During the first round of questions during Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing, Sen. Amy Klobuchar opened by asking the nominee a simple question: “Judge Barrett, under federal law is it illegal to intimidate voters at the polls?”
This was Coney Barrett’s response: “I can’t characterize the facts in a hypothetical situation, and I can’t apply the law to a hypothetical set of facts…blah, blah, blah.…”
Klobuchar replied, “I’ll make it easier. 18 USC 594 outlaws anyone who intimidates, threatens, coerces, attempts to intimidate, threaten, or coerce any other person for the purpose of interfering with the right of the other person to vote. This is a law that has been on the books for years.”
I was watching. I’d been on the Judiciary Committee and was always the next Democrat in line for questioning after Klobuchar. I wasn’t a lawyer. But I played one in a sketch. And I knew that voter intimidation was a crime.
I texted Amy. “Tomorrow, open with: ‘I’m sorry I started yesterday with a question you couldn’t answer – is voter intimidation a crime? Let me start you out today with something a little easier – grand theft auto?’”
Amy texted back: “Funny!” But did she do it? No!
The reason Coney Barrett didn’t answer the question is that voter intimidation is part of the Republican playbook. We are seeing it now. This week in Arizona, armed vigilantes wearing tactical gear and masks have been intimidating voters who are simply trying to place their ballots in drop boxes.
And it’s happening in other states.
This is a dangerous time. That’s why Midwest Values PAC has stepped up and is giving as much as we can right now Democratic Secretaries of State and Attorneys General around the country. Midwest Values PAC has contributed nearly $50,000 to support Democratic Secretary of State candidates in Nevada, Minnesota, Arizona, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.
At least half of the Republican candidates for those jobs across the country are election deniers. If they win, our very democracy will be at stake. Republicans will be able to accomplish in 2024 what Trump tried to do in 2020.
P.S. How friggin’ scary is all this?!