Judge Amy Coney Barrett: ‘She Is A Staggering Academic Mind’

Judge Barrett’s Legal Peers Are Universally Impressed With Her, Telling The ABA ‘She Is Incredibly Honest And Forthright,’ ‘An Intellectual Giant With People Skills And Engaging Warmth,’ And Demonstrates ‘Stellar Judicial Temperament In All Settings’

RANDALL D. NOEL, Standing Committee On The Federal Judiciary Chair, American Bar Association: “Judge Barrett meets the highest standards of integrity, professional competence, and judicial temperament. It is the opinion of the ABA Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary that Judge Barrett is ‘Well Qualified’ to serve as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.” (Randall D. Noel, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, 10/15/2020)


Lawyers And Judges Uniformly Praised The Nominee’s Integrity … Not One Person Uttered A Negative Word About Her Character’

RANDALL D. NOEL: “Lawyers and judges uniformly praised the nominee’s integrity. Most remarkably, in interviews with individuals in the legal profession and community who know Judge Barrett, whether for a few years or decades, not one person uttered a negative word about her character. Accordingly, the Standing Committee was not required to consider any negative criticisms of Judge Barrett…. On the basis of these and many other laudatory additional comments received during our comprehensive evaluation process, the Standing Committee concluded that Judge Barrett possesses the integrity required to receive our ‘Well Qualified’ rating.” (Randall D. Noel, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, 10/15/2020)

Lawyers and judges on Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s integrity:

  • “She is incredibly honest and forthright.”
  • “She is exactly who you think she is.”
  • “Nothing about her is fake.”
  • “She is good, decent, selfless and sincere.”
  • “A casual observer might think that she sounds ‘too good’ to be real, but she is very genuine.”
  • “Exemplar of living an integrated life in which her intellect, integrity, and compassion weave the different threads of her life together seamlessly.”
  • “[S]he is an A+”...that she is respected by all of her colleagues noting that when she was nominated to the Seventh Circuit, every member of the [Notre Dame] faculty wrote a letter in support.”

(Randall D. Noel, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, 10/15/2020)


Lawyers, Judges, And Legal Scholars Call Judge Barrett ‘An Intellectual Giant With People Skills And Engaging Warmth’ Who Is ‘Whip Smart, Highly Productive, Punctual, And Well-Prepared’

RANDALL D. NOEL: “In their evaluation of Judge Barrett’s professional competence to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, the members of the Standing Committee examined not only the thorough reports of the Practitioners’ and Academic Reading Groups, but also the views of lawyers, academics, and Judge Barrett’s judicial peers. All of the experienced, dedicated, and knowledgeable sitting judges, legal scholars, and lawyers who have worked with or against Judge Barrett had high praise for her intellect and ability to communicate clearly and effectively…. Given the breadth, diversity, and strength of the positive feedback we received from judges and lawyers of all political persuasions and from so many parts of the profession, the Standing Committee would have been hard-pressed to come to any conclusion other than that Judge Barrett has demonstrated professional competence that is exceptional. Based on the results of our extensive investigation and the resulting input we received from varied and knowledgeable sources, we have determined that Judge Barrett possesses sufficiently outstanding professional competence to be rated ‘Well Qualified.’” (Randall D. Noel, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, 10/15/2020)

Lawyers, judges, and legal scholars on Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s intellect and professional competence:

  • “From an early age Judge Barrett’s scholarship was evident; an award-winning student, top of her class in college, and law school, in addition to being an executive editor of the Law Review.”
  • She is “whip smart, highly productive, punctual, and well-prepared.”
  • “A brilliant writer and thinker,” [she] is also “quite pragmatic.” [she] has a “friendly, collegial demeanor and is respectful of everyone.”
  • Judge Barrett is “an intellectual giant with people skills and engaging warmth,”
  • “An amazing student -without question, the smartest student whom I have ever taught.”
  • “The myth is real. She is a staggering academic mind.”

(Randall D. Noel, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, 10/15/2020)


Lawyers And Judges Say Judge Barrett Is ‘Extremely Well-Liked By Faculty And Students Universally,’ ‘Has Demonstrated Stellar Judicial Temperament In All Settings’ And ‘Projects Professionalism And Competence With Parties And With Counsel’

Lawyers and judges on Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s judicial temperament:

  • “She was always willing to be helpful and engage with others on a topic even when she had a different philosophy and when she writes in dissent, she is very collegial.”
  • “At oral argument she asks insightful questions. Sometimes, she asks closed-ended questions to get a concession or prove a point; other times, she asks open-ended questions so that she can be educated by the advocates.”
  • “The nominee is kind, caring, and compassionate.”
  • She is “extremely well-liked by faculty and students universally.”
  • “She has a calm, scholarly temperament.”
  • [She] “has demonstrated stellar judicial temperament in all settings: She is often described as a ‘good listener’ who makes time for people, whether they are law students, law clerks, colleagues or friends.”
  • “She projects professionalism and competence with parties and with counsel.”

(Randall D. Noel, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, 10/15/2020)


Senate Democrats: ‘The Bar Association Is The Gold Standard’

SENS. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY) & PAT LEAHY (D-VT): The ABA’s evaluation is “the gold standard by which judicial candidates are judged.” (The Washington Post, 3/18/2001)

NBC’s TIM RUSSERT: “Senator Schumer, back in 2001 you wrote a letter to President Bush and you said this: ‘The ABA evaluation has been the gold standard by which judicial candidates are judged...’ Gold standard.”

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): “Yes. … The bar association is the gold standard…” (NBC’s “Meet The Press, 1/08/2006)


Joe Biden: ‘I Look At No Other Recommendation More Closely; I Value No Other Recommendation More Highly’

THEN-SEN. JOE BIDEN (D-DE), Former Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman: “There have been debates in this Committee in the past about the relevance and importance of the ABA recommendation.  I think it is important, what you [the ABA] do.” (U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, p.453, 9/15/2005)



Related Issues: Supreme Court, Judicial Nominations