Amy Coney Barrett on Her Youngest: ‘Benjamin Has Down Syndrome and He is the Unanimous Favorite of the Family’

By CNSNews.com Staff | October 12, 2020 | 5:46pm EDT
Amy Coney Barrett at her confirmation hearing, Oct. 12, 2020. (Screen Capture)
Amy Coney Barrett at her confirmation hearing, Oct. 12, 2020. (Screen Capture)

(CNSNews.com) - Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who has seven children, introduced her family to the Senate Judiciary Committee in her opening statement at her Supreme Court confirmation hearing.

Six of her children were present—the only one who was not, she explained, was her son Benjamin, who has Down Syndrome.

“Our youngest, Benjamin, is at home with friends,” she said. “Benjamin has Down Syndrome and he is the unanimous favorite of the family.

“He was watching the hearing this morning, I am told, and he was calling out our names since he saw the kids in the back,” she said.

“As I said when I was nominated to serve as a justice, I am used to being in a group of nine—my family,” Barrett said. “Nothing is more important to me, and I am so proud to have them behind me.”

Here is a transcript of the part of Amy Coney Barrett’s opening statement where she talks about her children:

“As I said when I was nominated to serve as a Justice, I am used to being in a group of nine—my family. Nothing is more important to me, and I am so proud to have them behind me.

“My husband Jesse and I have been married for 21 years. He has been a selfless and wonderful partner at every step along the way. I once asked my sister, “Why do people say marriage is hard? I think it’s easy.” She said, “Maybe you should ask Jesse if he agrees.” I decided not to take her advice. I know that I am far luckier in love than I deserve.

“Jesse and I are parents to seven wonderful children. Emma is a sophomore in college who just might follow her parents into a career in the law. Vivian came to us from Haiti. When she arrived, she was so weak that we were told she might never walk or talk normally. She now dead lifts as much as the male athletes at our gym, and I assure you that she has no trouble talking. Tess is 16, and while she shares her parents’ love for the liberal arts, she also has a math gene that seems to have skipped her parents’ generation. John Peter joined us shortly after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, and Jesse, who brought him home, still describes the shock on JP’s face when he got off the plane in wintertime Chicago. Once that shock wore off, JP assumed the happy-go-lucky attitude that is still his signature trait. Liam is smart, strong, and kind, and to our delight, he still loves watching movies with Mom and Dad. Ten-year-old Juliet is already pursuing her goal of becoming an author by writing multiple essays and short stories, including one she recently submitted for publication. And our youngest, Benjamin, is at home with friends. Benjamin has Down Syndrome and he is the unanimous favorite of the family. He was watching the hearing this morning, I am told, and he was calling out our names since he saw the kids in the back”

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