Former Notre Dame Dean Who Supported Elena Kagan Warmly Endorses Amy Coney Barrett

Amy Coney Barrett in 2018
Wikimedia Commons

Former Notre Dame Law School Dean Patricia O’Hara on Monday warmly endorsed Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court, noting that she did the same for Justice Elena Kagan in 2010.

O’Hara noted she first sent the Senate Judiciary Committee a “very strong letter of support” for Justice Elena Kagan when she was nominated by former President Barack Obama.

“The second is today, in presenting Amy Coney Barrett to you and endorsing her in equally strong terms,” she continued. “There might be some who would find those two recommendations in juxtaposition, but I find them entirely consistent.”

O’Hara was the dean of Notre Dame Law at the same time that Kagan was the dean of Harvard Law and spoke to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday afternoon during the confirmation hearings for Barrett.

“She’s brilliant but humble, fair and impartial, but empathetic, openminded and respectful of differences, a skilled listener, and able to build consensus, generous, especially to those in need,” O’Hara said, praising Barrett’s “integrated life of mind, heart, and soul.”

O’Hara praised Barrett as a teacher who academically “ran circles” around her during her time teaching at Notre Dame and “left me completely in the dust” in subsequent years.

“Nothing gives me more joy than to be able to say so because this is the standard of excellence that we should demand in institutions of singular importance for us,” she said.


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