tv Outnumbered FOX News October 15, 2020 9:00am-10:00am PDT
workplace and illinois department of transportation. there, she held that a black traffic patrol driver was not subject to a work environment even though coworkers frequently suggested him to use the and word. judge barrett concluded this was an eg degree just racial epithet but was not enough to prove discrimination. this is simply incomprehensible. the nomination of justice barrett arises at one of the most tumultuous times in our nations history. we are wrestling with a pandemic, protests about unconstitutional policing practices, racial injustice and more. our nation deserves a justice who is committed to protecting the hard-earned rights of all americans, particularly our nation's most vulnerable. for these reasons, the committee for civil rights under law
opposes judge barrett's nomination. thank you. >> thank you miss clarke. professor prakash. >> it's an honor to be here today to discuss judge barrett, thank you chairman graham, thank you members of the committee. i have the pleasure of working for the great senator alan simpson over the summer, i remember this building. we heard the aba rate to the judge is well-qualified, i think the only reason why she wasn't rated higher if there is no higher rating by the aba, i think she is overqualified. to use a sports metaphor, she is a five tool athletes, she's an institutionalist, she is a role model and i also finally she is an originalist. i will briefly go over these
points and welcome questions. with respect to her brilliance, i think her articles reflect a deep appreciation of complex issues and ability to break down those complex issues and a manner that people can understand. i would point you to her article entitled "supervisory power over the supreme court" where she discusses supreme court's assumption of power to prescribe procedural rules in the 1950s over the inferior courts and how that is problematic given that congress has occasionally granted the supreme court authority to impose rules on the lower courts. so it's an interesting time, she's basically nominated the supreme court and criticizing the supreme court's conclusions in this regard. i think her discounts discussion is nuanced and reflects a willingness to not overturn thee constitutional order to get things right, she properly notes
that judges do not need to reconsider precedent in every case and i think that is totally appropriate. don't just take my word or the word of the aba, harvard law professor noah feldman has said she is brilliant and he also said she's conscientious. i agree with both of those adjectives. as an educator, you know she's one of the won the teacher of the year award three times, i think this reflects her attention to students, her care for them, but we must never forget that justices and senators are educating the nation about our nation laws and i think that she will carry that task with ease as you saw during your testimony, she's very good at breaking down complex contest. i think she's institutionalist, she cares deeply about america. she does not want to burn the whole place down. and i do not think she will do anything that brings the supreme court into disrepute. i think she has good company because all the justices try
their best as they disagree with each other to understand each of the justices comes from the right place, as it senators today discussed they have the value and right instincts. she's a role model, i think senator graham has spoken to that a great length and i won't go into it further. finally, she is an originalist. originalist basically believe the meaning of the law that matters at enactment, not what a judge or executive branch would make with the law later on. i'm reminded of the biden condition, named after senator joseph biden. you probably have heard of him. senator biden was disturbed by the reagan administration's reinterpretation of the treaty and he got this body to add a condition to the inf treaty which said the interpretation of the treaty that matters is the interpretation that we jointly had one we consented to your
ratification of the treaty. you cannot reinterpret treaties decades later. that is an originalist argument. i would argue that's what every lawmaker wants. lawmakers craft texts, they get it marked up in committee, they take it to the floor, there might be amendments there. then they take it to the conference committee, there might be amendments there. they bring it back, they spend a lot of time thinking about that language. thinking about the context. and then what they don't want is some judge or executive later on twisting that statute, twisting that enactment to suit other purposes. i think the alternative is the living constitution, the living statutory approach. i don't think that honors u.s. lawmakers, it really leaves the lawmaking power with the judge or executive officer. if you look at our recent history, the living constitution has brought us things like the living presidency, the presidency i think across all
parties has acquired powers not limited by the constitution. think of the war power, go back and read about washington and others have said about it. think about your role in treaties, they are greatly diminished. i will end with caution and hope, originalist and conservatives will be disappointed with judge barrett because she will render results that they disagree with politically. that is entirely appropriate. and i'll note -- and with a note of hope, progressive should be happy because she will give them meaning to the law that is appropriate at the time that it was passed. i don't think she's going to use a position to advance her personal or religious agenda. thank you so much. >> thank you professor. miss good. >> chairman graham, ranking member feinstein, members of the committee, thank you for having me. my name is crystal good, i am a writer poet, small business owner, graduate student at west
virginia university, and advocate for survivors of sexual abuse. i'm the daughter of a white mother and a black father and i'm the proud mother of three brilliant children. these identities are all part of me but not all of me. who i am today is only possible because at 16 years old i had access to an abortion. as a minor in a state with a parental consent requirement, that access was dependent on the judge. because without a shadow of a doubt, i could not trust the adults closest to me. from the ages of five until i was 15 i was sexually abused by moabite stepfather. he wasn't convicted until 2012, more than 30 years after the abuse began. when i told the grown folks in my life they didn't believe me at first, and then refused to hold me accountable once the truth was out. later at 16 while in a relationship that brought me joy and maybe feel safe, art, like
2.7 million americans a year, had an unattended pregnancy. i knew i wanted an abortion, a very safe medical procedure that one in four u.s. women will have in their lifetime. for many reasons, including the decade she did not protect me from i couldn't tell my mother. instead, i saw a judicial bypass. i had to navigate not only how to get to the judge but how to do so on a school day. i had no idea what i should wear or what information you would want, i thought i was going to court like on tv. but instead, i was ushered into the chambers, it felt very intimidating. i told him i was a good student, i was a leader in my school, i had opportunities that many young women from west virginia didn't, i wanted to go to college to be a writer. i said your honor, i have a future. i choose an abortion. it felt like a miracle, and i believe me and an authority figure deemed me to be in charge
of my own body and my own futu future. i still think what might have happened if i didn't have a list of accomplishments or if the judge didn't think i was confident enough to be confident to start my family. or if he believes the harmful stereotype i was raised to believe that black girls were promiscuous. access to an abortion should not depend on our gpa, the color of our skin, where we live, or the luck of the draw. it should not depend in any shape, form, or fashion we were governor is or who is sitting on the supreme court. my entire childhood, every adult in my life failed me. none of them deserved to make a decision about my body. i needed compassion and trust for my government, all i got was another barrier. there are thousands like me who are sexually abused by parents, guardians, and grown-ups who are supposed to support them. today, 37 states require precentraparental consent or non for a minor to get an abortion.
most young people shouldn't involve their parents and their decision. but for those like me who cann cannot, those kind of restrictions make them hard to get because we have to travel, miss work or school, save up for weeks and pay out-of-pocket. the average per capita income in west virginia is $25,479. that's one seventh of your senate salaries. in central appalachia, black and low income white people struggle to access health care including abortion. and too however decision respected. the supreme court has made historic decisions to uphold our right and freedom's come up my right to an abortion, the integration of public schools, e affordable health care act that ensures i have health insurance, and workplace protection from to the back for my transgender daughter. i have put my faith in the court and with this nomination i am losing faith.
although today i have chosen to create my family is demonized by some challenges, the reality is that we are like most families across the nation. i had an abortion, i had two sons and a daughter who is trans. i love my children. we are a proud family that is african-american appalachian. my story is my own but represents so many people left out from the supreme court nominee hearing. an entire cast of people, that is caste cast. president trump he to the max said he will appoint justices that will overturn roe v. wade. unfortunately, learning about judge barrett's record i understand by the president believes she passes the test. please, listen to people who have had abortions. heroes will me ask you do not confirm this nominee. our future, our family, our
lives depend on it. we too are american. thank you. >> thank you very much. miss staggs. >> good morning, good afternoon, and thank you for the opportunity to come and speak with you all today. i'm here to raise my voice against the nomination of amy coney barrett, and in support of the affordable care act. as well as to share my family's story. while i am here in this room, alone, i bring with me millions of families. including 130 million americans who live with pre-existing conditions, and millions of americans who dissent from the hearings of any confirmation to the supreme court before
inauguration. my name is stacy staggs, though i am more frequently addressed as mommy. i live in north carolina with my husband and twin girls. who have complex medical needs and disabilities. i advocate for their health care, education, and community inclusive. a family led organization advocating for children fo likey own. i share judge barrett's disdain for hypotheticals. as a behavioral interview or, i know that past conduct is an indicator of future decision-making. and i'm here today because judge barrett has repeatedly made statements that are hostile to the affordable care act. a vote for judge barrett as a
vote to take away health care, and a vote for judge barrett is a vote to strike down the law that saves the lives of my daughters. my family is but one of many. studies confirm the aca has saved thousands of life, especially in states that have accepted medicaid expansion and my family is a real-life example of the success of the aca. my twin daughters, emma and sarah, are adorable and active 7-year-olds. they are the lights of my life. and we balance a busy schedule of therapy and distance learni learning. sarah is my nature lover, she is happiest when she's splashing in the water or digging in the dirt. and emma has a smile that lights
up her entire face. her favorite day is tuesday, when we go to the farm for therapeutic horseback riding. i love them with the same joy and amazement i'm sure you feel for your own children. but seven years ago, their recent birthday would've been too much to hope for. my husband and i were excited to learn we were expecting. we were surprised to learn we were having twins. i had excellent prenatal care, one of the essential benefits under the affordable care act and my pregnancy was going great. until one day, it wasn't. i was experiencing pain, so my daughter suggested i come down to the hospital for monitoring. and within hours, within hours
as my vital signs faded, i was rushed to the operating room where our small wonders were born via emergency c-section at 28 weeks. they were rushed to the neonatal intensive care unit where their survival was far from assured. we sat individual for weeks, learning an entirely new language of medical terms and holding our breath in between heartbeats on their monitors. i wasn't able to hold either girl for several weeks. but they were about the size of my hand. they had ivs in every extremity and skin so fragile you could see through it. and most birth weight was 1 pound 9 ounces. she has never taken an
unassisted breath or made a sound due to vocal cord paralysis. she has an artificial airway through a breathing tube, and she eats through a feeding tube that was surgically replaced when she was three months old. her twin sister sarah was the bigger of the newborns at 2 pounds, and she needed heart surgery at two weeks old. that was the day it took on a new meaning for me, the success rate for sarah's procedure was 98%. then he leaned in and said that doesn't mean much to the parents of the 2%. so this day when i hear that discussion about recovery from covid-19 for example, i am immediately transported back to the surgical waiting room. when i was finally able to bring my babies home from the hospital
for the first time after 110 days, we received an explanation of benefits with total claims nearing $1 million for their care. and as the first seven years, our combined claims have surpassed $4 million. without the protections of the affordable care act, my daughters would have already hit their lifetime cap and be rendered uninsurable. and we have primary insurance through my husband's employer coming medicaid support has been a lifeline for emma. you can see 24-hour lifeline care. medicaid provides emma with home and community-based services including nursing that allow her to stay home with us where she belongs, instead of living in a hospital or other medical facility. our country is in a public health crisis right now, one
that is getting worse by the day. in this moment, we need our legislators to protect our families, to provide relief and support, to do the job we've elected them to do. we do not need to rush through the nomination of a supreme court justice who is on the record against the law that provides health care protection. shifting focus away from the relief package for families during a pandemic, tells me the committee's priorities are not aligned with those of the american people. i urge you to listen to us and address the immediacy of covid relief. last, i'd like to think you for the opportunity to give my testimony. to say health care is a human right, and decency matters. and to remind you that as your constituent, my children and all children like ours are your children too. i hope you'll remember your duties to all of our children as
you cast your vote to protect or take away the health care their lives depend on to survive and thrive. lastly, let me share that today is the first day of early voting in north carolina. it's a big day for me. my next task is to cast my ballot accordingly. thank you. >> think you very much, amanda rauh-bieri that we will get to miss laura wolk. >> mr. chairman, ranking member feinstein and other members of the committee, i am deeply honored to speak to you about somebody who has had an effect on my life as a farmer to the back former law, judge amy coney barrett. i know to be a person of the highest character and i enthusiastically support her
nomination to be associate justice of the united states report. i have the privilege to serve as a law clerk during her first term on the bench, joining her team shortly after confirmation to the seventh circuit in 2017. from the very beginning, i saw judge barrett exhibit a rare and unique set of qualities that make her an exemplary judge. she is a brilliant thinker, she analyzes legal issues with clarity and precision, she has patients, thoughtful, and compassionate. judge barrett is dedicated to discipline and as a judge, she is committed above all else to the rule of law. as she has said and i have seen, judge barrett understands the policy decisions must be left to the political branches. the goal of the judge is to enforce the law as written. i have seen judge barrett put her unwavering commitment in every case before her.
she approaches each case with an open mind, she commits to the idea that each side might have a better legal argument. judge barrett's open-mindedness is grounded in compassion. she has spoken about giving each decision from the perspective of the losing party. i have seen her put that into practice. it would be easier in many ways not to take this approach. but i learned from judge barrett that the law is about fairness over efficiency and that every member of society and every case that comes to the court is entitled to equal justice. judge barrett is a judge who reaches the results required, and she writes with empathy and appreciates the real-life impact of her decisions. alongside judge barrett top intellect and enduring commitment to the law, her determination to discipline. in deciding cases, judge barrett has never relied on her extraordinarily sharp legal
mind, she shares that gift with a dedication to legal process in each case. she never takes shortcuts. she thoroughly examines the facts and applicable law in each case. she is an intensely hard worker. even the early rising clerks often rise to find the light already on in her office door. even with her power of intellect and work ethic, judge barrett -- she would often pop over to our offices to discuss a legal question. it's a testament to her respect that she often walks the path from her office to mine, even to hear my thoughts on legal questions or engaging in discussion over issues. within those conversations judge barrett created a culture that encouraged us to voice our different opinions, even if we thought she ultimately disagreed. she takes value in this court and she fosters that value in
her clerks. she is open and curious and humble about the law and life. and from what i saw as a law clerk, judge barrett approached her colleagues on the bench with the same gracious humility and openness that i experience from her. her impact on my life is farther than legal training, i joined her team in january of 2018. two weeks after my graduation from law school. i loved my time in law school, but i also spent much of it unsure of myself. i often tried to downplay my presence, afraid that i was wrong or inadequate. i wasn't certain i had what it took to succeed. judge barrett changed that for me. for example and mentorship inspired in me confidence i didn't know i had. i can't point to a single event or point in time when that change occurred, change like
that happens gradually across hundreds of conversations and hours shared. judge barrett's in law and life with conviction and generosity and courage. she inspired me to do the same. for example, i can tell you with certainty that i would not have the confidence to be here speaking to this committee without judge barrett influence in my life. judge barrett listens to everyone around her, she wants the best for each of us. judge barrett has her own large family but that didn't stop her from treating her clerks like family two. shortly after arriving in cambridge we piled into the back of her minivan and drove to chicago. she cared deeply about each of us, investing time both in and beyond the law. clerking for judge barrett and
being mentored by her as an honor. judge barrett has elevated my thinking and character. not by subscription but simply by being herself. as a supreme court justice, she will be a role model for generations to come as she is to me. i am proud and honored to support judge amy coney barrett nomination to serve as a associate justice in the united states supreme court. thank you. >> think you very much. our last witness is ms. laura wolk. >> mr. chairman, ranking member feinstein, and members of the committee, my name is laura wolk. and i am a former student of judge amy coney barrett. in part because of her unwavering support, i am the first blind woman to serve as a law clerk on the supreme court of the united states. it is now my immense privilege to appear before you in support
of judge barrett's nomination to that same great institution. you have heard over the past few days about judge barrett's judicial qualities, which are beyond reproach. but should you confirm amy barrett, the country will receive something far greater than simply an unparalleled legal mind. it will gain the service of one of the kindest individuals i have ever known. her brilliance is matched only by her compassion and her integrity is unassailable. i am not speaking in mere abstractions, rather, i have experienced these characteristics firsthand with life-changing results. because i am completely blind, i rely heavily on assistive technology to compete on a level playing field with my cited peers. before arriving at notre dame law school, i worked hard to ensure the university would purchase backup copies of the technology i used. but upon arrival, i discovered that bureaucratic which is left me without access to technologyp
began to fail. overnight, i found myself struggling to keep up in class, falling increasingly behind with each passing hour. i needed help and i needed it fast. i had been judge barrett's student for a few weeks but her graciousness and warmth gave me hope that she could provide me without assistance. even so, i maintain relatively low expectations, based on my past experience i assumed that judge barrett would simply direct me to the proper bureaucratic channels which could still take weeks if not longer to navigate. but judge barrett did something altogether different. she silently listened with deep attention as i clean my situation. giving me the freedom to let down my guard. as a disabled person, i am accustomed to acting as if i have everything under control when in reality the world feels like it is spinning out from under me.
but in front of judge barrett i was able to let the mask slip and indeed to disappear completely. i poured out all my concerns, not just about technology and my worries about failing classes but all the burdens are currently carried as a disabled woman navigating a brand-new environment. when i finished, judge barrett leaned forward and looked at me intently. laura, she said, with the same measured conviction that we have seen displayed throughout her entire nomination process. this is no longer your problem, it's my problem. i can't capture adequately the relief that washed over me in her words. her offer was rare enough in its own right but even when such offers are extended, many unfortunately do not follow through. it's hard to trust an offer of assistance no matter how desperately it is needed or earnestly it is given. not so with judge barrett. anyone who has interacted with her nose that she means what she
says and she says what she mean. when she promised to advocate for me, she commanded my trust. to this day, i do not know what judge barrett did to solve my problem. itself a testament to her humility. all i know is that they technology arrived promptly, which in turn allowed me to excel and to place me in a position that would eventually allow me to apply for clerkship on the supreme court. this encounter was the first in which judge barrett demonstrated the depth of her generous spirit. but it was far from the last. she has remained a constant source of strength, encouragement, and solace as i have pursued professional and personal opportunities with no road maps to guide me. through her mentorship, she has given me a gift of immeasurable value. the ability to live an abundant life with the potential to break down barriers so that i can leave this world a better place than i found it.
though i am here today to share with you my story, the very best aspects of that story is that it is hardly unique. those who have had the benefit of knowing amy coney barrett understand that she possesses a boundless fountain of energy and a sense of love that she is ever ready to pour out upon those lucky enough to call her teacher, boss, family, and friend. judge barrett will serve this country with distinction. not only because of her intellectual prowess, but also because of her ability to treat everyone as an equal. deserving of complete respect. as a beneficiary of both of these qualities, i urge you to confirm judge amy coney barrett to the supreme court of the united states. thank you. >> think you all, your testimong and your life circumstances we appreciate you sharing with the
committee. whether you were in support or opposition two judge barrett, i really don't have any questions. i'm turning over to senator feinstein for the committee, if you want to grab the mic we will press on but i just want to keep going. we will make sure everybody can ask questions that would like. just one editorial comment, miss wolk i am very impressed with what you had to say, my sister is the executive director for the commission of the blind in south carolina. she is trying to bring about better outcomes and i just have some understanding of the world but you just spoke of, maybe all of us can work together to provide some upper game here when it comes to services. senator feinstein. > i would like to ask this
question, if i may, of crystal good. i want to thank you for being here, and sharing your very remarkable story with the committee. you've testified about a very personal decision that you made as a teenager to have an abortion. i'd like to just talk to you a little bit more about it, because as you and i both know this is very hard for a girl or for a woman, and the personal circumstances are often not known. and so i was wondering if you would discuss with us what it has meant for you to have that right, that right constitutionally to reproductive care.
>> thank you, senator feinstein. i just wanted to say that i'm here today with the support and prayers of my pastor, of my friends and folks from and my family, including my mom and my mom and i have come a really long way. we've been on a really long healing journey, we felt a strong relationship. her actions then were not excusable but today i understand how women like my mom can fall prey to a culture of silence in churches and systems that knew what my stepfather was doing and protected him and not me. so, my right to access health care is why i am here today and i am speaking from not a place of bitterness but to give caution and concern in this nomination that the government cannot and should not create barriers to health care.
>> thank you very much. it's very clear that you are a very strong person. i think we all wish you well. i would like to ask dr. bhatti, can i ask a question? what would you say to people who have excellent health care coverage as is true here for us in the senate, to help us understand how important the aca is for your patience? >> what i would say to folks with good insurance is that we are blessed, i have good health insurance too. we are blessed to be in a position, as a society we sometimes punish people when the only mistake they might have made is not choosing their parents wisely. a lot of my patience fall into that category where they are hardworking people, they go to work every day, they do their
part to contribute to society, but their stories don't often get told and that's why i'm here today, to tell their stories and let folks know that the committee i represent and me as an individual value health care for all americans. that's what this is all about. to ensure every american has access. >> can i stop you for a minute? what's really important to me is what do you think of the long-term consequences that the pandemic will have on this nation's health? >> i'm very worried about the pandemic. we already had many, many, 217,000 deaths. 8 million americans have contracted covid, 14 million americans have lost their employer based health care because they lost their jobs as the pandemic.
so we need to take bold action to get the pandemic under control. in order to save as many lives as possible. i'm very concerned about our health response at every level of government. >> one last question, what do you believe the most critical health response is to be beneficial? if you could speak a little bit about that and the numbers of people and your advice to us. >> we need to do a better job at the highest level of government, starting with the federal government on down with testing, and contact tracing, and providing the resources to all the states that they need to do that. because the numbers, as striking as they are, are a sharp underestimation of what the reality actually is. we do not have the capacity at the ground level to perform as many tests as we need, to know just how many americans actually
have covid and just how many people have become sick and have died from covid. the numbers are sharp underestimation spared anything that the federal government cano to empower each and every state to get more accurate testing -- it should not be a partisan issue, we need every elected member of congress to lead by example by engaging in acts of public health that we need every american to engage in in order to prevent the spread appeared >> such as what kind of acts of public health? >> basic things, having every member of congress commit to wearing a mask. every member of congress commit to social distancing. commit to not going into indoor places with more than ten people. not holding large rallies where
people aren't wearing masks and side-by-side. every member of congress has an obligation to lead by example, and that's what's going to help my patients, officials that they trust leading by example and participating in or taking place in simple public health measures to keep everybody safe. >> thank you very much doctor. >> i will turn it over, does that include protests? >> i beg your pardon? >> would that include masked protests? >> any large gathering of people. >> would that include writing? >> sir, i don't support rioting, if that is what you are asking me. >> just wanted to make sure. senator kennedy. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i just wanted to thank all of our witnesses for taking the
time to come by. i particularly want to think professor prakash, am i that right? thank you, professor. you did me a favor, you may not remember it but one of my colleagues in my office sitting behind me, hannah freire, you recommended hannah to me and i wanted to thank you for that. she has made a -- you taught her well, she's made a substantial contribution to my office. also, two of your colleagues, paul stefan and dan ortiz are friends of mine. we went to school together. paul and i were together at one school, dan and i were together at another.
i'm pleased to remember them, they are in a word brilliant and good mates. so tell them i said hi. and thanks again to everyone. >> here's one. thanks, senator feinstein. i want to show you a photo of nate low, in this one the photo is eight years old. good looking young man. it's the eighth anniversary of the surgery that saved his life, diagnosed with atresia, he ended up needing a liver transplant. medical care cost more than a million bucks in the first year
of his life, of course it continues. he's in the third grade, he plays soccer, video games, and playing with his younger sister. he o has a pre-existing conditin for the rest of his life, his parents tell me that lifetime limits would have cost him his life period. so when we talk about the future of of the affordable care act and think you for reminding us, remember this one. what a good-looking young man he is. i will make a confession here that may not sit well with some of my colleagues, but when someone tells me check the box, i'm an originalist. it isn't enough for me. it doesn't tell the whole story. in fact, it doesn't tell me much. let me read to you what the mayor of chicago lori lightfoot, who was a friend, said a couple days ago at a news conference. i asked her if she was an originalist, here's what she said. "you ask a gay black woman if
she's an originalist? no, i am not." the constitution didn't consider me a person in any way, shape, or form because i am a woman, i am black, and i am gay. i'm not an originalist. i believe in the constitution, i believe it's a document the founders intended to evolve. what they did was set the framework for how our country was going to be different from any other. the originalists say let's go back to 1776, whatever was there in the original language, that's it. that language excluded over 50% of the people living in america today. so no, i'm not an originalist." i don't take comfort when people proclaim i am an originalist, don't worry, we will find the wisdom in these words. and we had a case here which was very important, we talked about over and over. that was the case, judge barrett
took the time to write a lengthy, lengthy dissent and she, being an originalist, took this adventure in history, back 400 years. senator kennedy, 400 years there wasn't even louisiana at that point. 400 years to find some guidance. what she missed her and her conclusion is what's happening 400 yards from where she lives. where crime is coming across the border into the city of chicago and killing innocent people. the notion that we would somehow drop our guard and make it easier for people who are convicted felons to own firearms is just doesn't make sense from where i'm standing, and i don't know if going back to the time of the british decisions on what to do is really much guidance when it comes to the reality today. miss clark to the back clarke, would you comment on mayor lightfoot's version of a regionalism? >> i have great concerns about
judge barrett commitment to a regionalism the over regionali regionalism, it purports to rely on the understandings of our cot the time where the language was adopted, which is not practical in the 21st century. and it can lead to a high degree of speculation about the subjective understanding. but i would like if i could to read a quote from justice kennedy. the nature of injustice is that we may not always see it in our own time, but generations that wrote and ratified the bill of rights and the 14th amendment did not presume to know the extent of freedom in all of its dimensions and so they entrusted the future generations to enjoy liberty as
we learn its meaning. i think that judge barrett's strict adherence to originalism stance to turn our country back decades. and runs the risk that we will exclude from the constitution promised african-americans, women's rights, lgbtq rights, and more. >> miss clarke, many other questions and issues before us still relate to the evolution of thinking beyond the original constitution as it related to african-americans, for example, and particularly as it relates to women today. we are going through this, in the middle of this, and the folks in that constitution swore to support and defend didn't get those two aspects right. women didn't have a right to vote and african-americans weren't even counted as full citizens, let alone had the right to vote. we are still debating that many
hundred years later. thank you mr. chairman. >> senator durbin. senator lee. >> thank you mr. chairman. judge griffith, i would like to start with you if i could. in addition to being a judge on the u.s. court of appeals d.c. circuit, you also have been a professor and you've taught a course for a number of years at stanford law school regarding the unique distinct rule of the article three judge. if i understand correctly, you've also started teaching that same course at harvard and you'll be teaching that at harvard and the university of virginia this year. what do you tell your students are some of the most important lessons you learned? >> thank you very much, if i give you the full answer and
students are out there do better on the exams by hearing what i think, just take note. i came upon this course because i wanted a better understanding of what my role was as a judge, what am i supposed to do with the constitution, what roles am i supposed to play? both from being a judge and from the courses and hearing interaction with students, it happened the day after i was confirmed by the senate for my seat on the d.c. circuit, a happy day for me. i was in my office, the general counsel at the time. i was the recipient of many congratulatory phone calls from people from around the country who i had known and worked with before. one was from a fellow i worked with in washington d.c., he observed a distinguished member
of the d.c. circuit who has long since passed away, and went on to clerk on the supreme court. and so he gave me some advice about being a judge, he said are you open for advice? and i said boy am i, i am teachable. he sent i will tell you what i was told the first day in the chambers, he sat me down and said here's how we go about our job, the first thing we do is we learn the facts of the case as best we can. these are real people, they have real struggles. they deserve to know that we know who they are, and we know the challenges they face. they deserve that. so we have to spend a lot of time to learn their circumstances. so the next thing that we do is we think long and hard and deep about the fair result, a just outcome. the equitable disposition. once we figure that out, we go
find law to support our decision. now, the purposes of the call was congratulatory, it was not to engage in discussion about the role of the judge but i took a vow that i would do my level best to always heed the first part of that advice. always heed the first part of that advice. these are real people who have real struggles and we need to understand them. i took a vow that i would never follow the last part of the advice, because it's the american people who get to decide what fair and just and equitable, they expressed that through their politically accountable representatives, three members of congress. they did that through legislation, through the constitution of the united states. i was not appointed to decide, to take my own views of what's fair and just and equitable and
use them to resolve a case. maybe that would be a perfectly good way of government, that's not the system that our government was created to do. i am an originalist, i'm a textual list, there are many political progressives who are original. a great originalist scholar and a progressive. professor omar in his book "the constitution of biography" says something, the most fundamental professor, the most fundamental liberty protected by the constitution is the right of we the people to set the rules by which the government -- by which our society is run. we don't do that through judges.
our job as a judge is to be a faithful agent to we the people as they expressed their will through law. the constitution is a very complicated lawmaking process, in the case of statutes it's by passage and presentment to the president, in the case of amendments to the constitution it's two-thirds passage, 34th ratification. it's a very complicate in process. if you note in that process. >> we need to wrap it up. >> there is no rule for a judge and there, that is the lesson we learned. thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you. anyone over here? blumenthal? yes, sir. >> judge griffith, i was not the one responsible for interrupting
you, just -- >> that was me, we are going over. i know you didn't have a clock. >> i mentioned that because judge griffith sat on case very recently where i was present as the plaintiff, blue an blumenths trump. i think you for being with us, all the witnesses here today for giving your time to this very, very important proceeding. i want to ask, particularly ms. clarke, because there is such a strong racial justice movement in this country now. we are in the midst of a health crisis and economic emergency, but the racial justice movement
is so deeply important. i asked judge barrett about the issue of gun violence preventi prevention, and i brought with me the story into the room the voice and face of janet rice, who lost her son shane oliver in downtown hartford. they are black, i also had the voice and face of chris and michael who lost their son ethan and natalie barton who lost her brother, every community, every part of the country is affected by these cowards of gun violen violence. janet rice lost her son in a shooting, probably no fault of his, certainly none of hers.
i wonder if you could talk about the need for sensible, common sense gun violence prevention measures. judge barrett, delmac has taken the position that the second amendment should give fea class of felons, without any legal support in the circuit courts, the right to possess firearms. i am extremely concerned about the effects of that kind of approach to common sense measures like connecticut has, and other states around the country that protect everyone. background checks, emergency risk protection orders, safe storage laws, ethan's law as it is known in connecticut because the songs son ethan was killed
when a gun that should have been safely stored was available to two teenagers who were in effect playing with it. and perhaps tell me about the effects of striking down those kinds of laws on communities of color around the country. and on the country as a whole. . >> thank you for that question, senator blumenthal. we've examined her record very closely with respect to the second amendment, and the second amendment jurisprudence reflects an originalist viewpoint. again, we see our original list and textual-it's outlook shaping her view of the law. her record suggests that she would be inclined to make it easier to expand individuals' rights to obtain and use guns. that would be more difficult for states to impose reasonable restrictions on the purchase and use of guns.
i think this is a very real issue for our country. we have been through a spate of mass shootings, and we also know that access to guns is devastating on vulnerable communities, including communities of color. i have deep concerns about the jurisprudence in this area. >> i should mention, obviously, newtown, the newtown massacre, in the sandy hook elementary school, it affected a largely white community. natalie barden lost her brother, the grief still stays with her in that killing of 20 beautiful 5, 6, 7-year-olds, and six wonderful teachers, and they lost their son, ethan, when he was playing with firearms because it wasn't safely stored. they've championed a law in
connecticut, it is called ethan's law, and i have produced it here to require state store and emergency risk protection orders have been adopted by at least 15 states. connecticut has one, to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. if a judge finds they are dangerous, it would be kind of a common sense measure that would be in jeopardy with judge barrett's approach to the second amendment. do you agree? i don't know whether we still have ms. clarke.
i'm sorry to hear that you are not there, kristen. but maybe we can put that question to you either in writing or later in the hearing. thank you so much, mr. chairman. >> [chairman inaudible] >> thank you very much. >> harris: so, we have been watching together the senate confirmation hearing for judge amy coney barrett, and, as you know, she's not actually in the hearing room today, but there are witnesses. we have just heard from the second grouping of them, for her and against her.
and i we are in the question and answer period with each senator able to have 5 minutes. some senators are passing on the questions, just as they did with the previous group of witnesses, and some are continuing to ask questions of those witnesses now. we will stay with this, and also coming up, senator ted cruz, who is at that hearing right now, he's going to join me on a couple of issues. i'm waiting for my team to tell me when he's in place, as we now go from that live coverage to "outnumbered overtime." i'm harris faulkner. again, the last few minutes, those witnesses have included at least a couple of people who were students, formerly, at notre dame law school, of judge barrett. and talked all about her leadership. one of them, sight impaired, who talked about the great difference that judge barrett had made in her life and her journey of wanting to serve as a law clerk. eventually she had, for justice thomas. now we haveen