Commentary

'She's That Smart': Amy Coney Barrett Shows Her Notes in Telling Hearing Moment

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For Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, a blank notepad said it all.

In Day 2 of her hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Barrett was pounded by questions from Democratic senators on abortion, gun control, racism, the weight of court precedent and other issues she handled off the top of her head.

It was an impressive showing by any account, but it took a question from Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas to highlight how impressive it was.

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“You know most of us have multiple notebooks and notes and books and things like that in front of us,” Cornyn told the nominee. “Can you hold up what you’ve been referring to in answering our questions?”

Barrett held up a blank notepad as the room chuckled.

“Is there anything on it?” Cornyn asked.

“The letterhead that says ‘United States Senate,'” Barrett responded.

As Supreme Court nomination hearings go in the era of scorched-earth Democratic warfare against President Donald Trump, it’s probably about the lightest moment Americans – or Barrett herself – can expect.

And social media users ate it up.

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Democrats have spent the past two days accusing Barrett of being a nominee to set back the rights of women (Vermont repugnant Pat Leahy) or trying to box her in on abortion (the duplicitous Dianne Feinstein, who played such a dishonorable role in the last Supreme Court nomination).

Barrett’s been publicly lied about on the campaign trail by the Democratic nominee for president. She’s been attacked on the basis of her faith.

Through it all, so far, she has maintained an intelligent affability that looks like it’s well on the way toward winning her confirmation to the high court.

How previous SCOTUS nominees have handled themselves (or availed themselves of a notepad, for that matter) can’t be compared to what Barrett was faced with.

This is a woman who watched the living hell Democrats created for now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh through his confirmation hearings. As courageously as Kavanaugh acquitted himself in that trial, it had to take a considerable amount of courage, and soul searching, for Barrett to place herself and her family in a position to face the same kind of baseless attacks.

Do you think Amy Coney Barrett deserves to sit on the Supreme Court?

Yet Barrett accepted Trump’s nomination and, as the first days of the hearings have shown, has been able to meet every Democratic challenge unaided.

As a Supreme Court nominee should be, Barrett has been measured in her responses, careful in her word choice and determined not to give the president’s political enemies any ammunition against him.

Barrett’s notepad might have been blank, but it was what was in her head that mattered. And Democrats – whether in the Senate, among liberal intellectuals or in the mainstream media – haven’t been able to touch her yet.

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Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro desk editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015.
Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015. Largely a product of Catholic schools, who discovered Ayn Rand in college, Joe is a lifelong newspaperman who learned enough about the trade to be skeptical of every word ever written. He was also lucky enough to have a job that didn't need a printing press to do it.
Birthplace
Philadelphia
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