Judge Amy Coney Barrett sat through another day of intense questioning on Capitol Hill Wednesday, and frequently the questions sounded more like attacks than actual questions. Barrett has made it no secret that she subscribes to the same originalist judicial philosophy of Justice Antonin Scalia, the late conservative judge for whom she clerked. Democrats continued to try to pigeonhole her into being a Scalia clone with their questioning, and Barrett called them out on their assumptions.
In a line of questioning from Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), Barrett told the senator it was unfair to expect that she would decide a case just as her mentor had.
“I hope that you aren’t suggesting that I don’t have my own mind,” Barrett said, “or that I couldn’t think independently, or that I would just decide like ‘Let me see what Justice Scalia has said about this in the past.’
“I assure you I have my own mind.”
There was also a rare moment when both sides seemed to understand Barrett and empathize with her. While looking back on the questioning on Day 2, yesterday, Barrett said, “I did have a glass of wine. I’ll tell you that I needed that, at the end of the day.”
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) didn’t press her for details and actually joked “… let me just say on that kind of point you have a right to remain silent.”
Later in the hearings, while answering questions, Barrett had a slip of the tongue when she said she would “approach every case with an open wine … open mind.”