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Julia Reed, Chronicler of Politics, Food and the South, Dies at 59 – The New York Times

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Julia Reed, an irreverent, expansive chronicler of politics, food and Southern life, died on Aug. 28 in Newport, R.I. She was 59.

The cause was cancer, said the historian Jon Meacham, a family friend. She had been on vacation visiting friends.

In reporting for Newsweek, Vogue, The New York Times Magazine and other publications, Ms. Reed covered presidents and their spouses, notably both Bushes and the Clintons, along with powerful women, country music, Southern rogues and Southern food. Her canvas was the foibles of power, and even though (or perhaps because) she was the daughter of a Nixon-era Republican grandee, she was cleareyed about the vices and virtues of both parties.

In her profile of Laura Bush in the run-up to the 2000 election, Ms. Reed wrote of the night early in her husband’s political career when Mrs. Bush told him a speech he had delivered wasn’t very good. “He drove into the garage wall,” Ms. Reed reported. “They’ve both grown a lot since then.”

In a statement to The New York Times, the Bushes wrote: “Julia was a longtime friend of ours. We loved to be with her because she was charming, observant, funny and irreverent. We’ll miss listening to her stories and laughing with her.”

Al Gore, Mr. Bush’s opponent in the 2000 election, also sent a statement. “She was an original,” he said, “one of the last who combined, among other things that seem to have passed, a deep knowledge and love of the self-conscious South and a command of the newsrooms in which she worked.”

Deeply imprinted by the Mississippi Delta traditions she grew up with, Ms. Reed was as well known for her entertaining as her journalism. In one of her many food columns for The New York Times Magazine, she described a New Year’s Eve party that had gone off the rails. There was a fistfight, more than one bathroom dalliance, the unmasking of an arms dealer, a fainting, a fire and more — all of which she missed but heard about secondhand by phone when she awoke with a hangover the next day.

“I have always said that danger — or at least the possibility of it — is a crucial element of any good party,” she wrote. “Parties thrive on secrets that are made or told, alliances formed, dalliances done, someone striking a match in someone else’s inappropriate heart.”

Credit…Barbara Davidson/Los Angeles Times, via Getty Images

Ms. Reed earned her first byline at 19, when she was a sophomore at Georgetown University in Washington and a part-time library assistant and phone answerer, as she put it, at Newsweek, a job she had help since she was a student at Madeira, an all-girls boarding school in Virginia.

When the school’s headmistress, Jean Harris, murdered her lover, Dr. Herman Tarnower, the celebrity doctor and creator of the Scarsdale Diet, Newsweek’s Washington bureau chief sent Ms. Reed to get the Madeira angle. As Ms. Reed wrote, he woke her up with an order to head back to her old school. When she wondered why, he barked, “You idiot, your headmistress just shot the diet doctor!”

Ms. Reed liked to say she was sorry the doctor had to give his life in service to her career as a journalist.

Julia Evans Reed was born on Sept. 11, 1960, in Greenville, Miss. Her mother, Judy (Brooks) Reed, came from a prominent Nashville family in the Belle Meade neighborhood there. Her father, Clarke Reed, was a businessman and Republican power broker who traveled frequently — “Saving the free world,” he liked to tell his daughter when she asked what he was up to — and entertained enthusiastically. Ms. Reed grew up cooking for William F. Buckley Jr. and George and Barbara Bush, among others.

Greenville was a place, as she wrote in “Ham Biscuits, Hostess Gowns, and Other Southern Specialties: An Entertaining Life With Recipes,” “where cooking was of paramount importance. We give food away as presents and peace offerings, and sometimes because it is just so incredibly good we have to share it. We tote it to people in times of grief (when my grandparents were killed in a car wreck, the first thing my mother told me to do as she ran out the door was to empty the refrigerator); we use it to say bon voyage or welcome back.”

Credit…Sonny Figoeroa/The New York Times

Ms. Reed was the author of eight books, many of them collections of her essays on food and the good life.

Mr. Meacham described her as a foreign correspondent in her own land, “filing dispatches about the sacred and the profane.”

Colleagues at Vogue recalled her as both larger than life and free from hubris — a rare combination at 350 Madison Avenue, Condé Nast’s old headquarters, where egos roamed free.

“We were both children of the South, but from opposite ends of the spectrum,” said André Leon Talley, the longtime Vogue editor. “She was like a brassy marquise at Versailles, and at the same time a big hunky dose of Babe Paley, Nancy Mitford, Rosalind Russell and Tallulah Bankhead, with that cognac whiskey voice.”

In the wake of her death, many tried to describe her distinctive baritone. “She sounded like Barbara Stanwyck in ‘Meet John Doe,’ if Stanwyck was from the Mississippi Delta,” Hilton Als of The New Yorker wrote on Instagram.

Mr. Talley also recounted the story of Ms. Reed’s aborted marriage to a charming Australian foreign correspondent. She canceled the wedding, a full-on Southern affair with nearly 1,000 guests, but the couple went on their honeymoon anyway — it was paid for, after all — ending up at the Ritz in Paris, where they met Mr. Talley, and holding court in the bar until the early hours of the morning, with characters as various as Madonna’s bodyguards, Kate Moss, Johnny Depp and Arlene Dahl.

“It was couture week, so everybody was there,” Mr. Talley explained.

Writing about that night six years later in Vogue, Ms. Reed called it “one of the most memorable evenings of my life.”

Ms. Reed’s marriage to John Pearce, a New Orleans lawyer with whom she renovated a house in the garden district there, ended in divorce in 2016. She is survived by her parents and a brother, Clarke Reed Jr. Another brother, Reynolds Crews Reed, died in 2019.

Credit…Paul Costello

Ms. Reed was a sought-after speaker, by all accounts a born entertainer — energetic, savvy and hilarious. In 2013, she took over the Delta Hot Tamale Festival in Greenville, turning a small local fair into three-day national literary and culinary extravaganza to benefit her hometown. The event concluded with a raucous barbecue on a sandbar.

Last year, Ms. Reed opened an online home goods store, Reed Smythe & Company, with her friend Keith Smythe Meacham. The store sells pieces inspired by Ms. Reed’s own taste — bronze drawer pulls shaped like the head of her beagle, Henry; porcelain plates; engraved note cards — many of which are made by Southern artisans. Last year Mississippi’s arts commission named Ms. Reed a cultural ambassador to the state. A few months ago she also opened a bookstore, Brown Water Books, in downtown Greenville.

Since 2011, Ms. Reed had been a columnist at Garden & Gun. Her last piece, posted last week, was about bedbugs and other vermin.

David DiBenedetto, the magazine’s editor, explained what it was like working with Ms. Reed. “We had standard deadlines and Julia’s deadline,” he wrote in an email. “And her excuses for filing late were often as entertaining as the actual columns or features themselves.”

On one particularly hairy occasion, he said, it was really down to the wire. The editors were sending pages to the printer when Mr. DiBenedetto received an email from Ms. Reed. It read: “Just landed in Dallas this second. Polished up at least 1,500 words before computer ran out of juice. Gonna send that when I get to the hotel and will finish the rest tonight after dinner with Laura Bush. She doesn’t drink so it will happen.”

“The piece was fabulous, as always,” he said, adding, “We were all voyeurs, in a way, her readers and editors, to a life so much larger — and more fun — than our own.”

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Large-Scale Political Unrest Is Unlikely, But Not Impossible – The Atlantic

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Protesters during the Bulldozer Revolution in Belgrade in 2000.Braca Nadezdic / Newsmakers / Getty

When a reporter recently asked Donald Trump if he would accept a peaceful transition of power, the president wouldn’t commit. “We’ll see what happens,” he said. In an apparent reference to mail-in ballots, he went on, “We’ll want to have—get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very—we’ll have a very peaceful—there won’t be a transfer, frankly. There’ll be a continuation.” His comments seemed to confirm the worst fears of Democrats and anti-Trump Republicans who have warned for months that he might act illegally to hold on to power.

For Trumpian commentators, Democrats and the president’s other critics are only raising these concerns because they want to orchestrate a coup of their own. In a recent essay, “The Coming Coup?,” the former Trump-administration official Michael Anton warns his readers that Democrats are laying the groundwork for the “unlawful and illegitimate removal of President Trump from office.” Their tactic, he says, is to condition the public into thinking that Trump will try to steal the election so that if he wins, they can cry foul. They will then, Anton predicts, organize “a ‘color revolution,’ the exact same playbook the American deep state runs in other countries whose leadership they don’t like and is currently running in Belarus. Oust a leader—even an elected one—through agitation and call it ‘democracy.’” Anton advises Trump to prepare now to determine who will be loyal in the days after the election so that he can prevail.

Anton’s warning of a color revolution has gone viral on the Trumpian right. But his analysis rests on a fundamental misunderstanding of the concept. I’ve been looking at the history of color revolutions to see if conditions are actually ripe for one in the U.S.

The term color revolution was coined in the early aughts to describe four political revolutions in post-Communist Europe and Central Asia, in which repressive regimes tried to hold on to power after losing an election: in Serbia (the Bulldozer Revolution, named after a protester who used a bulldozer to storm the Parliament building), Georgia (the Rose Revolution, for the flowers that protesters held during demonstrations), Ukraine (Orange, the color identified with the opposition party), and Kyrgyzstan (Tulip, the national flower). Each case involved an election in which the regime committed fraud and was found out by a combination of impartial external election observers, exit polls, and a sophisticated voting-tabulation system. After the announcement of the fraudulent results, students led enormous popular protests, demanding either new elections or a ratification of the results.

The color revolutions deeply unnerved autocrats, particularly in Russia and China, who believed the West had orchestrated them. The uprisings came from within the countries, although Western nongovernmental organizations played a supporting role over time, particularly by shedding light on nondemocratic practices and helping the students organize. Alexander Cooley, the director of the Harriman Institute at Columbia University, who has studied color revolutions, told me that, contrary to conventional wisdom, the U.S. government was relatively detached and ambiguous about the protests in some of these cases. In Georgia, for example, it initially did not rush to back Mikheil Saakashvili over the incumbent, Eduard Shevardnadze; while in Kyrgyzstan, it worried about the implications for an American military base there.  

By 2005, Moscow and Beijing were actively redefining the term, shifting from indigenous protests against fraudulent elections to exclusively mean externally imposed regime change. Over the next 10 years, color revolution was used to describe many mass protests against autocratic regimes: the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon in 2005, the Green Movement in Iran in 2009, the Arab Spring in 2010–12, the Snow Revolution in Russia in 2011–12, and more Orange protests in Ukraine in 2013–14. The Snow Revolution, pushing against Vladimir Putin’s rotation back into the presidency, exacerbated his paranoia about color revolutions.

Protesters try to break into Parliament during the Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan. (Yoray Liberman / Getty)

While the protesters—students, NGOs, political opposition—learned tactics from one another, so too did the autocrats. Over the years, the leaders developed countermeasures. They denied visas to student leaders from abroad, set up their own pro-regime election monitors, banned NGOs that were advocating for democracy, and rigged elections by using intermediate measures, such as disqualifying candidates before election day.

The United States is not an autocracy, but Trump has embraced this paranoia. As Cooley noted, fears of unrest are borrowed from the Russian hymnbook: “Fear of the street protests, never spontaneous, never motivated by a sense of injustice, activists always paid, always a nefarious agenda—it is straight from the Kremlin’s talking points.” Accusing an opponent of what he is accusing you of—in this case, stealing the election—is a tactic Putin routinely uses to muddy the waters.  

Other than this paranoia, are the conditions in place for an actual color revolution in the United States? In every respect except one extreme scenario—which, astonishingly, Trump has cultivated—the answer is no.  

The 2016 election showed that foreign interference, even rising to the level of collusion with a foreign power, will not prevent the winner from being inaugurated, nor will it topple a president during his term. It may undermine the president’s legitimacy and the country’s confidence in the democratic process, but it won’t spark a color revolution. The 2000 contest proved that disputed elections can be resolved through the courts. Even if tensions are much greater now, it is extremely unlikely that the majority of Joe Biden’s voters will try to overturn a Supreme Court decision through direct action, even if Trump’s nominee to the court is in place. If Biden refuses to concede, which he has shown no signs of doing even though some Democrats have talked about it, his decision will not prevent Trump from being re-inaugurated if he is declared the winner. If the president refuses to leave the White House despite having lost, the legal and political system will take its course and power will transfer to Biden, albeit after an atrocious transition.

The original color revolutions occurred when the perception of clear and massive electoral fraud was widespread and protesters were angry about having democratic rights taken away. The demonstrations were directed at illegitimate regimes with a history of rigged elections, endemic corruption, and repression of political opponents. Trump is the most antidemocratic president in America’s history, but his administration so far does not meet the standard of the regimes affected by color revolutions. The U.S. still has an electoral process and a legal system.

However, one extreme scenario could push the United States toward a color revolution. If Trump actually tries to prevent large numbers of mail-in ballots from being counted by confiscating them, he could irreparably damage the electoral process and prevent the courts from being able to fairly adjudicate it. After all, what are the courts to do if the confiscated ballots have been destroyed or compromised (for instance, if the boxes were opened)? In this scenario, Trump would declare victory on Election Night if he is ahead in votes cast that day, and he would order Attorney General Bill Barr or Chad Wolf, the man Trump claims runs the Department of Homeland Security, to physically stop the count the next day. The president would then pressure Republican state legislatures to ratify his preferred result. This scenario is similar to what my Atlantic colleague Barton Gellman chillingly outlines in his new cover story.  

Daniel Nexon, a political scientist at Georgetown University, told me that in the post-Communist unrest, independent election monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe played a crucial role in demonstrating fraud. External monitors have a more limited role in U.S. elections—they are present but in small numbers and few people pay attention to them. Trump, however, doesn’t control the polling stations. Shenanigans in particular districts could go under the radar for a while, but mass fraud—such as the federal confiscation of mail-in ballots—would likely occur in public view. Many Americans, perhaps millions of them, would feel that they had to take to the streets.

Protesters would want the U.S. to count every vote, as demonstrators did in earlier color revolutions, but that simply may not be possible if the ballots are confiscated and compromised. Nexon said that in most of the post-Communist cases, some mechanism existed for a revote, but U.S. law has no allowance for that. Therefore, if the worst case happens and Trump actively interferes in the count, the protests would likely focus on state legislatures and governors asked to ratify results before the count was complete, and on the Supreme Court, which may be asked to adjudicate.

Dodging a color revolution or large-scale political unrest is simple—Trump should not illegally interfere with the election count. If he gives such an order, his officials should not follow it. If they do, Republican members of Congress should oppose it and the courts should quickly intervene to stop him.

To prevent Anton’s theory from gaining further traction among Republicans, Democrats must be careful not to play into the Trumpist narrative that they are looking to delegitimize the president. They must stop suggesting that he can win only by cheating. As for citizens, we can vote early, preferably in person.

The U.S. election should be beyond reproach, but the political reality is making that unlikely. However, a Rubicon is in place that separates instability after the election from a color revolution. Ultimately, Trump and Trump alone will make the decision whether or not to cross it.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.

Thomas Wright is a contributing writer at The Atlantic, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and the author of All Measures Short of War: The Contest for the 21st Century and the Future of American Power.

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Africa in the news: Zambia’s debt, Kenya’s parliament and trade, and politics in the Horn of Africa – Brookings Institution

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Zambia asks to defer its debt payments

On Tuesday, September 22, Zambia’s government announced that it was running out of cash to service its debt, and asked holders of its three eurobonds, worth a total of $3 billion, to defer interest payments worth almost $120 million until April. The deferment makes Zambia the first African country to default on its debt since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The government placed blame for the default on a combination of declining revenues—partially driven by decreases in the price of copper, a natural resource that makes up 70 percent of Zambia’s export earnings—and increasing unbudgeted costs caused by the pandemic. As a result of the default, Fitch Ratings downgraded Zambia’s credit rating to “C” from “CC.”

Zambia is not the only African country to face COVID-induced difficulties with debt. Twenty-nine African countries have already participated in the G-20’s Debt Service Suspension Initiative, enacted in April to allow low-income countries to concentrate their resources on fighting the pandemic. For more on this topic, see “The unfinished agenda of financing Africa’s COVID-19 response.”

Parliamentary and trade updates in Kenya

On Monday, September 21, Kenya’s chief justice David Maraga advised President Uhuru Kenyatta to dissolve the country’s parliament, stating that parliament had failed to meet a constitutional provision that stipulates that one-third of seats be occupied by women. Currently, women hold 22 percent of seats in the Kenya’s lower house of parliament and 31 percent in the upper house. In a letter to Kenyatta, Maraga wrote that parliament had “blatantly failed, refused, and/or neglected” to implement the gender rule. However, on Thursday, High Court judge Weldon Korir granted temporary orders stopping the move to dissolve parliament, stating that it raised “substantial questions of law” and ordering a hearing on the issue.

Meanwhile, the United States has stipulated that Kenya support Israel’s political and commercial interests as a condition for a U.S.-Kenya bilateral trade deal currently under negotiation. U.S. objectives include for Kenya to commit to “discourage politically motivated actions to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel” and for the elimination of politically-motivated nontariff barriers on trade from Israel. Lobby groups in Nairobi, Kenya, including the East African Tax and Governance Network and the East African Trade Network, have argued that the inclusion of a third party in the negotiation agenda could make the agreement risky and undercut Kenya’s reputation.

In Kenya news, the country introduced its first licensed investment fund for citizens living overseas. The fund, managed by the African Diaspora Asset Managers investment firm, is expected to provide a safe and regulated means for Kenyans living overseas to invest in development projects across the country. The Kenyan diaspora sent an estimated $3 billion in remittances to Kenya last year, and remittances in the first half of 2020 exceeded those sent in the first half of 2019 despite volatility due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Political updates in Somalia and Ethiopia

On Wednesday, September 23, Somalia’s parliament unanimously confirmed Mohamed Hussein Roble as the country’s new prime minister. Earlier this year, the parliament removed now-former Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire from the position in a no-confidence vote, citing his inability to prepare for democratic elections and manage the unstable security situation posed by al-Shabaab militants. Roble, who previously worked at the International Labor Organization, was appointed as Somalia announced its plan for the upcoming elections.

Notably, in recent months, Somalia has been in talks to revise its electoral system, with initial moves to reform the system to one-person, one-vote as opposed to its current clan-based voting system. The proposed reforms for universal suffrage will not be enacted, however, as the authorities confirmed that the upcoming legislative election will see electoral delegates vote in the members of parliament, who will then elect the president in early 2021, a format similar to that of elections in recent years. Importantly, the upcoming elections will include double the number of delegates of previous ones. Meanwhile, attacks by al-Shabaab (and responding U.S.-led airstrikes) continue, which experts predict will only increase as the election moves closer as al-Shabaab seeks to exploit the fragility of governance institutions and thwart the election.

Meanwhile, Ethiopia continues to face domestic unrest. Spurred by the death of pop star and activist Hachalu Hundessa of the Oromo ethnic group earlier this summer, internet shutdowns, protests, and reactive violence have continued in recent months, leading to the deaths of hundreds. Already, about 2,000 people have been charged in the related violence, including prominent opposition figure Jawar Mohammed, who was charged with terrorism-related offenses, telecom fraud, and other crimes relating to the violence that erupted in July.

In Ethiopian economic news, in an effort to block illegal trade, illicit financial flows, and cash hoarding, the government announced a new set of bank notes earlier this month. Importantly, Ethiopians must replace their old notes in just three months. According to Quartz Africa, local banks have been calling for such a move in recent years, as over 113 billion Ethiopian birr circulates outside of the formal banking system, which creates liquidity problems for the banks.

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Amy Coney Barrett’s expected nomination to Supreme Court is a perfect reflection of the divisions in U.S. politics – The Globe and Mail

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This image provided by Rachel Malehorn shows Judge Amy Coney Barrett in Milwaukee, on Aug. 24, 2018. (Rachel Malehorn, rachelmalehorn.smugmug.com, via AP)

The Canadian Press

Now, the 2020 effort to fill the Supreme Court seat once held by a jurist famed for her love of the opera takes on the air if not the arias of Giuseppe Verdi’s 1867 Don Carlo: a mix of death and politics.

Already, Washington is braced for dramatics worthy of La Scala, created by a set of unlikely stage circumstances worthy of the most imaginative librettos.

A year ago, nobody expected the leitmotif of this U.S. election year to be a once-obscure respiratory ailment with the ungainly name COVID-19. Seven months ago, few expected former vice-president Joe Biden, three-quarters of a century old and looking every year of it, to be the designated saviour of the Democrats in the Donald Trump era.

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And only a week ago, nobody expected the election to turn on the destiny of Amy Coney Barrett.

Amy Coney Barrett? An Indiana jurist known to few Americans outside conservative legal circles until late last week, Justice Barrett, 48, was expected to be nominated Saturday by Mr. Trump to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death just more than a week ago of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. And if the scales of justice require an elegant balance, then Mr. Trump’s selection fits comfortably opposite Justice Ginsburg on the weighing pan of U.S. jurisprudence.

Though both are women, Justice Barrett – like the late Justice Antonin Scalia, Justice Ginsburg’s opera companion, and the conservative jurist for whom Justice Barrett clerked – is a judicial originalist, the opposite of Justice Ginsburg’s profile as a judicial activist.

Justice Barrett was educated at tiny Rhodes College and the University of Notre Dame, and is a product of Memphis and the Midwest. Justice Ginsburg was educated at Cornell, Harvard and Columbia, the product of the Ivy League and the Eastern establishment. Justice Barrett has qualms about what she derided in a Notre Dame speech as abortion-on-demand and has an expansive view of the Second Amendment that is the basis of widespread gun ownership. Justice Ginsburg was a fervent supporter of abortion rights and didn’t believe the Second Amendment should be interpreted to permit widespread ownership of guns.

It is those differences – the positioning of Justice Barrett on the opposite side of virtually all the vital judicial issues of 21st-century America – that makes her “the nominee that social conservatives have been waiting and fighting for,” as John Yoo, deputy assistant attorney-general in the George W. Bush administration and law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, put it.

And that is what so energizes conservatives in the United States and so horrifies liberals.

It is, moreover, those differences that add definition, passion and perhaps direction to an election that, like virtually no other in U.S. history, could turn on the future of the Supreme Court.

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Already, Mr. Biden has tied the Supreme Court confirmation battle to the survival in the high court of the Obamacare health-insurance law, emphasizing the urgency that the issue possesses in the time of the coronavirus. And already, both sides in the abortion battle are stoking passions among their adherents, declaring that abortion rights, established in 1973, now could be in the balance.

To be sure, throughout the past 90 years, the composition of the Supreme Court has been an important issue: in the New Deal years, when the high court ruled on the Great Depression remedies of Franklin Delano Roosevelt; in the Dwight Eisenhower years, when the first important racial-integration rulings were handed down; in the Richard Nixon years, when abortion was legalized and the President’s prerogatives were curtailed.

Polls show Mr. Biden holding as much as a 17-point advantage over the President among women, raising the prospect of a record gender gap. Choosing a jurist such as Thomas Hardiman – a moderate that Mr. Trump has considered in the past and whose ideological profile would be less onerous to conservative Democrats in the Senate – would only make it more difficult for Mr. Trump to narrow that gap.

If the very prospect of replacing Justice Ginsburg is a flashpoint in U.S. politics, the selection of Justice Barrett is a lightning strike – a perfect reflection of the divisions in U.S. politics today and of the tensions that define the struggle for the White House. In every way that this nomination mobilizes Democrats infuriated at the President’s selection and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s determination to hold a confirmation vote for Justice Barrett, it also galvanizes conservatives.

She is, in the characterization of conservative Hoover Institution scholar Peter Robinson, “committed to the originalist interpretation of the Constitution, with an extensive and brilliant written record, the correct gender, and has demonstrated the character, resolve and sheer cussed stubbornness to withstand the calumnies of the confirmation hearings.”

Justice Barrett also “helps Trump in the culture wars, especially on behalf of white Christians, and she’s based in the Midwest, where he needs to do well,” said Daniel Urman, a constitutional scholar at Boston’s Northeastern University. Indeed, Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein of California helped ignite sympathy for Justice Barrett and for devout Catholics when she told Justice Barrett during her 2017 nomination hearings for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that “the dogma lives loudly within you.”

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Ms. Feinstein concluded that “dogma lives loudly” phrase with the words “and that’s a concern.” But that phrase – swiftly seized upon by Catholic and conservative groups, appearing on T-shirts and coffee mugs – is an enormous advantage on the American right.

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