Sen. Graham Praises Fellow Senators, Judge Barrett, To End Day 3 Of Hearings
In his final words Wednesday, Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., commended his colleagues on both sides of the aisle for remaining cordial throughout the first three days of Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation hearing.
Graham said the professionalism exhibited by his fellow senators was a welcome relief in what has been a polarizing and contentious year.
"I just want to say to my Democratic colleagues, I have lost sleep over this hearing. I did not know how it would go," he said. "Thank you on behalf of the country for allowing us to get through this hearing in a fashion that I think it is befitting of the Senate."
Graham called Barrett "one of the most amazing human beings I've ever met in my life" and praised her extensive knowledge of the law. But he said, this process was never about changing anybody's mind, pointing to the Democrats on the committee.
"In another time, another place, you would get everybody's vote," Graham said. "It's not about you. It's about us. Somehow we have lost our way."
Graham acknowledged Democrats who over the past few days have argued Barrett represents the exact opposite of what the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg stood for. Graham said he hoped the American people would accept Barrett even though she is markedly different.
"I hope it's OK that you can be pro-life and adhere to your faith, and still be considered by your fellow citizens worthy of this job," he said. "I see in you someone who's not only highly qualified to be on the court in every way possible, but somebody that has broken new ground in a positive way for the country."
Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois also recognized the intense public scrutiny Barrett and her family have undergone during this controversial confirmation process. He apologized to her children for what they've had to endure.
"I heard you or someone say that it was painful, there were painful moments for some of the kids. I'm sorry. I hope that I was not the cause, and we were not the cause," he said. "But I will just tell you, they are innocent victims, and they should not have to go through this."
After the hearing, Democrats said there wasn't enough time to bring more heat on Barrett, and that Barrett wasn't as confrontational as Justice Brett Kavanaugh was.
Claudia Grisales contributed to this report.
Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.