Amy Coney Barrett Defends Speaking to Christian Law Students: ‘It Was Fun to Talk About the Constitution’
Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett on Tuesday defended her decision to speak before a Christian student group on numerous occasions, telling senators she was invited and thought it would be “fun to talk about the Constitution.”
“I have several other colleagues who had participated in the Blackstone program lecturing. I heard great things about it from then. We had a contingent of students from Notre Dame regularly attend this program, and they were among our most engaged and smartest students, and I went and did it. The first time I did it, I really enjoyed it, the students were very, very engaged.”
Barrett added: “I would go and just give a lecture on a originalism that was one hour — Blackstone is a summer-long program. So I went and gave my one-hour lecture at the beginning of it, and I really thought it was fun to talk about the Constitution to an engaged group of students. It was fun for someone who is a law professor.”
Barrett spoke five times beginning in 2011 to students participating in the Blackstone Legal Fellowship, a program operated by the Christian legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, The group has successfully litigated cases before the Supreme Court including Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado, in which the court ruled that a Colorado baker could not be legally compelled to make a cake for a gay wedding.
Democrats widely disdain the organization and have sought to raise doubts about Barrett’s qualifications in connection with her past speeches. Hawley suggested Democrats were seeking to make Christians “second-class citizens.”
“Are you aware of anything in the Constitution or our laws that say that it is a disqualification for office for a believer of religious faith to go and lecture to law students of a similar faith, in her area of expertise?” Hawley added, addressing Barrett.
“I want to be careful that I’m not veering into answering hypothetical questions, but I certainly don’t think there was anything wrong with my going to speak to a group of Christian law students about my expertise,” Barrett replied.
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