Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett hit back on Tuesday at “caricatures” of herself and her family that have circulated in the media since her nomination to the Supreme Court.
Barrett sat before the Senate Judiciary Committee for a second day of confirmation hearings answering senators’ questions largely about her judicial philosophy as well as her opinion on specific cases. Committee chairman Sen. Lyndsey Graham (R-SC) took his questions into more personal territory, however, asking Barrett how she felt to be nominated to the Supreme Court.
“Well, senator, I’ve tried to be on a media blackout for the sake of my mental health but, well, you can’t keep yourself walled off from everything, and I am aware of a lot of the caricatures that are floating around,” Barrett began.
Barrett, a Catholic mother of seven, has been the subject of numerous news articles and op-eds scrutinizing her faith, associations, and family life since President Donald Trump nominated her to the bench two-and-a-half weeks ago. A round of false stories on People of Praise, a Catholic prayer group of which Barrett is a member, earned condemnation as “anti-Catholic bigotry” from lawmakers and media figures.
Barrett’s family has also been attacked by people such as Ibram X. Kendi, an author and speaker on anti-racism, who claimed that her family’s adoption of two black children from Haiti made them “white colonizers.” Kendi also asserted that the Barrett couple only adopted the children to shield themselves from accusations of racism.
“I think what I would like to say in response to that question is that, look, I’ve made distinct choices. I’ve decided to pursue a career and have a large family. I have a multi-racial family. Our faith is important to us. All of those things are true, but they are my choices,” Barrett continued. “In my personal interactions with people, I mean, I have a life brimming with people who have made different choices and I have never tried in my personal life to impose my choices on them. And the same is true professionally.”
Barrett went on to explain why she and her husband, Jesse, decided to subject themselves and their family to the nomination and vetting process despite the “excruciating” toll it was almost certain to take.
“I don’t think it’s any secret to any of you or to the American people that this is a really difficult, some might say excruciating, process, and Jesse and I had a very brief amount of time to make a decision with momentous consequences for our family,” Barrett said. “We knew that our lives would be combed over for any negative detail. We knew our faith would be caricatured. We knew our family would be attacked. So we had to decide whether those difficulties would be worth it, because what sane person would go through that if there wasn’t a benefit on the other side.”
“The benefit, I think, is that I’m committed to the rule of law and the role of the Supreme Court in dispensing equal justice for all,” Barrett continued. “I’m not the only person who could do this job, but I was asked and it would be difficult for anyone, so why should I say someone else should do the difficulty? If the difficulty is the only reason to say no, I should serve my country, and my family is all in on that because they share my belief in the rule of law.”
Judge Amy Coney Barrett: I've decided to pursue a career and have a large family. I have a multiracial family, our faith is important to us. All of those things are true but those are my choices pic.twitter.com/mu5fIvoxJj
— Team Trump (Text VOTE to 88022) (@TeamTrump) October 13, 2020
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