SUPREME Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett appeared to bat way questions from Democrat senators before holding up a blank pad to show she did all without notes.
The 48-year-old judge was hailed as unflappable as she faced an 11 hour grilling over her views on abortion, health care and the peaceful transfer of power after the election.
Firmly, she said: “Judges can’t just wake up one day and say I have an agenda”.
Republicans are rushing to install a 6-3 conservative majority in the court ahead of the election November 3 following the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Barrett, a mum-of-seven, was nominated by President Donald Trump.
She has faced questioned over her conservative views, but insisted at the hearing she will remain impartial.
“It’s not the law of Amy, it’s the law of the American people,” Barrett said.
At one point, Senator John Cornyn asked her how she prepared for the tough questioning and pointed out how most of the senators had stacks of notes in front of them.
The 68-year-old Texas Republican said: “Can you hold up what you’ve been referring to in answering our questions?
“Is there anything on it?”
Barrett replied “the letterhead that says ‘United States Senate'” and held up the blank notepad, prompting laughter at Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill.
He responded: ‘That’s impressive.’
Democrats are strongly opposed to her appointment, yet are unable to stop her and appeared stumped by her calm, measured responses to their questions.
Trump appeared pleased with her performance, saying as he left the White House for a rally, “I think Amy’s doing incredibly well.”
Barrett even cited RBG while responding to questioning from Democrat Dianne Feinstein – asking if she agreed that the Constitution does not guarantee a right to gay marriage.
She said: “Justice Ginsburg with her characteristic pithiness used this to describe how a nominee should comport herself at a hearing: no hints, no previews, no forecasts.
“That has been the practice of nominees before her, but everybody calls it the ‘Ginsburg Rule’ because she stated it so concisely and it’s been the practice of every nominee since.”
The judge claimed she has also been in a “media blackout for the sake of my mental health” as she accused the press of “caricaturing” her Catholic faith.
And she insisted she has made “no commitment” to the White House as Democrats claim Trump nominated Barrett under the assumption she would work to overturn Obamacare and undermine abortion rights.
Barrett also said she “fully respects the rights of the LGBTQ community” after facing a grilling from Mazie Hironoand Cory Booker about her use of the term “sexual preference”.
And she revealed she “wept” over what happened to George Floyd because she has two black children of her own.
Barrett also declined to say whether she would recuse herself from any election-related cases involving President Trump.
The President has stated he wants Barrett confirmed before November 3 in case there are issues surrounding the election.
He again teased potential trouble yesterday, telling GOP lawyers to “get started!!!” after repeatedly and baselessly claiming the vote is “rigged” against him.
She also skipped over questions about whether Trump should commit to a peaceful transfer of power, accusing the Democrats of trying to draw her into a political fight.
“That seems to me to be pulling me into the question of whether the president has said he would not leave office,” Barrett said.
“To the extent that this is a political controversy right now, as a judge I want to stay out of it, and I don’t want to express a view.”
The judge managed to leave Democrats frustrated as she dodged any questions they threw at her, sitting unmoved as the hearing came to a close.
Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell wrote: “Judge Barrett is just as brilliant and impressive as advertised. She is clearly qualified. She’s committed to fairness and impartiality.
“And she clearly understands the job of a judge under the Constitution is to apply the law and not impose personal policy views.”
Fox News host Sean Hannity described Barrett as “running circles” around the Democrats with her “calm, unflappable demeanor and a solid command of facts”.
He said: “She made them, frankly, look stupid, unprepared, desperate. She exposed the absolute hatred that now defines this new radical, insane, and extreme Democratic socialist party.”
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Republican house minority leader Kevin McCarthy added: “The Democrats don’t like Judge Amy Coney Barrett, just because President Trump nominated her.
“So they threaten to add more justices to the Supreme Court in order to legislate from the bench.
“It’s wrong. And every Democrat should denounce packing the court.”
Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden as denounced Barrett’s appointment as “unconstitutional”, but factcheckers have said this is false.
The confirmation hearing will last another three days.