Amy Coney Barrett’s decision to hold a blank notebook to prove she wasn’t using notes in Tuesday’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing turned into a viral social media sensation, inspiring a host of funny memes on both sides of the political aisle.
President Trump’s candidate displayed the notepad at the request of Senator John Cornyn, who told Barrett that senators used several notebooks, notes and books as reference during the hearing.
Cornyn then asked if it could contain the preparatory materials she used to answer committee questions, to which she showed them an entirely blank notepad, aside from its “United States Senate” header.
“It’s impressive,” Cornyn remarked before continuing with his round of questions.
But although the exchange was only a brief moment in an otherwise long audience, it has since been immortalized in the meme-hood thanks to quick banter from social media users.
Supreme Court candidate Amy Coney Barrett holds up a notepad during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday
The Kentucky Republican Party was one of the first to put a spin on what happened, tweeting a photo of Barrett holding the notepad with the words “#FILLTHESEAT” superimposed on the page.
The president’s son Donald Trump Jr. also sought to take advantage of the opportunity, writing: “Unlike Joe Biden, Amy Coney Barrett doesn’t need notes or a teleprompter to remember her positions. . “
Senior Trump campaign legal counsel Jenna Ellis, meanwhile, posted a photo of Barrett holding the blank notes, writing, “Judge Barrett’s political platform.”
Supporters of President Trump – and critics of Joe Biden – have also come out in full force.
A social media user superimposed the words “List of Joe Biden’s Achievements” around an image of Barrett, showing it smiling behind the blank page.
Others imposed the words “Democrats are idiots” and “Score: ACB – 10, Dems – 0” on the sheet of paper.
Right-wing digital activist organization For America tweeted a fake conversation between a Democratic senator and Barrett, in which Barrett’s notebook was edited to read, “I know the cases you bring up better than you.” “
On the opposite side of the ideological divide, comedian Kathy Griffin, who has shared a number of high profile clashes with Donald Trump, shared the image of Barrett and his notepad, insisting she held a “picture of his brain scan.”
David Reaboi tweeted the same image, writing “What ACB REALLY was doing with his notepad,” and showing a doodle on a maid’s page from The Handmaid’s Tale, a dystopian book and TV series about a totalitarian society in which women are considered to be government property.
Protesters use the costumes worn by the women in the series for political protests against politicians and Supreme Court judges whom they see as a threat to women’s rights.
Protests were staged outside the Supreme Court throughout Barrett’s hearings, with a group of activists heard singing “Let the People Decide” on Tuesday to allow whoever wins the next election to choose Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s successor .
Sierra Club, an environmental organization, echoed this sentiment with its own notepad, writing “Delay this until grand opening.”
Barrett’s religious beliefs were also ridiculed during the tweetstorm.
Along with her husband Jesse, the Supreme Court candidate is a member of the ultra-conservative People of Praise religious group, which actually inspired Handmaid’s Tale.
The small group teaches the women that they should obey everything their husbands do – even the way they vote.
“I had to ask my husband for permission to be here” are the words a social media user digitally imposed on Barrett’s tablet.
The implications that electing someone with such strong religious and conservative views to rule impartially on the Supreme Court bench has also been theorized.
“I’m going to cancel everything for Trump,” one user wrote. “Kiss Obamacare Goodbye,” read another meme.
Others have suggested the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade ruling that legalized abortion risk being overturned with Barrett on the bench.
“All of your wombs are all ours now,” one contributor joked. “Overturn Roe,” wrote another.
But politics was not the only topic of discussion. One contributor has used this trend to spark a controversial debate, writing in Barrett’s notepad: “A hot dog is a sandwich.”
“ACB’s controversial position here,” said the post’s author, “may be disqualifying.
Barrett dismissed Democrats’ skeptical questions about abortion, health care and a possible controversial electoral battle for the transfer of presidential power during Tuesday’s hearing, insisting she would not present any personal agenda to the court but would decide cases “as they go”.
She declared her conservative views in often colloquial language, but declined many details.
She declined to say whether she would recuse herself from any election-related matters involving President Donald Trump, who nominated her to occupy the seat of the late Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg and insists that it be confirmed before the 3 election. November.
“Judges can’t just wake up one day and say I have a program – I love guns, I hate guns, I love abortion, I hate abortion – and come in like a queen royal and impose their will on the world, ”Barrett told the Senate Judiciary Committee on his second day of hearings.
“It’s not Amy’s law,” she said. “It is the law of the American people.
The death of Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg last month started Trump’s race to confirm his Supreme Court choice ahead of the election.
While Republicans defend moving forward with the process, claiming it is the role of the President and the Senate to see it through, Democrats claim they are breaking a precedent they themselves had created before.
In 2016, then-President Barack Obama appointed Judge Merrick Garland to take the seat of Judge Antonin Scalia, following his death.
Republicans denounced the decision at the time, saying it was inappropriate for Obama to confirm a Supreme Court justice during an election year, and that it should be up to the next president to decide.
But Senator Mitch McConnell says the difference now is that the same party controls the Senate and the Presidency, and with the 51 votes needed to form a simple majority, Democrats are unlikely to prevent Barrett from being confirmed.
If Barrett gets his nomination, the Supreme Court will have a 6-3 Conservative majority.