During the third day of Senate Judiciary Committee hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) questioned Barrett about replacing another woman trailblazer in Justice Ginsburg and having different judicial philosophies on the Court, as well as her advice for younger generations.
Notably, for the second day in a row, Ernst afforded Judge Barrett the opportunity to respond to previous questions, referencing her colleagues’ interruptions of Judge Barrett during their questioning.
Senator Ernst noted that while the late Justice Ginsburg and Judge Barrett may have different judicial philosophies, they are and were both trailblazers and amazing working moms. Ernst said that this diversity of thought and ability to pursue their dreams was exactly what women leaders of the past – like the suffragettes—fought for.
Ernst posed a question on this issue to Barrett: “What would you say to those that claim you’re not an adequate replacement for Ruth Bader Ginsburg because you do not march in lock step with her judicial philosophy?”
Barrett answered in part, “There’s room on the Court for different approaches to the Constitution, and I think those approaches shouldn’t be broken down into partisan boxes, because judges are not partisan … I think there is room, and it’s good and healthy for different approaches to the Constitution and to have debates about that.”
Advice to young lawyers:
Ernst asked Judge Barrett to offer advice for young Iowans, and all Americans, embarking on their legal career, and how they should define success and motivation to “leave their best on the field.”
Barrett responded in part: “Live life to the fullest, cease all of the opportunities you have, and do your best. But at the same time, never let work crowd out all of the other precious things in your life.”
Advice to young women:
Ernst also asked Judge Barrett to share advice for young women—like her daughter Libby—who look up to Barrett’s professional and personal achievements.
Barrett answered saying, in part: “Be confident … You shouldn’t let life just happen to you or sweep you along. You should identify what your objectives are, and identify the kind of person that you want to be, and then make deliberate decisions to make that happen.”