WASHINGTON — Amy Coney Barrett credited “improv” with the juggling of her large brood and distinguished judicial career during the second day of her confirmation hearings on Tuesday.
Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court also described the confirmation process as “excruciating” and said she and her husband, lawyer Jesse Barrett, knew that their personal lives and faith would be scrutinized and had been on a media “blackout” for the sake of her mental health.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the Democratic ranking member on the Judiciary Committee, praised Coney Barrett for how well-behaved her children sitting behind her were and asked Coney Barrett to introduce them.
“I have eyes in the back of my head,” joked the 48-year-old judge, before introducing six of her seven children, and her six siblings.
“I have my husband Jesse, my son JP, my daughter Emma, my daughter Juliet, my daughter Tess, my daughter Vivian, and my son Liam, and then behind them are my six siblings who are with me today.”
Coney Barrett’s youngest son has Down Syndrome and has not been at the hearings but was at the White House for her Rose Garden nomination ceremony last month. Two of her children, Vivian and John Peter, are adopted from Haiti.
When Feinstein asked the judge if she had a “magic formula” for her juggling parenting and a rigorous career, Coney Barrett responded: “It’s improv.”
The New Orleans-born conservative judge was also asked by the committee’s GOP chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham how it felt to be nominated to the highest court in the land.
Coney Barrett told Graham that she had been on a “media blackout for the sake of my mental health.”
Critics of the judge unhappy with her views on abortion and the Affordable Care Act and some have even scrutinized her for adopting two Haitian children.
“I don’t think it’s any secret to any of you or to the American people that this is a really difficult, some might say excruciating, process,” she said.
“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,” she went on.
“We knew that our faith would be caricatured, we knew that our family would be attacked and so 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 lawmaker who would replace the late liberal icon Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the bench, has described wanting to “serve my country” as her reason for saying yes to Trump’s proposal.
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