Barrett had ‘rare gift of lifting everyone around her;’ former clerk and law student praise her kindness

Supreme Court Nominations


Amanda Rauh-Bieri and Laura Wolk speak during the fourth day of Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s U.S. Supreme Court confirmation hearing. Images from C-SPAN.

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett is kind and brilliant, according to a former law clerk and a former law student who said she has been a mentor and source of encouragement.

Barrett “has the rare gift of lifting everyone around her,” said Amanda Rauh-Bieri, a law clerk during Barrett’s first term on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at Chicago.

Rauh-Bieri testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday along with former University of Notre Dame law student Laura Wolk.

Rauh-Bieri said she could tell from the beginning of her clerkship that Barrett had a rare set of qualities. She was a brilliant thinker who analyzes issues with striking clarity and precision. She was dedicated and disciplined, as well as thoughtful and compassionate. She approaches each case with an open mind, appreciates the real-life impact of her decisions, and writes with empathy.

Barrett created a culture that encouraged her clerks to voice their opinions, even if the judge would ultimately disagree, Rauh-Bieri said. The judge approached her colleagues with same gracious humility that she showed to her law clerks.

Rauh-Bieri said she was unsure of herself in law school, and she didn’t know whether she had what it takes to succeed. Barrett’s example and mentorship inspired confidence that Rauh-Bieri didn’t know she had.

Wolk said she had a life-changing interaction with Barrett soon after she began law school at the University of Notre Dame. Wolk is blind, and she relies heavily on assisted technology. Before arriving at the school, Wolk worked hard to make sure that the law school would have a backup for her technology. But the backup wasn’t available, and almost “on cue” Wolk’s personal laptop began to fail.

Wolk said she talked with Barrett about her concerns, expressing concerns about the technology failure, as well as her fears of failing in class. When Wolk had finished, Barrett told her: “This is no longer your problem; it’s my problem.”

The technology quickly arrived, allowing Wolk to excel. She is now the first blind person to clerk for a Supreme Court justice.

Wolk said Barrett has remained a constant source of strength, encouragement and solace.

“She has given me a gift of immeasurable value, the ability to live an abundant life with the potential to break down barriers,” Wolk said.

If Barrett is confirmed, the country “will gain the service of one of the kindest individuals I have ever known,” Wolk said.

Rauh-Bieri and Wolk were among eight speakers at Barrett’s confirmation hearing Thursday who followed representatives of the ABA Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary. The ABA representatives testified about the reasons for Barrett’s “well qualified” rating.

Others on the panel included an abortion rights advocate who had

Does Lifting Weights Make Women Look Less Feminine?

So this is something I hear extremely often when speaking to new female clients in the gym. Many women’s fitness regime consists of long session of cardio, with maybe a few very lightweight exercises with high reps. When I ask “why are you training the way you are”? The majority of the time the client will tell me that they are trying to lose some body fat and tone their physique.

Some go into more detail about how they want to tone their arms, have smaller well defined legs, or have a flatter stomach with some muscle tone underneath. Now, unfortunately, there is no such thing as spot reduction, it is physically impossible for a human being to lose body fat in one specific area of the body, but that is a whole new topic for another day.

I always ask whether they include any weight training in their program, and the majority of women say no, or yes, but with light weights and high reps. But why is this the case? More often than not many women avoid the weights area as they are afraid that lifting heavy will cause significant muscle gain, and after all they just want to tone. It’s hard to discover where the idea of “toning” came from as in reality there is no such thing, you are either building muscle or not.

The toned look that many women strive for is established through weight training to build the muscle underneath and then losing the body fat over the top through a well structured nutrition program. Hours of cardio and high rep, low weight training is only going to leave you frustrated with little results. The majority of my female clients say they have avoided the weight in the past out of fear that they will become “bulky” or have muscles like men. While I’m sure we have all seen images of female bodybuilders, and I have massive respect for the hard work and dedication they put into their passion, it is impossible for women to look that way from a short period of weight training. If it was that easy then why doesn’t every guy who lifts look like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Phil Heath?

While it is possible for a guy to build muscle quickly and easily, this isn’t the case for women. But why is that? It all comes down to hormones. Testosterone is the main hormone that is responsible for building muscle, and while women do have some testosterone, it is no way near the level of males. Therefore it stands to reason that they can build some muscle, but not as much or as quick as guys.

So what does happen when women lift weights? They build muscle slowly which will help to improve their physique. More muscle tissue in the legs make the thighs and bum more shapely, and more development of the arms can help the fight against bingo wings. Building muscle tissue in the shoulders and back will …