Sen. Ernst Allows Judge Barrett to Respond to Sen. Hirono's Outrageous Allegations

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Posted: Oct 13, 2020 8:00 PM
Sen. Ernst Allows Judge Barrett to Respond to Sen. Hirono's Outrageous Allegations

Source: Kevin Dietsch/Pool via AP

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) talked and talked and talked during her Q&A time on Tuesday on the second day of the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. But she didn't give the nominee much opportunity to answer. And that's a shame. Because several of the accusations that Hirono spewed deserved rebuttals. 

Hirono brought up a phrase that Barrett had uttered earlier in the day. Instead of saying "sexual orientation," Barrett chose the term, "sexual preference." Twitter exploded, with viewers pretty much accusing her of being a bigot. And Sen. Hirono more or less agreed, saying she considered the phrase "offensive and outdated" in a mini lecture.

"Sexual preference is an offensive and outdated term," Hirono said. "It is used by anti-LGBTQ activists to suggest that sexual orientation is a choice. It is not. Sexual orientation is a key part of a person's identity."

And that was that. No chance for Barrett to react. 

Thankfully, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) was up next. And before she got to the "sexy" topic of agency rulemaking, she began by granting Barrett the opportunity to respond to Hirono.

"I certainly didn't mean, and would never mean to use a term that would cause any offense in the LGBT community," Barrett said, adding that she was referring specifically to the holding of Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized gay marriage.

Sen. Ernst proceeded to ask actual, relevant questions of the nominee, which put her mind at ease about Barrett's dedication to the rule of law.

We wish Barrett would have had more time to clean up Sen. Hirono's remarks. Her questioning was all over the place. At one point she even asked Barrett is she had ever been accused of sexual assault. At least she's consistent.