Money Rules

I watched  the Senate Judiciary Committee deliberations on Judge Amy Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination. A thought-provoking juxtaposition was the  statements of Senators Mike Lee (R-Utah), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

Lee, after observing that they are both members of  once-persecuted groups (Lee a Mormon, Barrett a Catholic) praised Barrett for her courage  defending minorities. The US Constitution, he declared, is designed to “protect unpopular issues and groups from the impulses of a majority which might be bent on harm”.

Next, Whitehouse called these confirmation hearings a puppet show, whose strings were pulled by dark money, the objective being :remake the national judiciary, demean and diminish the civil jury, weaken regulatory agencies which protect the public trust, allow unlimited  money in politics, restrict voting rights, and of course knocking down Roe vs. Wade,  same-sex marriage and Obamacare. $250 million had been spent, he  stated, in dark money, to reshape the courts.

Cruz then pointed out the  hypocrisy here:  Democratic dark money had outspent Republicans by three to one.

Money, dark or undark, rules. This year, we are  deluged by  appeals for money from candidates  throughout the country.We have to buy elections. And, while poverty  proliferates, billionaires get richer and richer.

The Constitution was, as Lee  stated, designed to protect a minority. Whitehouse described a  focused campaign aimed at controlling the majority. Who, then, is the protected minority Lee referred to?

It is, as Cruz then made clear, the tiny  group of billionaires who rule us. This fact was corporealized in the encompassing bearhug between the unmasked  Senators Feinstein and Graham, which crowned the hearings.

Ellen Taylor can be reached at