Justice Amy Coney Barrett on Tuesday revealed her personal reaction to the George Floyd death video that sparked protests and riots across the country.
“As you might imagine, given that I have two black children, that was very, very personal for my family,” Barrett replied when asked by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) about her reaction to the video.
Barrett said she watched the video with her 17-year-old daughter Vivian, who she adopted from Haiti.
“All of this was erupting, it was very difficult for her. We wept together in my room,” she recalled.
Barrett said her children had the good fortune of growing up in a “cocoon” where they had not experienced hatred or violence.
“For Vivian to understand that there would be a risk to her brother or the sons she might have one day, of that kind of brutality has been an ongoing conversation and its a difficult one for us, like it is for Americans all over the country,” she said.
Durbin pivoted to her views on race and the history of slavery and discrimination as well as “systemic racism” in the United States of America
“I think it is an entirely uncontroversial and obvious statement, given as we just talked about the George Floyd video, that racism persists in this country,” she replied.
But Barrett refrained from offering political views about the issue of racism in the country.
“Those things are policy questions, they’re hotly contested policy questions, that have been in the news and discussed all summer,” she said.
She said she was willing to discuss her personal reaction to the story, but said that a discussion about the policies to address racism was not part of her role as a judge.
“Giving broader statements or making a broader diagnoses about the problem of racism is kind of beyond what I’m capable of doing as a judge,” she concluded.