Professional Colleagues ‘Can Think Of No Better Person To Serve As An Associate Justice On The Supreme Court’ Than Judge Barrett

Those Who Have Worked Closely With Judge Barrett Know Her As A ‘Role Model Who Is So Unfailingly Talented, Generous, And Kind’ And ‘Proved To Be One Of [Notre Dame Law School’s] Most Stellar Appointments Across Every Dimension,’ Declare Her ‘Highly Qualified By Every Relevant Measure’ And Say Quite Simply, ‘Amy Coney Barrett Is The Best Of Us’


Judge Barrett’s Former Law Clerks: ‘We Unreservedly Agree—Despite Our Differing Backgrounds, Beliefs, And Views—That Amy Coney Barrett Will Be An Excellent Supreme Court Justice’

11 OF JUDGE BARRETT’S FORMER LAW CLERKS: “Amy Coney Barrett will be an outstanding Supreme Court Justice. As her former law clerks, we know this from experience. We have witnessed firsthand Judge Barrett’s dedication to the law as a principled independent judge. We have also come to know her as a warm, caring person, whose intellect is matched only by her generosity and compassion. We unanimously support her nomination and have no doubt that she will continue to serve our country with great distinction if confirmed to our nation’s highest court.” (Eleven of Judge Barrett’s Former Law Clerks, Letter to Sens. Graham and Feinstein, 10/09/2020)

  • “Judge Barrett taught us that a good judge will not always like the results she reaches; a good judge goes wherever the law leads. And she instilled in us the value of debate and discussion as a useful compass on that quest. She welcomed disagreement, and she engaged every argument with respect and attention.” (Eleven of Judge Barrett’s Former Law Clerks, Letter to Sens. Graham and Feinstein, 10/09/2020)
  • “Judge Barrett’s impact extends beyond the courtroom. Both professionally and personally, we all look to her as a mentor and role model. Her career gives us confidence that we need not choose between a successful professional life and a fulfilling personal life. She consistently demonstrated how best to balance the two, a skill that was particularly evident in the time she spent with us outside of work, from hosting us for dinner in her home to going on outings around South Bend and Chicago. At this early stage of our careers, it is especially meaningful to be able to watch Judge Barrett live by example—as a renowned legal scholar and judge, loving spouse, engaged mother, community volunteer, and much more.” (Eleven of Judge Barrett’s Former Law Clerks, Letter to Sens. Graham and Feinstein, 10/09/2020)
  • “We have no doubt that we will forever look back on our year spent clerking for Judge Barrett as among the best of our professional lives. We feel truly fortunate to have known and worked for a boss, teacher, mentor, and role model who is so unfailingly talented, generous, and kind. We vote for different candidates, practice different faiths (or none at all), and hold different policy preferences. We come from different schools, as well as different schools of thought. But we unreservedly agree—despite our differing backgrounds, beliefs, and views—that Amy Coney Barrett will be an excellent Supreme Court Justice.” (Eleven of Judge Barrett’s Former Law Clerks, Letter to Sens. Graham and Feinstein, 10/09/2020)


Former Dean Of Norte Dame Law School: Judge Barrett Is ‘A Stellar Teacher Beloved By Students, A Brilliant And Nationally-Recognized Scholar, And A Generous Colleague,’ ‘She Will Be An Outstanding Justice… And Will Serve To Strengthen An Independent Judiciary Committed To The Rule Of Law’

PATRICIA A. O’HARA, Former Dean Of Notre Dame Law School And Professor Emerita Of Law: “I write in support of the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett as an Associated Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. I was the dean of Notre Dame Law School at the time that Judge Barrett first joined our faculty. In that capacity I was responsible for providing an environment in which she could flourish as a young faculty member, but also for evaluating objectively whether she met the University’s high standards for scholarship and teaching required for advancement. This proved to be the easiest task of my ten years as a dean. Judge Barrett was (and remains) a stellar teacher beloved by students, a brilliant and nationally-recognized scholar, and a generous colleague. … As dean of the Law School during those years, I delivered Judge Barrett’s annual performance reviews. …She proved to be one of our most stellar appointments across every dimension of the performance.” (Patricia A. O’Hara, Letter to Sens. Graham and Feinstein, 10/05/2020)

  • O’HARA: “It is not an overstatement to say that our students revere Judge Barrett. Indeed, when I returned to the faculty following my tenure as dean, I had a remarkable interchange with a male student who commented on an unsolicited basis that Judge Barrett is so gifted that the rest of us – faculty and students alike – must simply accept our mortal limitations. Our students express awe with the power of Judge Barrett’s intellect, with her mastery and organization of complex material, and with her professionalism. Equally important, however, they speak of their desire to meet her high expectations and not disappoint her. They uniformly comment on the respect with which she treats them, her evenhandedness, and her availability outside of class for advice and counseling. She is a generous mentor. Three different classes selected her as their distinguished professor at graduation over the span on her 15 years as a full-time faculty member, which is quite remarkable in our community.” (Patricia A. O’Hara, Letter to Sens. Graham and Feinstein, 10/05/2020)
  • O’HARA: “The same qualities that our students observe in Judge Barrett’s role as a classroom teacher mark her interactions with colleagues. … As a colleague, she is known for her humility, her graciousness, and her ability, born of her credibility, to build consensus among differing views.” (Patricia A. O’Hara, Letter to Sens. Graham and Feinstein, 10/05/2020)

‘I Feel Every Bit As Strongly About Judge Barrett’s Qualifications For A Position As An Associate Justice As I Felt About Justice Kagan’

O’HARA: “One might think that I am prone to submitting glowing references for federal judicial positions, but I assure you that such is not the case. Apart from Judge Barrett, the only other instance in which I did so was an individual letter that I submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of the nomination of now-Justice Elena Kagan, whose tenure as dean of Harvard Law School overlapped with my tenure here as dean. I feel every bit as strongly about Judge Barrett’s qualifications for a position as an Associate Justice as I felt about Justice Kagan.” (Patricia A. O’Hara, Letter to Sens. Graham and Feinstein, 10/5/2020)

‘She Will Be An Outstanding Justice – Brilliant, Fair, Impartial, And Empathetic – And Will Serve To Strengthen An Independent Judiciary Committed To The Rule Of Law’

O’HARA: “Amy Coney Barrett has served with distinction in every professional position she has ever held and during her tenure on the United Stated Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. I am confident that if she is confirmed by the United States Senate, she will be an outstanding justice – brilliant, fair, impartial, and empathetic – and will serve to strengthen an independent judiciary committed to the rule of law.” (Patricia A. O’Hara, Letter to Sens. Graham and Feinstein, 10/05/2020)


Former Fellow Notre Dame Law School Professors: ‘Judge Barrett Has The Skills Of A Seasoned Lawyer Marked By A Sharp Analytical Mind, Attention To The Record And A Constant Awareness That There Are Actual Litigants At The Heart Of The Cases She Considers’

MICHAEL JENUWINE, Notre Dame Law Professor: “I am writing this letter on behalf of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, whom I am confident will make an exceptional Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court. In addition to being Judge Barrett’s colleague at the Notre Dame Law School since 2005, we are also neighbors. This has provided a variety of professional and personal interactions over the last fifteen years which form the basis of my opinion.” (Michael Jenuwine, Letter to Sens. Graham and Feinstein, 9/30/2020)

  • JENUWINE: “In all my interactions, I have found Judge Barrett to have a pragmatic understanding of legal issues that is on par with experienced legal practitioners. Judge Barrett’s viewpoints are consistently reality-based, and she is not trapped in a world of ivory tower hypotheticals and erudite theoretical constructs. Judge Barrett has the skills of a seasoned lawyer marked by a sharp analytical mind, attention to the record and a constant awareness that there are actual litigants at the heart of the cases she considers. These are characteristics which are rarely found in scholars with Judge Barrett’s level of intellect.” (Michael Jenuwine, Letter to Sens. Graham and Feinstein, 9/30/2020)
  • JENUWINE: “In my professional interactions with Judge Barrett, I have been impressed with her excellent leadership, collegiality, and commitment. Judge Barrett has a unique ability to address difficult problems in clear language. In group contexts, her talent for keenly listening and fairly considering diverse perspectives before responding allows Judge Barrett to consolidate interests and effectively address the variety of concerns raised. With her congenial and constructive demeanor, I have experienced Judge Barrett to be always available for prudent and practical input on any issue. She generously gives unfailing support, time, and sage advice. Her collegiality, wisdom, and sound judgement are critical qualities that have served her well on the law faculty as well as on the bench.” (Michael Jenuwine, Letter to Sens. Graham and Feinstein, 9/30/2020)
  • JENUWINE: “I have no doubts that Judge Barrett will make an excellent addition to the United States Supreme Court and recommend her without reservation. She is the type of colleague who is a joy to work alongside. Her compassion, intellect, attention to detail, and leadership are all qualities which will contribute to her continued success. I can think of no better person to serve as an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court and am certain that you will not find any who are more compassionate, dedicated, or who have greater potential than Amy Coney Barrett.” (Michael Jenuwine, Letter to Sens. Graham and Feinstein, 9/30/2020)

‘Judge Barrett Is Highly Qualified By Every Relevant Measure: She Is A Person Of Utmost Integrity, With An Open Mind And The Even Temperament That Is Prized In A Judge,’ ‘Judge Barrett Is Amongst The Most Honest And Forthright People I Have Met’

PAUL B. MILLER, Notre Dame Law Professor: “I am writing to you in a personal capacity to convey my unreserved support of the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to serve as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Judge Barrett is highly qualified by every relevant measure: she is a person of utmost integrity, with an open mind and the even temperament that is prized in a judge; she is a brilliant scholar and dedicated teacher who has won renown for her legal acumen amongst peers across the political spectrum; and she has already honored a call to serve the United States and her fellow Americans, doing so for love of our country and Constitution.” (Paul B. Miller, Letter to Sens. Graham and Feinstein, 9/30/2020)

  • MILLER: “These and other qualities have meant that few have seriously questioned Judge Barrett’s qualifications for her nomination, notwithstanding the fact that we now live in a time unprecedented political rancor. In that context, I would urge you and other members of the Committee on the Judiciary to explore Judge Barrett’s qualifications – which, again, I believe to be sterling – without indulging in baseless and harmful speculation, accusation and innuendo. Judge Barrett is amongst the most honest and forthright people I have met. She will administer justice according to law faithfully, without preference or prejudice, and in doing so will advance our common interest in realization of the rule of law.” (Paul B. Miller, Letter to Sens. Graham and Feinstein, 9/30/2020)

‘Her Approach Is Guided Not By Preconceived Outcomes, But Instead By Fidelity To Principle. At The Same Time She Does So Without Rancor Or Ill Will, But Again In A Spirit Of Charity And Generosity’

BARRY CUSHMAN, Notre Dame Law Professor: “In 2012 I joined the faculty of Notre Dame Law School, where I have enjoyed the privilege of serving as Judge Barrett’s colleague since that time. Over the years I have come to regard her with great respect. Many others have written to the Committee testifying to her intellectual brilliance and sterling character, and I fully concur in their assessments. I would like to single out for your consideration one characteristic of Judge Barrett that is particularly relevant to the Committee’s deliberations over her nomination to serve on the Supreme Court, and that is her remarkable fairmindedness.” (Barry Cushman, Letter in Support of Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Confirmation, 10/09/2020)

  • “As a colleague, I have seen this manifested two distinct but related ways. The first is at faculty colloquia, where scholars from Notre Dame and other law schools present works in progress to our faculty for comment and criticism. … Judge Barrett’s approach at our colloquia is to take the author’s paper on its own terms, to engage with it sympathetically and constructively, and to help the author make it the best it can be, even if she ultimately finds the author’s argument unpersuasive. She does not treat the scholarship of others dismissively or dogmatically; she does not seek to show off or to score points. Instead, she engages with her fellow scholars with respect and generosity.” (Barry Cushman, Letter in Support of Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Confirmation, 10/09/2020)
  • “The second context in which I have observed Judge Barrett’s fair-mindedness is in collegial relations among our faculty. As a faculty, we often have to make decisions that can be difficult and sometimes even contentious. Colleagues express strong feelings on either side of matters such as the appointment of new members to the faculty, or revisions to our curriculum or our governing documents. In my observation, Judge Barrett listens with an open mind to the arguments made, evaluates their comparative strengths, and then supports what she concludes is the right decision under the circumstances. She does not shrink from disagreeing with or even disappointing colleagues whom she loves and respects if she believes that they are mistaken in a particular instance. Her approach is guided not by preconceived outcomes, but instead by fidelity to principle. At the same time she does so without rancor or ill will, but again in a spirit of charity and generosity.” (Barry Cushman, Letter in Support of Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Confirmation, 10/09/2020)


Judge Barrett’s Law School Classmate: ‘Amy Coney Barrett Unassailably Possesses The Intellectual Firepower To Make A Great Supreme Court Justice,’ ‘She Will Apply The Constitution And The Law Objectively And With Empathy, Mercy, And Compassion’

PETER N. WITTY, Notre Dame Law School Classmate: “Amy Coney Barrett unassailably possesses the intellectual firepower to make a great Supreme Court Justice. I have known Amy for more than 25 years, as we were classmates together at Notre Dame Law School. Upon graduation, she earned the Hoynes Prize (awarded to the top student of the graduating class). She has excelled in clerkships with Judge Silberman and the late Justice Scalia, producing impeccable scholarship on a variety of legal issues, was selected three times as the Distinguished Professor of the Year by the graduating Notre Dame Law School class, and has already produced an outstanding body of jurisprudence as a sitting federal appellate court judge. But there is so much more to Amy Coney Barrett.” (Peter N. Witty, Letter to Sens. McConnell, Schumer, Graham, and Feinstein, 10/08/2020)

  • WITTY: “In my view, the most important thing we should demand of our Supreme Court Justices is that they keep an open mind when deciding cases—the issues that come before the Court are paramount to our society, to our continued existence as a beacon of personal freedom and opportunity around the world. Amy Coney Barrett models the best of that principle. She treats everyone with dignity and respect. She will apply the Constitution and the law objectively and with empathy, mercy, and compassion. She will not do so as a partisan. Rather, as she has done her entire life, Amy will do so in the spirit of service.” (Peter N. Witty, Letter to Sens. McConnell, Schumer, Graham, and Feinstein, 10/08/2020)
  • WITTY: “Amy Coney Barrett is the best of us. She is uniquely brilliant, exceptionally hardworking, fair, and genuinely good. Over the next several weeks, if the past is any indicator, she and her family will go through a crucible. But knowing her as I have for almost three decades, she will remain steadfast and come out stronger on the other side. Should you confirm her as a Supreme Court Justice, I have no doubt she will make us all proud.” (Peter N. Witty, Letter to Sens. McConnell, Schumer, Graham, and Feinstein, 10/08/2020)



Related Issues: Supreme Court, Nominations, Judicial Nominations