Durbin Calls Barrett’s Children ‘Innocent Victims,’ Apologizes For Any ‘Painful Moments’

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Mary Margaret Olohan Social Issues Reporter
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Democratic Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin apologized to Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett Wednesday evening for any pain caused to her children during her confirmation hearings.

Durbin described the process as “an ordeal,” and said that he has “seen it from this side many, many times.”

“I want to thank your husband and your family for joining you in this effort,” he said. “I’m sure they’ll take away many memories, and some will be good, of this experience which you can talk about for years to come.

“I do want to say one thing that was mentioned yesterday that always strikes me, and that is the impact of this experience on your children,” he continued.

Durbin referenced comments made by Barrett Tuesday evening when she addressed attacks on her family and her adopted children. (RELATED: Here’s A List Of Democrats Who Have Attacked Amy Coney Barrett For Her Faith)

“They are my children who we love and who we brought home and made part of our family,” Barrett said, “and accusations like that are cruel.”

The Illinois senator apologized for any “painful moments” for her children.

“I’m sorry,” he said. “I hope that I was not the cause, that we were not the cause, but I will just tell you that they are innocent victims and they should not have to go through this.”

He continued: “Each of us in public life can tell you back a story or two as well of our own family experiences. We put our names on the ballot, we’re the targets, and when they go after the family, it infuriates me, it drives me crazy. It happens, it’s sad, but it happens too often.”


Durbin previously drew criticism for his line of questioning during Barrett’s 2017 confirmation hearings. He questioned Barrett over an article she co-authored as a law student that included the term “orthodox Catholic,” asking her: “Do you consider yourself an orthodox Catholic?”

Barrett responded: “If you’re asking whether I’m a faithful Catholic, I am, although I would stress that my own personal church affiliation or my religious belief would not bear on the discharge of my duties as a judge.”

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