The Corner

Law & the Courts

Barrett on Why She Accepted the Nomination: ‘I’m Committed to the Rule of Law’

During his questioning at this morning’s round of Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearing, Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Lindsey Graham asked the judge how it feels to be nominated for the Supreme Court.

Barrett’s reply was thoughtful and very humanizing. Here’s what she said:

I’ve tried to be on a media blackout for the sake of my mental health but you can’t keep yourself walled off from everything. I’m aware of a lot of caricatures that are floating around. I think what I would like to say in response to that question is, look, I’ve made distinct choices. 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 they are my choices. In my personal interactions with people, I mean, I have a life brimming with people who’ve made different choices, and I’ve never tried in my personal life to impose my choices on them. The same is true professionally. I apply the law.

Senator, I think I should say why I’m sitting in this seat in response to that question, too, and why I’ve agreed to be here. I don’t think it’s any secret to any of you or the American people that this is a really difficult, some might say excruciating process. Jesse and I had a very brief amount of time to make a decision with momentous consequences for our family. We knew that our lives would be combed over for any negative detail. We knew that our faith would be caricatured. We knew that our family would be attacked. 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 and dispensing equal justice for all. I’m not the only person who could do this job, but I was asked, and it would be difficult for anyone. 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. My family is all in on that because they share my belief in the rule of law.

Not much questioning has taken place yet, but so far, Barrett has done an excellent job of demonstrating that commitment.

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