Whether Amy Coney Barrett thought about it while waiting backstage for Mitch McConnell to end her ardent introduction is unknown. Whether she pondered for a moment whether answering Mitch McConnell's call to speak to McConnell supporters at the McConnell Center would further public suspicion that the Supreme Court at the time was nothing more than an extension of the Republican Politics with members of the Judiciary, too, which works hand in hand with Republican political activists, is a mystery.
But it's very likely that she's just damned with us because no one could be that dull unless it was on purpose. Amy Coney Barrett now seems to be just trolling people openly while bragging about the comity in court and that judges are actually "hyper-vigilant" about letting "personal bias" affect their decisions, no matter how much it looks a newly encouraged party majority is playing Magic 8 Ball with a precedent to rewrite a century of law in some cases.
It is possible, in Amy Coney Barrett's mind, that she actually thinks she's gracious to explain this to us in the first place. It is certainly better than Brett Kavanaugh directly threatening his opponents during his own confirmation hearings after news reporters began scouring a history of drunk sexual assault that he expected to be buried in the manner of countless other powerful conservative activists.
I'll meet you halfway here, Barrett seems to be saying. I will go on to state that all of my appallingly predictable judgments, which almost consistently support the Republican Party's priorities, are a "philosophy of law", albeit one that seems to change its core beliefs on a case-by-case basis, as the Jenga Court Conservatives do theirs Path to given ideological results. And you will sit and listen as Mitch McConnell introduces me at the Mitch McConnell Center for Republican Judicial Fiction, and it is all just an amazing coincidence.
Unfortunately for Amy Coney Barrett, when she happens to be trying to quell public anger over Conservative Court activism, it appears that she has sub-zero skills to do such a thing. Supreme Court justices have almost unanimously insisted that inside the building, all judges get along well, each respecting one another, no one mistaking the other for an unqualified ideological viper or an unredeemed schnapps dog who relies on movement ideologues to "We can "do what we want" can be printed out and disseminated as the new laws of the land. In actual cases, some of the judges have issued dissenting opinions that come remarkably close to indicting these things after being revalued in another case of earlier conservatives "Philosophies" have been held up with new arguments that directly contradict the old ones, but it is considered impolite for the public to actually notice.
Now that we are seriously (supposedly) pondering whether states can preclude enforcement of new civil rights laws restricting private bounty hunters in order to circumvent the constitutional prohibition on these things, it is becoming increasingly impossible to tease out what "philosophy" at work here, apart from the general decision that Republican Party-sponsored ideologues will support any proposed Republican Party-sponsored program to curtail American democracy, revoke civil rights, and grant corporations full medical powers over whoever happens to be works for them, vigilance towards public safety and so on.
Barrett shouldn't be asking if the public now sees the Supreme Court as partisan. It is undoubtedly a partisan entity. A Republican Senate enacted a new rule that says the nation's first non-white president cannot exercise his constitutional authority to appoint Supreme Court judges for 3/4 of his term. A Republican Senate blocked an investigation into a conservative ideologue charged with grotesque – and criminal – acts against women during the same pro-corruption spurt in which the same Senate immunized a Republican president from the effects of international extortion and incitement to violent rioting. A Republican Senate pushed Barrett's own endorsement through just a week before a presidential election and happily squeezed any press skull gullible enough to believe their earlier outrage at doing the same, even in the same calendar year that an election was sincere the thumb in the eye.
The Republican Party has deliberately transformed the Supreme Court into a "partisan" entity by all means at its disposal. The Supreme Court is now undoubtedly "partisan". No reading of the court's most recent opinions can provide a plausible counter-argument.
The question Amy Coney Barrett should be asking is not whether the public thinks the court is biased. The question is whether the public still considers the judgments of the court to be legitimate.
Can the judgments be used plausibly to construct a new, non-contradicting legal system? Are decisions increasingly being used as a means to enforce conservative priorities that the public would otherwise not stand, while at the same time being used to repeal laws that can pass non-conservative iterations of Congress? Are we faced with a new patchwork of state laws in which the constitutional rights of every citizen essentially depend on the state borders within which they are located? Is the court even the slightest hesitation in leading the nation into a new era of violent vigilante justice, with new gun laws declaring any angry, twitching finger to be a well-regulated militia made up of only itself?
Does the public believe that if Republicans void a future election after the Republican candidate does not win, the Supreme Court will stand up? Or does the public believe that the Conservative majority of the Supreme Court would zealously support a fraudulent hoax that undermines democracy itself if the outcome were compatible with the personal preferences of its members?
Republican-led states are already participating in these precise preparations, as state after state introduces new restrictions on the right to vote, which are expressly based on false propaganda. On jokes. On Republican-backed, partisan illusions of alleged “fraud” that existed nowhere, leading to new Jim Crow laws dampening the voices, a push immediately after the Conservative Supreme Court majority lifted state restrictions on it had, with the implausible and now refuted claim that the Jim Crow era was over. New laws include means by which the Republican Party can use partisan acolytes to challenge the counts of districts that vote against them.
Does the public think the Supreme Court will stop them or help them?
The question here is not whether the Supreme Court is now perceived by the public as too "partisan". Large parts of the public believe at this point that the court has gone beyond partiality and changed, repealed and justified new laws in such a way that "partial" is no longer sufficient to describe it. It seems more like an attempt to undermine the law itself than to tolerate a decline in conservative power; Are such far-reaching court actions legitimate? And what if the general public decides that this is not the case?