Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, said during her Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday that she “ cried ” with her children over George Floyd’s death.
Barrett claimed that the death of Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis police custody in May, was “very, very personal” as she has two adopted black children from Haiti, Vivian and John Peter.
She added that she believes racism is a problem in America, but will not say whether she thinks it is systemic or not, claiming this was a decision for Congress and not her role as a judge.
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Amy Coney Barrett, nominated to President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court, reacted emotionally when she was questioned on Tuesday about George Floyd’s death.
The Supreme Court candidate has two black children who she adopted from Haiti. The family is pictured here with President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump
Senators scrutinized Conservative Barrett during Tuesday’s lengthy hearing on her views on gun control and same-sex marriage, among other things, as they try to decide whether to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Still, it was about racial equality that they got an emotional response from the 48-year-old mother of seven.
Barrett claimed the death of Floyd (pictured), a black man who died in Minneapolis police custody in May, was “ very, very personal, ” as she has two adopted black children from Haiti, Vivian and John Peter.
Her voice started to crack when she described watching the video of Floyd’s death at the hands of the police with her 17-year-old black daughter Vivian.
Senator Dick Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois, asked Barrett if she had seen the footage of Floyd’s arrest, where white police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes, saying he couldn’t breathe.
Chauvin has since been fired and charged with murder.
Barrett explained that her husband had been camping with their sons and that she was at home with teenage Vivian when the video of the murder went viral.
‘All this broke out. “It was very difficult for her,” Barrett said. “We cried together in my room.”
She said it was also difficult to explain to her white daughter Juliette, who is ten.
‘As you might imagine, given that I have two black kids, that was very, very personal to my family,’ Barrett added to the footage, stating that her family is continuing the discussions of racism and she’s trying to explain to her young children. children.
Senator Dick Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois, asked Barrett if she had seen the footage of Floyd’s arrest during the second day of her Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday.
Barrett told the hearing that Floyd’s death was “very, very personal” to her family
“I mean, my children have had the advantage in their lives so far of growing up in a cocoon where they have not experienced hatred or violence,” she said.
“For Vivian, it has been an ongoing conversation to understand that there would be a risk to her brother or the son she could ever have from such atrocities,” she continued.
“It’s tough for us as it is for Americans across the country.”
Durbin continued to ask if the court judge believes racism is a problem in the United States.
“I think it is a completely uncontroversial and obvious statement, as we have just discussed the George Floyd video, that racism still exists in our country,” Barrett said.
However, she added that deciding whether racism is systemic in the US, and if so, how it should be addressed, “goes beyond what I can do as a judge.”
Family photo of Amy Coney Barrett, husband Jesse Barrett and their seven children
Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s husband Jesse Barrett sits with some of their seven children as they attend his wife’s Senate Committee hearing on her nomination Monday
Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s husband Jesse Barrett and son John Peter are behind her at a confirmation hearing. John Paul and his older sister Vivian have been adopted from Haiti
To put my finger on the nature of the problem, whether it is, as you say, just racism or systemic racism or how to tackle the problem of improvement, those are policy questions. They are hotly contested policy questions, ”she said.
So although, as I have shared in my personal experience, I am very happy to discuss the reaction our family had to the George Floyd video making broader statements or making broader diagnoses about the problem of racism, a little further then I can do as a judge. ‘
President Trump and many in his administration have said racism is not a systemic problem in the US, despite allegations made by Black Lives Matter activists, who have held protests for months after Floyd’s death.
Barrett spoke on the Senate confirmation on the second day of her hearing.
During the lengthy hearing, she stated her conservative views in often colloquial speech, but declined many details.
She declined to say whether she would withdraw from all election-related matters involving President Trump, who had nominated her to fill the seat of the late Judge Ginsburg, and is urging her to be confirmed before the November 3 election.
Barrett returned to a Capitol Hill largely closed by COVID-19 protocols, and the mood quickly turned to a more confrontational tone from opening day.
She was grilled by Democrats who strongly opposed Trump’s candidate but couldn’t stop her.
Excited by the prospect of a judge aligned with the late Antonin Scalia, Trump’s Republican allies are rushing to install a 6-3 conservative majority for years to come.
The president seemed pleased with her performance. “I think Amy is doing incredibly well,” he said in the White House on his way to a campaign meeting.