Judge Amy Coney Barrett is owed the praise she has received from Senators, her colleagues, and Americans alike this week during her confirmation for the Supreme Court.
Not only did Barrett remain poised throughout her questioning process, she upheld her staunch beliefs as an originalist and textualist to abide by the Constitution.
Her performance showed exactly why she will be an excellent Justice and vast knowledge of the law.
Even the ranking Democrat, Senator Feinstein, recognized Judge Barrett’s definition of severability when asked. She commended Barrett’s impressive response.
Judge Barrett’s eloquence and commitment to remain impartial to policy pledges stood to the pervasive questions by Senators. For example, Democrats drilled question after question on repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in which Barrett declined to make a policy commitment.
Barrett said, “And no matter what somebody’s policy preferences are about the ACA, I completely agree with you, they shouldn’t be trying to undermine the policy that Congress enacted.”
Following precedent of the late Justice Ginsburg and not injecting any preview on how she would approach a case proves her qualifications for the Court even more so.
Her professional qualifications and judicial experience include a clerkship for Circuit Judge Laurence Silberman and Justice Antonin Scalia as well as her own appointment to the Seventh Circuit Court leave Barrett with little free time.
Nevertheless, Barrett did find time to pour into her expanded family—who sat behind her day in and out of the hearing—as well as the law community. During her hearing many came forward to speak of Barrett’s mentorship while she was a professor at Notre Dame.
Barrett’s former student, Laura Wolk, shared her inspiring and unique story as the first blind woman to serve as a law clerk of the Supreme Court.
Wolk stated before the Committee:
“You have heard over the past few days about Judge Barrett’s judicial qualities, which are beyond reproach. But should you confirm Amy Barrett, the country will receive something far greater than simply an unparalleled legal mind – it will gain the service of one of the kindest individuals I have ever known. Her brilliance is matched only by her compassion, and her integrity is unassailable. I am not speaking in mere abstractions here. Rather, I have experienced these characteristics first-hand, with life-changing results. It’s hard to trust an offer of assistance, no matter how desperately it is needed, or earnestly it is given. Not so with Judge Barrett. Anyone who has interacted with her knows that she is a woman of her word. She means what she says, and she says what she means. When she promised to advocate for me, she commanded my trust. To this day, I do not know what Judge Barrett did to solve my problem, itself a testament to her humility. All I know is that the technology arrived promptly, which in turn allowed me to excel and to place me in a position that would eventually allow me to apply for a clerkship on the Supreme Court.”
The story shared by Wolk and many others allowed America to see the personal life of Judge Barrett.
Yes, Judge Barrett is a judicial rock star and qualifies without fault to serve on the Court, but her personal story and humility towards each person she has taught, mentored, or worked alongside speaks far beyond the scope of a Justice.