Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett fired back after a heckler interrupted her talk Monday at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, likening the protester to an unruly child.
“As a mother of seven, I am used to distractions — and sometimes even outbursts,” said Justice Barrett, gathering laughs from the audience after she was interrupted.
During the roughly hourlong talk, Justice Barrett was discussing her experience of being nominated to the high court when a heckler called her an “enslaver of women.”
The protester, Luna Hernandez, was a volunteer with RiseUp4AbortionRights, according to a press release from the organization.
According to the group, Ms. Hernandez interrupted the event and was “sounding the alarm” about abortion rights ahead of the Supreme Court’s ruling in a case weighing a possible reversal of Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that made abortion a federal constitutional right.
Ms. Hernandez said the justice’s response was demeaning.
“Women are not children. When I said that forced motherhood is female enslavement, I was not having a ‘childish outburst,’” she said in the press release.
After the brief disturbance, Justice Barrett went on to field questions about the court.
She was asked if there should be guidelines for spouses in order for justices to avoid conflicts. Justice Barrett suggested that isn’t necessary.
“Everybody is very attentive to those sorts of things,” she said.
Justice Clarence Thomas recently came under scrutiny for his wife’s communications with former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows about the 2020 election results and attending the pro-Trump rally on Jan. 6, 2021, before the riot at the U.S. Capitol. Mrs. Thomas left the rally before any violence erupted.
Liberals have called for Justice Thomas to recuse himself from any cases related to the riot and election lawsuits involving Mr. Trump.
Justice Barrett also advised all Americans to read the high court’s opinions to avoid allegations of politics from the bench.
“It’s not just the result that matters. You can disagree with the result passionately,” she said. “No judge is deciding a case in order to impose a policy result. They are trying to make their best effort to determine what the law requires.”
Justice Barrett was confirmed to the bench in 2020, replacing the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.