WASHINGTON – Bringing it to the real world, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., plowed new ground at Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing on Tuesday when he asked the mother of two Black children about the impact of George Floyd’s death.

Barrett, guarded in her answers until this point, gave a candid reply.

In May, Floyd, a Black man, died after a white Minneapolis police officer pinned him down with a knee to his neck for nearly nine minutes. His death sparked a new chapter of racial reckoning in the U.S.

Barrett told Durbin after Floyd died she discussed with daughter Vivian, who is Black, “that there would be a risk to her brother or the sons she might have one day, of, that kind of brutality.”

Democrats know they are powerless to block the confirmation of Barrett, who President Donald Trump tapped for the Chicago-based 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017. Three years later, days after the death of liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Trump nominated Barrett, the ideological opposite of Ginsburg, to fill her seat.

What Durbin has been doing at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings – and in a private call last week – is to talk to Barrett about the impact Supreme Court decisions have on real people, bringing up race, guns used for crimes in Chicago traced to Indiana and Mississippi, and the crucial need for health care coverage.

Barrett, a former Notre Dame Law School professor, is known for her conservatism. She shared with her mentor, the late Justice Antonin Scalia, her belief in originalism and textualism.

That is, she explained on Tuesday, interpreting the Constitution with the meaning the writers had when it was ratified and analyzing a statute using only the text.

Barrett mainly works and lives in South Bend,

Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President TrumpDonald John TrumpTwo ethics groups call on House to begin impeachment inquiry against Barr Trump relishes return to large rallies following COVID-19 diagnosis McGrath: McConnell ‘can’t get it done’ on COVID-19 relief MORE’s Supreme Court nominee, told lawmakers on Tuesday that she “wept” with her family following the death of George Floyd earlier this year.

Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinDemocrats warn of ObamaCare threat from Barrett, Trump Democrats steer clear of Barrett’s religion during Supreme Court hearing Gloves come off in Barrett confirmation hearing MORE (D-Ill.) asked Barrett what “impact” viral footage of a former Minneapolis police officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck had on her, as Democrats grilled the high court pick during a marathon hearing. Floyd’s death sparked fresh scrutiny of police tactics and renewed nationwide Black Lives Matter protests.

“As you might imagine, given that I have two Black children, that was very, very personal for my family,” Barrett responded.

Floyd died after former police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes while he was detained in May. Protests that broke out after his death have called for widespread reforms on policing and inequality in the U.S.

Barrett told senators that her husband was camping with her sons when protests broke out across the country, saying she spoke with her daughters about the events in the wake of Floyd’s death.

“I was there, and my 17-year-old daughter Vivian, who’s adopted from Haiti, all of this was erupting. It was very difficult for her. We wept together in my room. It was also difficult for my daughter Juliet, who’s 10. I had to try to explain some of this to them,” Barrett said.

“My children to this point in their lives have had the benefit of

WASHINGTON – Amy Coney Barrett said the death of George Floyd was “very personal” for her family, telling senators on Tuesday she “wept” with her 17-year-old daughter over the Minneapolis man’s death in May. 

Judge Amy Coney Barrett asked about killing of George Floyd, racism in America

UP NEXT

UP NEXT



a person standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera: Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett listens during a confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.


© Bonnie Cash, AP
Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett listens during a confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

Barrett’s voice started to crack as she discussed the footage of a Minneapolis officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck and the ripple effect it had on her seven children, including the two she adopted from Haiti. 

Barrett, President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, had been asked whether she saw the video during her Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday.

Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

In response to Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Barrett described sitting with her teenage daughter, who is Black, and crying. 

“As you might imagine, given that I have two Black children, that was very, very personal for my family,” Barrett said about the footage. 

Floyd, a Black man, died after an officer knelt on his neck for nearly 9 minutes in May. The footage of his death sparked massive protests in cities across the U.S. and discussions about racism in America. 

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) used his time questioning Amy Coney Barrett to touch on a big topic in America and the law: racism.

During her Tuesday confirmation hearing, Durbin asked Barrett whether she had seen the video of George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police, and how it affected her. “Given that I have two Black children, that was very, very personal for my family,” Barrett responded, referring to her two children adopted from Haiti.

Barrett’s husband Jesse had taken her boys on a camping trip, but Barrett was home with her 17-year-old daughter Vivian, who is Black, as “all of this was erupting,” she said. “It was very difficult for her; we wept together in my room,” Barrett continued. “To understand there would be a risk to her brother or the sons she might have one day, of that kind of brutality, has been an ongoing conversation.”

It was difficult to “try to explain” the incident to her 10-year-old daughter who was also home, as her children “have had the benefit of growing up in a cocoon where they have not yet experienced hatred or violence,” Barrett continued. Durbin then asked her to explain “where are we today when it comes to the issue of race. Barrett responded by saying it’s “uncontroversial and obvious” that “racism persists in our country,” but would not go further into what she called “hotly contested policy questions” about race.

More stories from theweek.com
The Supreme Court deal is done
The winning

“Senator, as you might imagine, given that I have two black children, that was very, very personal for my family,” Barrett told Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who had asked whether she had seen the video. The judge explained that while her husband had taken her sons on a camping trip that weekend, she and Vivian “wept together in my room” as outrage over Floyd’s death mushroomed and consumed the country.

Barrett noted that Floyd’s death and the ensuing unrest were also difficult for her 10-year-old daughter, Juliette, who is white.

“I had to try to explain some of this to them,” she told the committee. “I mean my children — to this point in their lives — have had the benefit of growing up in a cocoon where they have not yet experienced hatred or violence. And for Vivian to understand that there would be a risk to her brother or the son she might have one day of that kind of brutality has been an ongoing conversation.”

Floyd, who is Black and was unarmed, was killed when a police officer leaned with his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes while Floyd lay handcuffed in the street.

Barrett added that the resulting conversation has been “a difficult one for us like it is for Americans all over the country.”

Durbin followed up by asking whether Barrett believed systemic racism exists in the United States, a point that activists have sought to hammer home but which some, including President Donald Trump, reject.

“I think it is an entirely uncontroversial and obvious statement, given as we have just talked about the George Floyd video, that racism persists in our country,” Barrett replied, but added that addressing the issue was a matter of policy.

Source Article