Day 4 Lindsey Graham & Laura Wolk Who is Blind at Amy Coney Barrett Supreme Court Confirmation Hearing

October 15, 2020


On 10/15/2020, in Barrett Supreme Court confirmation hearing, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said, “Democrats generally look at people of a disposition like Justice [Sonia] Sotomayor and [Elena] Kagan. Now, y’all have a good chance of winning the White House. I don’t know where the polls are going to be,” said Graham, the Judiciary panel chairman. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) cut in to say, “Thank you for acknowledging that.” Graham replied, “I think it’s true.” “I think the public will go into the voting booth and they’ll say, ‘OK, I’ve seen the kind of judges Democrats will nominate. I’ve seen the kind of judges Republicans will nominate. And that will be important to people,” he said.

Laura Wolk, a former student of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee and recalled how her former professor helped her on her path to becoming the first blind Supreme Court clerk. Wolk, who clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas in 2019, recalled that before she started at Notre Dame Law School, she made arrangements to have technical assistance to help her with her studies. When she arrived on campus, however, those arrangements had not been made, and then her own computer had technical problems, leaving her “struggling to keep up in class” and falling behind.

Just weeks into class she explained her situation to Barrett, baring her emotions as she “poured out all my concerns,” not just regarding her studies, but about her difficulties being a blind woman in a new place. “’Laura,’ she said, with the same measured conviction that we have seen displayed throughout her entire nomination process, ‘this is no longer your problem. It’s my problem,'” Wolk recalled. “I can’t capture adequately the relief that washed over me at her words.”

“Those who have had the benefit of knowing Amy Coney Barrett understand that she possesses a boundless font of energy and a radical sense of love that she is ever ready to pour out upon those lucky enough to call her teacher, boss, family, and friend. Anyone who has interacted with her knows that she is a woman of her word,” Wolk said. “She means what she says, and she says what she means.”
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