Barrett: It would've been ‘cowardly’ to decline the nomination
Picking up on an exchange she had with Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., on Tuesday, Barrett explained why she decided to accept the offer to become Trump’s Supreme Court nominee despite the unpleasant treatment she would inevitably receive.
“You have stellar academic credentials, you have a stellar record as a professor and you’ve done an excellent job on the 7th Circuit,” Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., told Barrett as he questioned her. “You have so many options. There are so many things that you could be doing besides going through the first confirmation hearing, which was not pleasant.”
“Why would you do this, knowing how this was going to play out, knowing that you were going to be attacked and unfairly treated and I think to a level of maybe where some of your constitutional rights have been questionably denied? So, why are you doing this, Judge Barrett? Why not just say ‘thanks but no thanks, leave it for somebody else?’” he asked.
Barrett admitted that “this is a very difficult process,” noting that she has used the word “excruciating” to describe the ordeal in the past. She explained that she knew “people are going to say horrible things” and that “her children will be attacked.”
“One might wonder why any sane person would undertake that risk and that task unless it was for the sake of something good,” she said. “I think everybody knows the confirmation process is very difficult. And so, for me to say no, I mean other people could do this job but the same difficulty will be present for everyone.”
“For me to say, 'I'm not willing to undertake it even though I think this is something important,' would be … a little cowardly and … I wouldn’t be answering a call to serve my country in a way that I was asked,” Barrett proclaimed.
While she acknowledged that one of her children “got very upset yesterday during the questioning” and that “in many ways, the children are the reason not to do it,” they were “also the reason to do it.”
“If we are to protect our institutions and protect the freedoms and protect the rule of law that’s the basis for this society and the freedom that we all enjoy. If we want that for our children and our children’s children, then we need to participate in that work,” she concluded.