Did you know Amy Coney Barrett is the mother of seven children? It’s something Lindsey Graham, Chuck Grassley, John Cornyn, Ted Cruz, Ben Sasse, and Josh Hawley wouldn’t let us forget at her confirmation hearing, which began today.
The GOP insists Democrats must focus on Barrett’s qualifications — not her private life or whether she’ll be confirmed to a lifelong seat days away from the election — while continually coming back to her identity as a Catholic mother. The implicit message is: How could a mother possibly rule in ways that would harm people? But motherhood is not inherently a moral virtue, and it does not make Barrett more or less qualified for the court.
As Meghan Daum writes, men seldom deal with their fatherhood being floated as a central part of their identity, much less at professional interviews, like a Supreme Court hearing.