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Amy Coney Barrett thanks her husband and calls their seven children her ‘greatest joy’

President Donald Trump nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court on Saturday afternoon.

Barrett, 48, a married mother to seven and a former clerk to the late Justice Antonin Scalia, said she was ‘truly humbled’ by the nomination. 

If confirmed Justice Barrett will make history as the first mother of school-age children to ever serve on the Supreme Court. 

Barrett took the time to introduce her husband and seven children, who were seated in the audience, joking that it mades sense that Trump was nominating her to join a bench of nine justices.

‘As it happens, I’m used to being in a group of nine: my family,’ Barrett said.

President Donald Trump announces Amy Coney Barrett, 48, as his nominee for Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States during a ceremony in the Rose Garden

President Donald Trump announces Amy Coney Barrett, 48, as his nominee for Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States during a ceremony in the Rose Garden

First Lady Melania Trump sits with Jesse Barret, second from left, husband of US Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett and their children

First Lady Melania Trump sits with Jesse Barret, second from left, husband of US Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett and their children

"Thank you for sharing your incredible mom with our country!" President Trump said to Barrett's children

‘Thank you for sharing your incredible mom with our country!’ President Trump said to Barrett’s children 

Amy Coney Barrett is seen in a family photo with siblings and parents, Mike and Linda Coney

Amy Coney Barrett is seen in a family photo with siblings and parents, Mike and Linda Coney

‘Our family includes me; my husband, Jesse; Emma; Vivian; Tess; John Peter; Liam; Juliet; and Benjamin,’ she explained.  

Among Barrett’s children, she has five biological and two who were adopted from Haiti.  

Barrett’s youngest biological son, Benjamin, has special needs after being born with Down Syndrome. 

Barrett went on to tell the audience that in addition to being federal judge, she wears several other hats: that of carpool driver, birthday party planner, and recently, a teacher, as her children attended school remotely due to the pandemic.

President Donald Trump and Judge Amy Coney Barrett  arrive at the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC

President Donald Trump and Judge Amy Coney Barrett  arrive at the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC

President Donald Trump announces Amy Coney Barrett, 48, as his nominee for Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States during a ceremony in the Rose Garden

President Donald Trump announces Amy Coney Barrett, 48, as his nominee for Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States during a ceremony in the Rose Garden

Judge Amy Coney Barrett speaks after being nominated to the US Supreme Court by President Donald Trump in the Rose Garden of the White House

Judge Amy Coney Barrett speaks after being nominated to the US Supreme Court by President Donald Trump in the Rose Garden of the White House

Judge Amy Coney Barrett stands with her family on stage after a news conference where President Donald Trump announced Barrett as his nominee to the Supreme Court

Judge Amy Coney Barrett stands with her family on stage after a news conference where President Donald Trump announced Barrett as his nominee to the Supreme Court

President Trump made that  announcement in the Rose Garden of the White House in front of some of Barrett's children

President Trump made that  announcement in the Rose Garden of the White House in front of some of Barrett’s children

‘Our children obviously make our life very full. While I am a judge, I’m better known back home as a room parent, car pool driver and birthday party planner. When schools went remote last spring, I tried on another hat. Jesse and I became co-principals of the Barrett e-learning academy. And yes, the list of enrolled students was a very long one. Our children are my greatest joy, even though they deprive me of any reasonable amount of sleep,’ she said.

She revealed how her marriage of 21 years to husband, Jesse, was the bedrock of their relationship to provide their children the best upbringing possible, but noted that her kids believe him to be the better cook.

‘At the start of our marriage, I imagined that we would run our household as partners. As it has turned out, Jesse does far more than his share of the work. To my chagrin, I learned at dinner recently that my children consider him to be the better cook. For 21 years, Jesse has asked me every single morning what he can do for me that day. And though I almost always say, ‘Nothing,’ he still finds ways to take things off my plate. And that’s not because he has a lot of free time. He has a busy law practice. It is because he is a superb and generous husband, and I am very fortunate,’ Barrett said.     

Judge Amy Coney Barrett (second from right) is photographed leaving her Indiana home Saturday followed by her husband Jesse Barrett (right) and her sons (from left) Benjamin, John Peter and Liam

Judge Amy Coney Barrett (second from right) is photographed leaving her Indiana home Saturday followed by her husband Jesse Barrett (right) and her sons (from left) Benjamin, John Peter and Liam 

Judge Amy Coney Barrett is captured leaving her home in South Bend, Indiana Saturday ahead of President Donald Trump's Supreme Court announcement

Judge Amy Coney Barrett is captured leaving her home in South Bend, Indiana Saturday ahead of President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court announcement 

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump pose for pictures with Amy Coney Barrett, her husband Jesse and their seven children

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump pose for pictures with Amy Coney Barrett, her husband Jesse and their seven children 

Barrett and her husband Jesse have been married for the past 21 years and she revealed that her children believe him to be the better cook

Barrett and her husband Jesse have been married for the past 21 years and she revealed that her children believe him to be the better cook 

Barrett's photo hangs in the Hall of Fame of Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee

Barrett’s photo hangs in the Hall of Fame of Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee

The New Orleans native who attended Rhodes College and received her law degree from Notre Dame law school, where she later taught lives in South Bend, Indiana. 

Barrett’s strong Christian ideology made her a favorite of the right but her involvement in a religious group sometimes branded as a ‘cult’ is set to be harshly criticized.    

In 2017, her affiliation to the small, tightly knit Christian group called People of Praise caused concern while she was a nominee for a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. 

The New York Times reported that the practices of the group would surprise even other Catholics with members of the group swearing a lifelong oath of loyalty, called a covenant, to one another. 

They are also assigned and held accountable to a personal adviser, known until recently as a ‘head’ for men and a ‘handmaid’ for women and believe in prophecy, speaking in tongues and divine healings. 

Members are also encouraged to confess personal sins, financial information and other sensitive disclosures to these advisors. 

Advisors are allowed to report these admissions to group leadership if necessary, according to an account of one former member. 

The organization itself says that the term ‘handmaid’ was a reference to Jesus’s mother Mary’s description of herself as a ‘handmaid of the Lord,’ but the popularity of the 2017-to-present Hulu television series ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’ based on Atwood’s 1985 book, appears to have led to a change.

The dystopian story is set in a future United States where the rules of the male-dominated society are based on the leaders’ twisted interpretation of Old Testament scriptures. 

The People of Praise religious group inspired the hit TV show The Handmaid's Tale, which depicts a dystopian world where women are oppressed

The People of Praise religious group inspired the hit TV show The Handmaid’s Tale, which depicts a dystopian world where women are oppressed

‘Recognizing that the meaning of this term has shifted dramatically in our culture in recent years, we no longer use the term handmaid,’ the group said after the 2018 media interest.

The group say they now use the term ‘women leaders.’ 

The group deems that husbands are the heads of their wives and should take authority over the family while ‘the heads and handmaids give direction on important decisions, including whom to date or marry, where to live, whether to take a job or buy a home, and how to raise children,’ the Times reported.  

Beginning with just 29 members, it now has an estimated 2,000.  

At least 10 members of Barrett’s family, not including their children, also belong to the group, however the group has declined to confirm or deny whether she is currently a member.

Barrett’s father, Mike Coney, serves on the People of Praise’s powerful 11-member board of governors, described as the group’s ‘highest authority’ while her mother Linda served as a handmaiden.  

The group’s ultra-conservative religious tenets helped spur author Margaret Atwood to publish The Handmaid’s Tale, a story about a religious takeover of the U.S. government, according to a 1986 interview with the writer.

Margaret Atwood (pictured), the author of The Handmaid's Tale, has repeatedly said her futuristic novel was inspired by male-dominated religious sects. In the novel, women's bodies are governed and treated as property of the state.

Margaret Atwood (pictured), the author of The Handmaid’s Tale, has repeatedly said her futuristic novel was inspired by male-dominated religious sects. In the novel, women’s bodies are governed and treated as property of the state.

The book has since been made into a hit TV series. 

Some legal experts have suggested that loyalty oaths such at the one Barrett would have taken to People of Praise could raise legitimate questions about a judicial nominee’s independence and impartiality. 

‘These groups can become so absorbing that it’s difficult for a person to retain individual judgment,’ said Sarah Barringer Gordon, a professor of constitutional law and history at the University of Pennsylvania. 

‘I don’t think it’s discriminatory or hostile to religion to want to learn more’ about her relationship with the group.

‘We don’t try to control people,’ said Craig S. Lent. ‘And there’s never any guarantee that the leader is always right. You have to discern and act in the Lord. 

‘If and when members hold political offices, or judicial offices, or administrative offices, we would certainly not tell them how to discharge their responsibilities.’   

Her deep Catholic faith was cited by Democrats as a large disadvantage during her 2017 confirmation hearing for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit.

‘If you’re asking whether I take my faith seriously and I’m a faithful Catholic, I am,’ Barrett responded during that hearing, ‘although I would stress that my personal church affiliation or my religious belief would not bear in the discharge of my duties as a judge.’

Republicans now believe that she performed well in her defense during this hearing, leaving her potentially capable of doing the same when she comes face-to-face with the Senate Judiciary Committee.

She is a former member of the Notre Dame’s ‘Faculty for Life’ and in 2015 signed a letter to the Catholic Church affirming the ‘teachings of the Church as truth.’

Among those teachings were the ‘value of human life from conception to natural death’ and marriage-family values ‘founded on the indissoluble commitment of a man and a woman’.

She has previously written that Supreme Court precedents are not sacrosanct. Liberals have taken these comments as a threat to the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion nationwide.

Barrett wrote that she agrees ‘with those who say that a justice’s duty is to the Constitution and that it is thus more legitimate for her to enforce her best understanding of the Constitution rather than a precedent she thinks clearly in conflict with it’.

President Donald Trump walks with Judge Amy Coney Barrett to a news conference to announce Barrett as his nominee to the Supreme Court, in the Rose Garden at the White House on Saturday

President Donald Trump walks with Judge Amy Coney Barrett to a news conference to announce Barrett as his nominee to the Supreme Court, in the Rose Garden at the White House on Saturday

Among the other statements that have cause concern for liberal are her declaration that ObamaCare’s birth control mandate is ‘grave violation of religious freedom.’

LGBTQ organizations also voiced their concern about her when she was first named on the shortlist.   

During acceptance speech on Saturday, Barrett pledged to serve the people rather than her own self-interest.

‘I would assume this role to serve you. I would discharge the judicial oath, which requires me to administer justice without respect to persons, do equal right to the poor and rich, and faithfully and impartially discharge my duties under the United States Constitution,’ she said.

‘I have no illusions that the road ahead of me will be easy, either for the short term or the long haul. I never imagined that I would find myself in this position. But now that I am, I assure you that I will meet the challenge with both humility and courage. Members of the United States Senate, I look forward to working with you during the confirmation process. And I will do my very best to demonstrate that I am worthy of your support.’

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