We are wrapping up a historic event in our nation: the Senate confirmation hearing for 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Amy Coney Barrett for a seat on the Supreme Court. If confirmed, Judge Barrett would be the first mother of school-age children to serve on the high court.
As any mom can attest, balancing schoolwork, dinner and bath time with emails, conference calls and job duties is harder than ever. And with seven children, Judge Barrett’s willingness to jump into serving on the Supreme Court is a real boost to #mompower.
To get here, Judge Barrett has had to endure a grueling degree of scrutiny from lawmakers and the media. Folks have undermined her as a person, attacked her family and children, and challenged her religious beliefs.
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Her political opponents have tried to paint Judge Barret’s nomination as some sort of dystopian fulfillment of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” falsely portraying her as a domestic maidservant to her dominating husband.
Of course, this narrative is ridiculous and cartoonish. It is a full fireworks display of the hatred
Hollywood types and their coastal elite friends have toward people of faith, the heartland and conservative women.
The irony of these attacks is just how demeaning to women they really are — implying that Judge Barrett, a working mother of seven with a strong record of professional and academic accomplishment, isn’t capable of a seat on the highest court of the land.
Anyone who watched the Judiciary Committee hearing this week knows that Judge Barrett ran circles around 10 Democratic senators. She invoked complex legal analyses and thoughtful rationales about her judicial philosophy, as well as a sense of service and duty to her nation.
While explaining how she and her family made the life-changing decision to accept President Trump’s nomination to the Supreme Court, Judge Barrett posed a question that has stuck with me: “Why should I say someone else should do the difficulty? If the difficulty is the only reason to say no, then I should serve my country.”
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Moms deal with difficult problems all the time. And we just make it work. After spending time getting to know Judge Barrett as a mother, jurist and professor, it is not at all a surprise to hear of her deep sense of duty and acceptance of the difficulty.
This sense of duty and a broader purpose is something I can relate to, having served my country in the Army Reserve and Iowa Army National Guard. And it’s something Americans from all walks of life — from veterans and service members, to moms and dads, doctors and nurses, teachers and law enforcement officers — can relate to.
Amy Coney Barrett is a role model for young girls and an example of the great freedoms American women have to be who they want to be.
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As I said earlier this week, we don’t have to choose a narrow definition of womanhood. We can build our lives as we choose. Judge Barrett said so herself: “I’ve made distinct choices. I’ve decided to pursue a career and have a large family. I have a multiracial family. Our faith is important to us. All of those things are true, but they are my choices.”
Most importantly, this week Judge Barrett presented a compelling case that she would be a thoughtful, restrained and wise Supreme court justice who would defend the Constitution. I’m grateful that the American people have had the opportunity to get to know her. Because folks, Amy Coney Barrett truly shows what a mom can do.
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