GOP Senator Threw Amy Coney Barrett A Softball Question About The First Amendment—And She Totally Whiffed It
Since she was nominated by President Donald Trump to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court, Judge Amy Coney Barrett's beliefs and how they impact her interpretation of the law have been under widespread scrutiny.
Those concerned that Barrett would overturn some of the most influential precedents decided by the court had even more reason to fear when a GOP Senator asked her a basic question about the First Amendment.
The First Amendment is one of the most formative components of the United States Constitution regarding individual Americans' rights. It ensures the freedom of the press, the freedom of speech, the freedom of peaceful assembly, the freedom of religion, and the freedom to petition or protest the government without consequences.
Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) asked Barrett to named the five freedoms enshrined in the First Amendment.
Here's how that went.
Amy Coney Barrett doesn't know the five freedoms guaranteed in First Amendment.pic.twitter.com/w8XfKOvMVy
— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) October 14, 2020
Barrett blanked on the freedom to protest the government without consequences until Sasse reminded her.
In context of the ongoing historic uprisings against racist police brutality that captivated the nation this summer, Barrett's omission couldn't be more relevant. The Trump administration gassed peaceful protesters outside of the White House so Trump could take pictures with a bible.
The Trump administration also unleashed unidentified federal officers to a number of cities where protests were occurring. These officers "proactively" arrested protesters who weren't committing a crime and took them—in non-government vehicles—to undisclosed locations.
Given the Trump administration's propensity for suppressing protests, people were disturbed by Barrett's answer.
rather than being immediately disqualifying, Amy Coney Barrett not remembering the constitutionally protected right to protest - especially these days - is exactly why these ghouls want her on the bench for a generation. https://t.co/bZWtLOA916
— Nima Shirazi (@WideAsleepNima) October 15, 2020
amy coney barrett pretending to forget that the right protest/redress is part of the first amendment and giggling while doing so is the main source of my high blood pressure for the past 24 hours
— codykoluver (@krissolierious) October 15, 2020
Amy Coney Barrett Forgets Right To Protest Is A First Amendment Freedom. Now, what does that tell you?
— This Latina wants to Radicalize the World 🇨🇺🎃 (@Eangel4285) October 15, 2020
It can't be a coincidence that Trump gasses peaceful protesters and his SCOTUS pick "forgot" about the right to redress/ protest.
I mean, come on. She's a walking legal encyclopedia on everything but THIS?https://t.co/V7uTcx9tGX
— Holly Figueroa O'Reilly (@AynRandPaulRyan) October 14, 2020
Amy Coney Barrett forgetting about the right to protest is telling to say the least...
— Jessica Sullivan (@JessSulli4) October 14, 2020
amy coney barrett forgot the right to protest being protected under the first amendment after THIS YEAR. a joke
— nina (@_nmckeee) October 15, 2020
People pointed out that these five freedoms aren't known only by law experts, but considered common knowledge by everyday Americans.
This is on the citizenship test, just fyi. Not knowing this can hinder an immigrant's ability to become a citizen. https://t.co/KHEeC5fgvi
— Natasha Lennard (@natashalennard) October 14, 2020
Yesterday: oOOoooOOoo she doesn't take notes! This is a good thing, somehow!!
Today: We regret to inform you that the lady who doesn't take notes doesn't know the most basic part of the constitution https://t.co/ccq7Jtt3IZ
— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) October 14, 2020
This should disqualify Amy Coney Barret immediately. Imagine if a Soldier didn't know their general orders.
#SCOTUS #SCOTUSHearing https://t.co/EzuAdkBXAz
— David ex Trump voter for Biden Weissman (@davidmweissman) October 14, 2020
Others were entertained that it was a Republican Senator who accidentally elicited the botched answer.
Im gagged that a republican accidentally provided this death drop. https://t.co/I1wCNTD2QX
— Former Broadway Playwright Jeremy O. Harris (@jeremyoharris) October 14, 2020
And to be clear, a Republican asked her this question. https://t.co/QJCf6WE6jn
— Katherine Locke (@Bibliogato) October 15, 2020
Softball from Republican Ben Sasse. She'd fail the citizens test for naturalization. https://t.co/V0VWz8YfgB
— Greg (@GregGrandin) October 14, 2020
Despite this answer, Barrett's confirmation to the Supreme Court is almost certain, given the Republican controlled Senate and White House.