MALCOLM: Reflections On The Amy Coney Barrett Confirmation Hearings

MALCOLM: Reflections On The Amy Coney Barrett Confirmation Hearings


After four comparatively civil and calm days, the Supreme Court confirmation hearing for Judge Amy Coney Barrett is over. Barring some last minute revelation, her confirmation seems inevitable.

First, the obvious. The Democratic senators could not lay a glove on Barrett regarding her legal acumen, qualifications or character; they didn’t even try.

In her opening remarks, Barrett stated: “I try to remain mindful that, while my court decides thousands of cases a year, each case is the most important one to the parties involved. After all, cases are not like statutes, which are often named for their authors. Cases are named for the parties who stand to gain or lose in the real world, often through their liberty or livelihood.”

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This says much about her character. In both her judicial opinions and in her personal life — as colleagues and law clerks attested in Thursday’s session — Barrett is thorough, reasoned and sensitive.

Some senators tried mightily to box in Barrett by getting her to comment on which Supreme Court precedents she likes (and would presumably uphold) and which ones she doesn’t (and would presumably seek to overturn). As expected, Barrett did not bite. Instead, she cited

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