUS.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Ms. M-S says:

    Whether it was Twain, Disraeli, or someone else who actually said “lies, damned lies and statistics” I’m reasonably certain that person would be willing to add “political speech” to the list. What pronouncements you get over high-tech sources from high-placed individuals are no more likely to be true than what you used to hear over the back fence, discuss in the pub or PTA, or read in the tabloids displayed by the grocery checkout lines. Maybe less so. In the case of Feinstein and Barrett, just judge the tree by its fruit.

  2. rhig090v says:

    I would like to see a challenge to incorporation. This was how prayer in school was yanked. The first amendment, on religion, used to block from Congress establishing a national church. Via incorporation and the extra-constitutional mantra of separation of church and state, we have the hostility to religion we have today. Not to say that the former is the cause of the latter. Heck, Massachusetts along with a number of states had established churches until almost the 20th century. This was no problem until, upon closer examination, it was found that the constitution’s restrictions against the federal government also apply to the states. So I would actually like to see some challenges to both this, and judicial review. Judicial review has created the Supreme Court to be a sort of highest branch

  3. robtbrown says:

    Diane Feinstein was fine with the Intelligence services snooping on everyone else. When she found they were also snooping on her, however, she was incensed.

  4. Imrahil says:

    Frankly, while nothing is to be said about the value of our reverend host’s distinction,

    the plain and simple thing is that stare decisis does not apply to the highest court of a jurisdiction. What a court can do the same court can undo, and should, if the decision was wrong (*) (and should not, if the decision was right). This is even true if the old decision was just a little wrong; if it was “defensible, yes, but upon close examination, wrong”. All the more in case of such a blatantly wrong interpretation of the Constitution which Roe vs. Wade was.

    [* For brevity’s sake, I leave out the question of a decision decided by a lower court and hitherto uncontested in a higher court. It might make sense to say here: Dear court, either stick to the decision, or else call a higher court to lift it for you. But that obviously doesn’t apply to the highest court.]

    (Of course, you might say that I don’t get the whole idea of the common-law system.)

  5. teomatteo says:

    How often do the abortion proponents point out that if RoevWade is reversed then state laws will become the new rule. Back to the states. What is so hard about that?

  6. Fr. Kelly says:

    She was just confirmed 52-48 and is to be sworn in this evening by Clarence Thomas

  7. Fr. Kelly says:

    Of note is Dick Durbin’s no vote.

    He claims to be a pro-life Democrat. And on this ground, earlier this year claimed that Catholics ought to support him.

    Apparently, he is more Democrat than he is Pro-life

  8. Kent Wendler says:

    Sen. Durbin is equally serpentine. I tuned into CSPAN 2 on Saturday, just happening to land on his post-cloture speech. Without actually saying so he seemed to be complaining that Judge Barrett during her testimony did not promise to prejudge cases on the basis of the idea of the “living Constitution” – like in Roe v Wade, etc., where the justices arrogate to themselves that the Constitution actually now means whatever they want it to mean so they can “justify” their decision in the way they personally desire.

    I got so sick of his continued deluge of sophistry I bailed after a few minutes.

    He’s up for re-election in a few days and I’m a “constituent” of his, but I won’t vote for him.

    He has no worries though. Illinois is so “blue” you’d think it was (in) a “state” of terminal asphyxiation.

  9. jflare29 says:

    If I may beg your indulgence, Fr Z, I would like to request prayers.
    In connection with recent Judiciary hearings, a former classmate of mine expressed fury about (now-Justice) Barrett. I’d long had suspicions about my classmate’s actions; this post confirmed her intent to live as a “married” lesbian. She’s now very worried that Barrett will contribute to overturning the same-sex marriage decision. Sadly, I understand some of her angst all too well; our formation in faith…could’ve been better. I believe her family also endured conflicts regarding what faith they aimed to embrace. I suspect she got caught in the typical intellectual mess (bloodbath might be more accurate) that the average secular college student has faced.
    She is…very angry. …Very confused. …Very hurt.
    Naturally, she does not view matters this way.
    Assuming normal life expectancy, we both have ample time before death. Still, …you never know what comes each day.
    She might benefit from many prayers for her repentance and re-conversion.

  10. FrJohnDowney says:

    Senator Feinstein is one of those people I would never speak to unless I had a large can of wasp spray in my hand.

  11. robtbrown says:

    Durbin is my least favorite senator, not merely for his positions. In almost every interview he gives, he just spouts talking points. It’s insulting.

    These people don’t understand (or care) that they are undermining democracy. Instead of informing the electorate, they want to manipulate it.

  12. jflare29 says:

    RE Sen Durbin,
    To be fair (or at least be realistic)…
    Most interviews given by political leaders revolve about key points of view. Some may seem more…spontaneous…than others, yet almost all will ultimately come down to a set of talking points. Some commonly agreed-upon reference frame. Republican and Democrat both do this. Or Libertarian or Green (or whatever). Musicians heard on radio, movie stars, journalists, celebrities of most sorts, everyone. Everyone seeks to present political intentions and current (or past) events in a manner that best suits their designs.
    As for anyone manipulating people, …conflicts arise between people, law must decide which intent will prevail. “Politics” references efforts by all persons to instill their values into that law, to cause others to be held accountable to their will. Being a republic, a monarchy, or a dictatorship mostly indicates the process–or person–for choosing which values the law will reflect. No matter the issue, the “losing” side will always believe themselves “manipulated” to one degree or another. …The alternative tends to be anarchy.
    Thus we always need do our best to instill Catholic values into law. Even using some vintage of talking points to persuade other to agree with our intentions. That is part of our most basic civic duty as citizens.

    [Some are mendacious and some are not.]

  13. robtbrown says:


    The approach I referenced is IMHO a consequence of the change in structure of Sunday News Shows. Meet the Press, and others that followed, originally used an interview structure of multiple journalists on a single pol. That allowed for followup questions. When that structure changed to a one on one structure, the pols used the opportunity not to answer questions but to cough up the phrases that will please the home electorate.

    There were some who didn’t employ that MO–they would actually try to explain their positions. Durbin has not been one of them. Pelosi has an excuse–she’s dumb as a post. Durbin is not.

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