Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, asked to reveal the notes she was using during Tuesday's confirmation hearing, held up a blank notepad.
Instantly viral: The moment drew laughs from the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing's attendees, and footage was widely shared online, with conservatives hailing it as further proof of Barrett's personal competence and legal mastery.
It was Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, who set the stage for Barrett's viral moment.
- "You know most of us have multiple notebooks and notes and books and things like that in front of us," he said. "Can you hold up what you’ve been referring to in answering our questions?"
- As Barrett, smiling, displayed the blank page in front of her, Cornyn followed-up, "Is there anything on it?"
- “The letterhead that says ‘United States Senate,'” Barrett replied.
Amid chuckles in the chamber, Cornyn said, "That's impressive."
The reaction: EWTN correspondent Erik Rosales said in a tweet that Barrett's ability to eschew notes was "so amazing" and that she was "schooling lawmakers."
Dinesh D'Souza was among a number of conservative commentators who explicitly contrasted Barrett's display of acumen with her questioning by some of the panel's Democrats.
"Unlike Joe Biden, Amy Coney Barrett doesn’t need notes or a teleprompter to remember her positions," tweeted the president's son Donald Trump Jr.
The confirmation: Democrats and liberals have fiercely objected to the nomination of Barrett, a devout Catholic mother and textualist jurist, who they fear will undo cherished judicial achievements on abortion, same-sex marriage, climate change and health care.
- Still, Barrett is expected to be confirmed ahead of the November election on the strength of the Senate's Republican majority.
- “This is probably not about persuading each other, unless something really dramatic happens,” Judiciary Committee chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, acknowledged at the start of the hearing on Tuesday.
- "All Republicans will vote yes, and all Democrats will vote no."