The Corner

Law & the Courts

I Am Amy Barrett: I Don’t Have an Opinion on Climate Change Either

Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett is flanked by her husband Jesse and White House Counsel Pat Cipollone at the start of the second day of her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., October 13, 2020. (Shawn Thew/Reuters)

Okay, I’m definitely not really Amy Barrett, but I certainly thought I heard sighs of relief throughout the nation when Amy Coney Barrett said she didn’t have an opinion on climate change. It sure resonated with me. I know people who adamantly say climate change is bogus, I know people who think it’s the biggest thing we face. I generally trust the opinion of some of my friends around here, so that’s where I might come down if I had to. But I don’t have to. I have opinions on many things — we would hope so! — given where we are. But I cannot have an opinion on everything. I don’t want to have an opinion on everything. It’s a matter of reality and humility. How did we get to a place in our culture where everyone has to have an opinion on everything? I’m not qualified to have an opinion on everything. It’s one of the reasons I love doing what I do — I can ask actual experts on issues for their insights based on first-hand experience and knowledge. Climate change, in a particular way, has a religious fervor around it. We saw that play out yesterday when Barrett was grilled on climate change. Senator Dick Durbin this morning went on about how unbelievable it is she doesn’t have an opinion on it. Translated: She must submit and say the appropriate things to be acceptable to Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee.  That’s not what this process is supposed to be about. Is she qualified to be on the Court or not? One needn’t have an opinion on climate change to be qualified for the Court.

And as for climate change: All I know is we need to be good stewards, and we are not. Work to fix that in your daily life, for a start. That’s more powerful than uttering the only acceptable words to progressive America.

Amy Barrett has a lot on her plate. She doesn’t need to have an opinion on climate change. I’m glad she doesn’t, it humanizes this woman of such excellence!


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