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Associate Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett put a female heckler in their place during a recent event in California in a witty way that drew lots of laughs from the audience.
On Monday, Barrett was a featured guest at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley when she was asked by Frederick J. Ryan Jr., chairman of the library’s board of trustees, what she and her family experienced when she became aware she was in the running to be nominated by then-President Donald Trump to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.
Barrett began to explain what had happened when some members of the media tried desperately to snap photos of her near her home, but she was interrupted by a heckler who blurted out how Barrett was an “enslaver of women.”
The uncouth comment was not well-received by the supportive audience, but nevertheless, Barrett remained poised with a witty response.
“Fortunately, as a mother of seven, I am used to distractions — and sometimes even outbursts,” she said as the audience responded with laughter.
In the video below, as Barrett begins to explain and is heckled, there is a brief pause in the event for several seconds, likely as officials remove the woman before she drops her witty response:
“I think one of the difficult things that I experienced that I wasn’t really fully prepared for was the shift into being a public figure,” Barrett would go on to say.
In addition, Barrett gave a brief insight into some cases the high court is currently considering including abortion and the Second Amendment, saying that she hoped Americans would take the time to read and consider the decisions when they are handed down.
“Does [the decision] read like something that was purely results-driven and designed to impose the policy preferences of the majority, or does this read like it actually is an honest effort and persuasive effort, even if the one you ultimately don’t agree with, to determine what the Constitution and precedent require?” Barrett asked.
As for the process of being selected by the former president, “it just happened very quickly,” she said, noting that her hearings had occurred on a “compressed timeline” and that she “was scrambling” to set up chambers, prepare for oral arguments and read briefs.
Barrett spoke at the event as the Senate was preparing to likely confirm Judge Kentanji Brown Jackson to replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer after she was nominated by President Joe Biden. Three Republican senators have come out in support of Jackson, virtually guaranteeing her seat on the nation’s highest court.
“After reviewing Judge Jackson’s record and testimony, I have concluded that she is a well-qualified jurist and a person of honor,” Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah said in a statement. “While I do not expect to agree with every decision she may make on the Court, I believe that she more than meets the standard of excellence and integrity. I congratulate Judge Jackson on her expected confirmation and look forward to her continued service to our nation.”
Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska also said she’ll vote to confirm Jackson.
“She clerked for Justice Breyer before working in the private sector and as a federal public defender, and then serving as Vice-Chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, a district court judge, and now an appeals court judge. She will bring to the Supreme Court a range of experience from the courtroom that few can match given her background in litigation,” Murkowski said.
Sen. Susan Collins of Maine also announced she would vote in the affirmative for the judge.
“After reviewing Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s extensive record, watching much of her hearing testimony, and meeting with her twice in person, I have concluded that she possesses the experience, qualifications, and integrity to serve as an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court,” Collins said. “I will, therefore, vote to confirm her to this position.”