Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett sat through her second day of grueling questioning by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. At least one of the questions was reminiscent of an earlier confirmation when Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii questioned whether the nominee had ever been involved in any sexual misconduct.
In a multi-question line of questioning Hawaii representative took Barrett to task asking, “Since you became a legal adult, have you ever made unwanted requests for sexual favors, or committed any physical or verbal harassment or assault of a sexual nature?”
Judge Barrett answered, “No, Senator Hirono.”
“Have you ever faced discipline or entered into a settlement related to this kind of conduct?” the senator asked in her follow-up.
“No, Senator,” Barrett replied.
While Hirono’s questions fell flat and seemed to be in extremely poor taste, it’s been reported that the Hawaii Democrat makes a habit of asking those questions to all nominees. It has not been reported, however, when she started that line of questioning.
However, that did not keep political commentators and interested individuals from calling out Hirono for her explicit questioning of someone who has shown no signs of misconduct.
“So disrespectful. Sen. Hirono is shameless,” one person tweeted. Someone else commented, “Just when you think they can’t possibly go any lower @maziehirono comes thru and lowers the bar even more.”
Conservative commentator Robby Starbuck tweeted out a video of the exchange, writing, “Here’s resident Senate lunatic, Mazie Hirono asking Amy Coney Barrett ‘Have you ever made unwanted requests for sexual favors… or committed assault of a sexual nature?’ Amy’s kids just watched their Mom get asked if she’s a rapist. Pure evil.”
“Disgusting question by Senate Democrat Member Mazie Hirono of Hawaii,” said another frustrated Twitter user.
Hirono has been an advocate for tougher stipulations on Trump’s court nominees, especially since the multi-tiered accusatory extravaganza that was the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Voters could likely expect the island state’s senator to take on Barrett’s sexual history thanks to her tweet last month when she announced that she wouldn’t be supporting Barrett’s nomination to the nation’s high court. At that time, she cited a long list of reasons for her decision to stand against the potential juror:
“She will vote to strike down the Affordable Care Act … ” Hirono tweeted on Sept. 26. “Millions of Americans will lose their health care – catastrophic in the middle of a pandemic.
The senator also cited her concern saying “A woman’s right to control her own body is at stake,” and that she believes “The president expects her to support any challenge he mounts to the election results.
“Barrett has an ideological agenda she won’t acknowledge and an expressed willingness to overturn Supreme Court precedent,” Hirono accused without explanation.
“I oppose her nomination and will fight to deny her a lifetime position on the United States Supreme Court, and in doing so, will tell the American people the danger she poses to hard-won rights.”
Inner turmoil expressed outwardly was an expected outcome from this week’s hearing, however, as Barret said earlier in the day on Tuesday. The mother of seven said that she and her husband only had a short time to weigh the potential for harm versus the possible good.
“I don’t think it’s any secret to any of you or to the American people that this is a really difficult, some might say excruciating, process,” Barrett said in a morning interaction with Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC). “And Jesse and I had a very brief amount of time to make a decision with momentous consequences for our family. We knew that our lives would be combed over for any negative detail, we knew that our face would be a caricature and we knew our family would be attacked.”