On Tuesday, Amy Coney Barrett faced her first real round of questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee, in what turned out to be quite a bizarre, empty spectacle featuring Democrat Senators. The Senators, in an obvious attempt to befuddle the Judge with a bevy of repetitive questions about the Affordable Care Act, Roe v. Wade, gun rights, racism, and precedent, only wound up showcasing how calm, intelligent, empathetic, and affable Judge Barrett was and will be on the Supreme Court.
While Republican Senators also often spoke too much—I'm looking at you Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX)—many did use their 30 minute time slot to ask Barrett some good questions about her personal history, legal precedent, or even the definition of originalism. When Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) asked what was on the notepad in front of her, Barrett held up the blank pad and the audience laughed. "That’s impressive," Cornyn said.
The best line of questioning from Republicans probably came from Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) again, who first asked Barrett multiple questions about the definition of originalism, and then went on to simply pepper her with questions about her legal philosophy and jurisprudence—the precise things she should be asked about, given the job before her.
This was in stark contrast to one of the more egregious time slots of the day, one held by Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat from my home state of Minnesota. Klobuchar, like most of the Democrat Senators, spent the bulk of her time doing what most people would call "ranting" about the Affordable Healthcare Act and voting rights. Klobuchar’s lengthy statement combining the two issues was nonsensical, illogical, emotional, and irrelevant. At one point the two had an exchange like this:
Judge Barrett: "I don't want to be Queen of the World."
Senator Klobuchar: "No, really, I often wish I was the benevolent Queen around here to get things done."
As one woman tweeted, “We've just summed up the two competing judicial philosophies here."
She's right. As Klobuchar went on, she became more unhinged and Barrett became more calm, intelligent, direct—even affable.
On several occasions, Klobuchar tried to coerce Barrett into predicting how she would rule on a certain hypothetical or actual case. Every time, Barrett answered the same way ensuring she could be fair in future cases she might hear as a Justice.
Klobuchar asked Barrett if one particular case was a super precedent. Barrett responded, "Senator Klobuchar If you continue to ask questions about super precedents that aren't on the list of super precedents that I discussed in the article that are well acknowledged in the Con law literature, every time you ask the question, I’ll just have to say I can’t grade it."
In their questioning, Democrats, especially Klobuchar, were tedious, obnoxious, lazy, mean-spirited. They tried to ask "gotcha" questions and failed. When a Senator became emotional or incoherent, Amy Coney Barrett responded with grace and empathy.
When a Senator attempted to bamboozle with a bizarre "what if" scenario, Barrett responded with intelligence and calm. I'm not entirely sure "judicial temperament" matters, but if it does, Barrett certainly has it, and a slew of other incredible qualities: She demonstrated this today. She remained steadfast and quietly fierce in the face of endless, incoherent rants. The opposite of her female (and male) Democrat colleagues, Barrett exuded grace under pressure, a superior intellect, and an affable demeanor. Just the right characteristics for a Supreme Court Justice.