Judge Amy Coney Barrett earned the admiration of lawmakers and netizens on Tuesday when she held up a blank notepad after being asked by Sen. John Cornyn her to show the public her “notes”.
On the second day of the confirmation hearings, Barett held up a blank notepad to the senators.
“Most of us have multiple notebooks and notes and books, things like that in front of us,” said Sen. Cornyn. “Can you hold up what you’ve been referring to in answering our questions?”
“Is there anything on it?” asked Cornyn.
“The letterhead that says United States Senate,” the judge replied.
“That’s impressive,” said the senator.
The moment received praise online from conservatives.
Early in the day, Barrett was grilled about her views on Roe v. Wade, the landmark abortion case that would push the legalization of abortion back to the states if overturned.
The Daily Wire reported that Barrett argued that expressing a view on a precedent would signal to litigants “that I might tilt one way or another in a pending case.”
“Do you agree with Justice Scalia’s view that Roe [v. Wade] was wrongly decided?” Sen. Dianne Feinstein asked.
“Senator, I do wanna be forthright and answer every question so far as I can. I think on that question, I’m gonna invoke Justice Elena Kagan’s description, which I think is perfectly put. When she was in her confirmation hearing, she said that she was not gonna grade precedent, give a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down. … It would be wrong and a violation of the canons for me to do that as a sitting judge.”
“If I express a view on a precedent one way or another, whether I say I love it or I hate it, it signals to litigants that I might tilt one way or another in a pending case,” Barrett explained.
A frustrated Feinstein pushed again, framing the question as of most importance for “half the population,” noting that it was “distressing not to get a straight answer.” However, she received the same answer from Barrett.
Asked a third time, Barrett responded, “My answer is the same … It’s a contentious issue … but I can’t express views on cases or pre-commit to approaching a case any particular way.”