Ten U.S. Senate Democrats gave it their best shot at Tuesday’s Judiciary Committee hearing on the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Each senator arrived with reams of notes, props and visual aids.
They occasionally consulted with one another and were each given a full 30 minutes to give it their best. And they didn’t lay a glove on her.
Through it all Judge Barrett remained poised, confident, and unflappable.
ABC News congressional reporter Trish Turner was the first to notice that Barrett wasn’t going to be any ordinary court nominee.
"Judge Barrett is using no notes," she tweeted at 9:15 am, shortly after the hearing got underway.
It didn’t come to any of the committee members’ attention until later in the morning, when Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, asked, in what The Hill.com described as a "viral moment," "Can you hold up what you've been referring to in answering our questions?"
After she did, he asked, "Is there anything on it."
She replied, "A letterhead that says United States Senate."
"That's impressive," Cornyn said.
In truth Barrett relied on two other, superior reminders: her memory and her intellect.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., didn’t bother asking a single question.
Instead he placed his tinfoil hat firmly on his head and launched into a complicated conspiracy theory that Barrett’s nomination was being promoted by shady, "dark money" interests.
In a bit over two minutes Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, collapsed Whitehouse’s house of cards.
"Senator Whitehouse opened up a can of worms," so it was described. "Senator Ted Cruz then spilled that can all over Whitehouse's head."
In what must have been a last ditch Hail Mary pass, Sen. Mazie Hirono, a Hawaii Democrat, wondered if there was a sexual skeleton hanging in Barrett’s closet.
"Since you became a legal adult, have you ever made unwanted requests for sexual favors or committed any verbal or physical harassment or assault of a sexual nature?" she asked.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., resorted to outright deception.
When questioning Barrett about her dissenting opinion in Kanter v. Barr — a case centering on the rights of a convicted non-violent felon to possess a firearm — he claimed more than once that she had used the word "radical" in her opinion.
When she questioned Blumenthal on it, he responded, "I think you said, quote, 'It sounds kind of radical to say felons can have firearms.' That’s a direct quote."
In truth, the word "radical" appears nowhere in the opinion; nor does the phrase "sounds kind of."
Blumenthal lied and should apologize to Barrett today; but don’t hold your breath.
Clearly the Senate Democrats needed help, and MSNBC analyst Jonathan Alter answered the call.
"BREAKING," began Alter, who’s also a Jimmy Carter biographer: "88 of Amy Coney Barrett’s faculty colleagues at Notre Dame have released a letter saying she should withdraw from consideration for the Supreme Court."
If you take the time to go through the list, however, you’ll see faculty members from the Departments of History, English, Philosophy, German, Physics, Theatre, and Anthropology, to name a few. But not a single faculty member from the University of Notre Dame School of Law.
But the final blow came from the place least expected: A CNN panel.
"in another age . . . Judge Amy Coney Barrett would be getting 70 votes or more in the U.S. Senate," said CNN’s John King.
Dana Bash agreed, and said, "I will just note, which I think will be an instant meme, John, is the fact that she had no notes." She added, "I think that’s going to be very impressive to Republicans and to Democrats — not that everyone didn’t think she was smart — but that she was so confident in how she was going to express herself."
King put in that reports he’d received indicated that even Democrats "think she’s been very impressive, handled herself well, and not made any mistakes."
Channel surfing to NBC, Chuck Todd was impressed by the human side Barrett brought to the committee, especially after introducing her husband, her sister, and six of her seven children — two of them adopted from Haiti.
Andrea Mitchell agreed, saying "that made her so relatable."
The Babylon Bee, a satirical "news" site, probably summed the day up best. Its headline said, "ACB Calmly Answers Questions While Typing Up Appellate Court Decision And Cooking Dinner For 9."
Tuesday was also a far cry from last week’s vice presidential debate, when Sen. Kamala Harris, a California Democrat, spent much of the time interrupting, mugging to the camera, and rolling her eyes.
It’s safe to say that Barrett’s confirmation is all but over — she out-classed and showed greater intellect than every person in the room. And she did in with grace.
A star is born.
Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He is also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range. Read Michael Dorstewitz's Reports — More Here.
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