Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) stated on Thursday that “clearly” Judge Amy Coney Barrett is “not a racist.”
“And here we are in the backdrop of what I think is — and somebody can correct me or fact check me — what I think is the largest period of demonstrations in the history of the United States,” Booker said on Thursday, ahead of witness testimonies. “Greater than any in the Civil Rights movement.”
“Millions of Americans often in predominately, if not all, white towns coming out to protest issues of race, and I was surprised that in this backdrop, issues of race are so important to the Supreme Court, that we had a nominee who couldn’t even talk to a law review article that they wrote,” Booker said before clarifying that Barrett is “not a racist.”
“And that’s not — I heard Senator Kennedy ask her yesterday, which made me smile as you often do my friend, ask her if she’s a racist,” he said.
“Clearly, she’s not a racist, nor is anybody serving in this committee, but it’s not out of the bounds to ask questions about this, being that in the lifetime of my family there have been members who have been affected by Supreme Court decisions in pretty profound ways,” the New Jersey senator said, adding that those issues will continue to come up.
Booker continued to push Barrett on the issue of race during Wednesday’s hearing and asked her what she has read to “educate herself on the issue of racism.”
“Well Sen. Booker, I will say what I have learned about it has mostly been in conversations with people, and at Notre Dame as at many other universities, it’s a topic of conversation in many classrooms, but it’s not something that I can say, yes I’ve done research on this and read X, Y and Z,” Barrett responded.
At one point during the hearings, Booker also asked Barrett if she condemns white supremacy. She responded with a clear “yes.”
“Thank you. I’m glad to see that you said that. I wish our president would say that so resolutely, unequivocally as well,” he said, repeating the false narrative that Trump has not condemned white supremacy.
“But we are at a time when Americans are fearful because their president can not do that in the resolute manner in which you did. I’m sorry that question had to even be asked,” he added:
Barrett, however, has faced attacks on a personal level, with some questioning her motives behind adopting her two Haitian children.
“Senator Kennedy, it was the risk of people saying things like that which would be so hurtful to my family that when I told Senator Graham this morning that my husband and I really had to weigh the costs of this, it was saying deeply offensive and hurtful things,” she said:
Senate Judiciary Committee
“Things that are not only hurtful to me but are hurtful to my children, who are my children, who we love and who we brought home and made part of our family, and accusations like that are cruel,” she added.