WASHINGTON, DC – Facing her first day of questioning before the Senate, Judge Amy Coney Barrett held up a blank notepad showing that she was not using any notes or material. This action became just one of a few to go viral.
When Judge Amy Coney Barrett showed she was not using notes, the moment became just one of a few to go viral. https://t.co/W5QJ8qd8Op
— USA TODAY Politics (@usatodayDC) October 13, 2020
The Washington Examiner reported that during the Supreme Court confirmation hearing, Republican Sen. John Cornyn asked the judge:
“Most of us have multiple notebooks and notes and books and things like that in front of us. Can you hold up what you’ve been referring to in answering our questions?”
In response, Barrett held up an empty notepad.
“Is there anything on it?”
To which Barrett responded:
“That letterhead that says United States Senate.”
Cornyn simply replied:
Amy Coney Barrett shows a blank note pad when @JohnCornyn asks her to "hold up what you've been referring to when answering our questions."
Cornyn: "Is there anything on it?"
ACB: "That letterhead that says United States Senate." pic.twitter.com/wa8mNNVZlq
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) October 13, 2020
Clips from that moment have since gone viral. Conservatives applauded Barrett, calling her “THAT smart.” However, the reference to the blank notepad also brought forth a wave of memes from both sides of the political aisle.
It seems that when Barrett cited various judges, cases, and laws as she discussed her career and how she would rule on the Supreme Court, she did it all from memory.
The Republican Party of Kentucky tweeted a meme of Barrett holding up the blank notepad superimposed with “#FILLTHESEAT,” saying they “couldn’t believe what she wrote!”
— Republican Party of Kentucky (@KYGOP) October 13, 2020
Donald Trump Jr., tweeted:
“Unlike Joe Biden, Amy Coney Barrett doesn’t need notes or a teleprompter to remember her positions.”
Senior Legal Advisor to the Trump Campaign, Jenna Ellis posted the photo of Barrett holding the blank notepad and said, “Judge Barrett’s policy agenda.”
What's the best #ACB meme?
— A Nice Cup of Tea. 🏴 (@GarethHurley5) October 13, 2020
Not all were as impressed.
The Lincoln Project, a political action committee led by Republicans working to defeat President Donald Trump and elect Democrat Joe Biden tweeted:
“Posting this image for no reason whatsoever.”
Writer and transgender advocate Charlotte Clymer tweeted:
“Amy Coney Barrett wants to be the replacement for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and I’m supposed to be impressed she didn’t bring notes to the hearing? That’s not impressive. That’s concerning.”
Senator: “Can you hold up what you’ve been referring to when answering our questions?”
Amy Coney Barrett: Holds up blank piece of paper.
🎤 drop. Let the memes begin… pic.twitter.com/mDYs05QdLE
— Art Jonak (@ArtJonak) October 13, 2020
Allegedly, other recent Supreme Court nominees, including Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch, had notes during their hearings. Kavanaugh used a binder and multiple legal pads throughout his vetting and Gorsuch was photographed jotting down notes on a legal pad.
ABC11 reported that Republicans were thrilled when Barrett held up a blank notepad, showing that she had been fielding all those questions without aid.
Overall, Barrett’s conservative views are at almost direct odds with the late Ginsburg, a liberal icon. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn) said:
“You would be the polar opposite of Justice Ginsburg.”
At this time, Republicans appear to have the votes to confirm Barrett to a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court. They spent their time during the questioning portraying her as a thoughtful judge with impeccable credentials. She would be Trump’s third justice.
Amy Coney Barrett memes flood the internet after she's asked to hold up her notepad https://t.co/KCWjxQB87Y
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) October 13, 2020
At the end of her opening statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Barrett said:
“I would like to thank the many Americans from all walks of life who have reached out with messages of support over the course of my nomination. I believe in the power of prayer and it has been uplifting to hear that so many people are praying for me.”
“I look forward to answering the Committee’s questions over the coming days and if I am fortunate enough to be confirmed, I pledge to faithfully and impartially discharge my duties to the American people as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.”
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HARTFORD, CT – During a recent interview on MSNBC, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) stated that he would not meet with Judge Amy Coney Barrett if she is nominated to fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Supreme Court seat.
Sen. Blumenthal on the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court: "I will oppose the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett … I refuse to treat this process as legitimate and will not meet with Judge Barrett." pic.twitter.com/IoJlcKa0r8
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) September 26, 2020
President Donald Trump’s decision to have Barrett fill Ginsburg’s seat has caused Democrats to enter a partisan war over the high court opening- A loud battle that has engaged Connecticut’s Democratic senators, putting Blumenthal on the front line.
“I’m going to oppose her nomination because I think it is part of an illegitimate, sham process, but it also threatens real people, real lives in very real ways. And during a pandemic, the last thing we ought to be considering is a justice who is committed to striking down the Affordable Care Act.”
“And you can be sure she has passed that ‘strong test’ the president’s words for what the test should be and I will not be meeting with her because I think it would treat this process as legitimate, which it is not.”
The CT Mirror reported that during a brief speech in the White House Rose Garden, Barrett acknowledged that her nomination faces massive Democratic opposition.
“I have no illusion that the road ahead of me will be easy. Either in the short term or the long haul.”
Sens. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), two of the 10 Democrats on the panel, will not hold informational meetings with Barrett.
Two Judiciary Democrats say they will not meet with Trump's Supreme Court pick https://t.co/F0s26IV7BH
— I am what I am! 😷🌊🌊 🌊 (@nevermore_007) September 26, 2020
She also spoke quickly about her approach to being a justice of the court. She said:
“A judge must apply the law as written. Judges are not policymakers and they must be resolute in setting aside any policy views they may hold.”
This is not the first time Barrett has faced strong opposition from Senate Democrats, including Blumenthal, who is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and vigorously fought her ascension to a seat on the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017.
I will oppose the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, as I would any nominee proposed as part of this illegitimate sham process, barely one month before an election as Americans are already casting their votes. Americans deserve a voice in this hugely consequential decision.
— Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) September 26, 2020
Barrett’s 2017 candidacy was controversial and she was confirmed through a largely party line vote, with both Blumenthal and Senator Chris Murphy voting “no.” Blumenthal said that this time around, his opposition to Trump’s pick to replace Ginsburg is founded on more than character and qualifications of the nominee. He said:
“There is no legitimacy to the process. The American people should have a say, especially since voting has already begun in many states.”
Blumenthal then accused Senate Republicans of “dragging” the Senate “through the mud” by pushing for Barrett’s confirmation by Election Day, which would be the fastest confirmation process for a Supreme Court justice in recent history.
STARK STATEMENT from Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) on ACB
“If Trump puts Amy Coney Barrett, his hand-picked nominee, on the court, millions of people I represent in Connecticut will be kicked off their health care plans …”
— Nathaniel Reed (@ReedReports) September 26, 2020
Murphy said in a statement:
“Senate Republicans are predictably reneging on their pledge from four years ago of not appointing a Supreme Court justice during an election year, in order to rush Coney Barrett onto the court in time to end health care for millions.”
Murphy added that Barrett’s confirmation to the Supreme Court would mean that millions of people he represents in Connecticut would be kicked off their health care plans in the middle of a global pandemic.
Trump’s announcement begins a process that is almost certain to result in Barrett’s confirmation. NBC News reported that Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, criticized Barrett’s comments on health care laws and she she would be likely to reverse the Affordable Care Act. Biden said:
“President Trump has been trying to throw out the Affordable Care Act for four years. Republicans have been trying to end it for a decade. Twice, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the law as constitutional.”
“She (Barrett) has a written track record of disagreeing with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision upholding the Affordable Care Act. The American people know the U.S. Supreme Court decisions affect their everyday lives.”
How Amy Coney Barrett might rule https://t.co/0IVXmCSWHV
— @Edward Lewis (@RJP56) September 27, 2020
Barrett received an ice-cold reception from Democratic members of the upper chamber, but a rule change by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell means she will not need the backing of any Democrats. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said in a statement:
“Justice Ginsburg’s dying wish was that she not be replaced until a new president is installed. Republicans are poised to not only ignore her wishes, but to replace her with someone who could tear down everything that she built. I will strongly oppose this nomination.”
— hg (@servicios317) September 27, 2020
Joe Manchin of West Virginia, the most centrist member of the Democratic caucus raised strong objections and said that is no way he would vote for her before the election. He said in a statement:
“Rushing to confirm a Supreme Court nominee weeks before a presidential election has never been done before in the history of our nation and it will only fan the flames of division. I cannot support a process that risks further division of the American people at a time when we desperately need to come together.”
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