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Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett recounted an alleged lawsuit by reporters who forced her to jump a church fence when she was nominated and auditioned for the job.
Barrett told the story onstage during an interview with the Reagan Library. The event consisted of a free conversation with Barrett on a wide range of topics relating to his life and work before and after his Supreme Court nomination. Asked about the story by the event host, Barrett explained the difficulty of going out in public when the nation’s eyes were fixed on his possible position on the pitch.
“Usually the media trucks would show up around 8 a.m. It was a Sunday morning and I was on my way to mass,” Barrett said. “So I left the house before I thought they were coming. One of them showed up and I led them on a neighborhood chase because I really didn’t want to be followed.”
KETANJI BROWN JACKSON QUOTES JUSTICE AMY CONEY BARRETT AS SHE DODGES COURT PACKING QUESTION
“I was very proud of myself because I managed to shake them off. I was confident. I parked the car at our church, and when I went for a walk, I saw one of the commuters which I recognized from outside the house coming the otherwise,” she continued.
Barrett told the public that she did not want to be photographed by the press leaving the church.
“I made an exit through a side door before it was over that I had never exited through before – and it turned out there was a reason for it. She didn’t actually exit . She rather entered the private residence of the priest and the yard,” Barrett continued. “And so I’m standing there, I’m in the yard and there’s a fence and so I was faced with a choice – I could either jump the fence or come back in front and give them the shot. So I decided in my high heels to climb the fence. So graciously. And when I dropped down on the other side, I saw our associate pastor who said, ‘Amy, what are you doing in our vegetable patch?'”
Barrett’s Catholic faith was a central issue in her confirmation as a Supreme Court justice. Critics speculated that his religious beliefs would exert undue influence on his legal decision-making.
But a high court dreaded by liberals and celebrated by conservatives has failed to yield the expected results, leaving some on the right feeling disappointed.
In the 2021 Supreme Court session, some key rulings did not sit well with conservatives. The High Court did not defeat the Affordable Care Act, better known to many Americans as Obamacare, which is a longstanding GOP goal. The court also ruled in favor of a transgender student who did not want to use the school toilets assigned to his gender at birth, a lightning rod problem among many conservatives.
And while the court ruled that a Catholic social services agency in Philadelphia could defy city rules by refusing to work with same-sex couples seeking adoptive children, there was disappointment in the narrowness of opinion.
Following the ruling, three conservative Supreme Court justices — Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch — apparently criticized Barrett and Kavanaugh for being timid.
The court also in 2021 declined to appeal a Washington state florist who refused to make a flower arrangement for a same-sex couple due to religious concerns about same-sex marriages.
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Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson dodged questions from senators about court congestion, saying she would follow the lead of the Supreme Court judge Amy Coney Barrett and not addressing political issues during his confirmation hearings before the Senate.
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., prefaced a question to Jackson about court packing by reading a quote from 2020 when Barrett refused to answer questions about controversial public policy issues.
“I will not express an opinion on any matter of public policy, especially one that is politically controversial as incompatible with the judicial role,” Barrett said in 2020, according to Durbin.
“I agree with Judge Barrett,” Jackson later told Durbin when asked about the impeachment during his confirmation hearing on Tuesday, “in his response to that question when she was asked before this committee. … Judges should not talk about political issues and certainly not a candidate for a Supreme Court position.”
Fox News’ Justin Steinhauser and Marisa Schultz contributed to this report.