ACB Hearings: A Recap

 

I don’t usually watch Supreme Court nomination hearings as they seem fairly pointless these days. But I did put them on today and dutifully listened to four Senators: two Republicans and two Democrats. I feel that is enough, as I suspect the rest of the hearing will be exactly the same:

Democrats, first line of questioning:

  1. Do you know [insert some statistic about the Affordable Care Act here]?
    ACB: No.
  2. Do you know [insert some sob story about ACA here]?
    ACB: No.
  3. Do you know [insert some statistic about the ACA here]?
    ACB: No.
  4. Do you know [insert some sob story about ACA here]?
    ACB: No.
  5. …And repeat.

Next line of questioning:

  1. How would you vote on Roe v. Wade?
    ACB: I can’t tell you that. I cannot telegraph to anyone what my thoughts might be as it would influence what would come before the court.
  2. But can you tell me how you would vote on Roe v. Wade?
    ACB: No.
  3. But can you tell me how you would vote on Roe v. Wade?
    ACB: No.
  4. OK, how about on gun control?
    ACB: No. I cannot telegraph to anyone what my thoughts might be as it would influence what would come before the court.
  5. How about gun control?
    ACB: No.
  6. …And repeat.

Next line of questioning:

  1. If appointed, will you recuse yourself from voting on any election matters?
    ACB: I will follow procedures and precedent for recusals.
  2. But if appointed, will you recuse yourself from voting on election matters?
    ACB: I will follow procedures and precedent for recusals.
  3. …And repeat.
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  1. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    When do we get to:

    “Do you have the Pope’s cellphone number?”

    “Will you do that ashes thing when hearing an oral argument on a Wednesday?”

    “What are you giving up for Lent”?

    • #1
  2. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    You didn’t say anything about how impressive she is as a potential justice. I watched as you did and I was very impressed as were the Senators, I suspect even the Democrats, although they won’t mention that.

    • #2
  3. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    You didn’t say anything about how impressive she is as a potential justice. I watched as you did and I was very impressed as were the Senators, I suspect even the Democrats, although they won’t mention that.

    Yes that is true.  She did very well and didn’t lose her temper despite the inane and largely irrelevant line of questioning from the opposition.  I think the Dems strategy was to keep badgering her until she lost her temper,  thereby demonstrating that she would be unfit for the position.  But she was as patient as I would expect a Mom of 7 to be with repetitive senseless questions from children.

    • #3
  4. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    When do we get to:

    “Do you have the Pope’s cellphone number?”

    “Will you do that ashes thing when hearing an oral argument on a Wednesday?”

    “What are you giving up for Lent”?

    Those would be more interesting.

    • #4
  5. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge
    DonG (skeptic)
    @DonG

    I think there where some statements about Orange Man causing a pandemic and filling the vacancy is illegitimate “court packing”.  My observation is that the DNC has a very weak set of politicians.   Harris and Klobachar are former AGs and they could not say anything related to the law.  Contrast that with Cruz and Lee that were giddy to have a few minutes in the Senate to dive into law and the Constitution. 

    • #5
  6. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    You didn’t say anything about how impressive she is as a potential justice. I watched as you did and I was very impressed as were the Senators, I suspect even the Democrats, although they won’t mention that.

    Yes that is true. She did very well and didn’t lose her temper despite the inane and largely irrelevant line of questioning from the opposition. I think the Dems strategy was to keep badgering her until she lost her temper, thereby demonstrating that she would be unfit for the position. But she was as patient as I would expect a Mom of 7 to be with repetitive senseless questions from children.

    Would you mind re-posting this, so I can “like” it again?

    • #6
  7. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    Ha!  I happened to check the news and I listened to Senator Coons several hours after I listened in this morning:

    Question:

    1. If appointed, will you recuse yourself from voting on any election matters?
    2. ACB: I will follow procedures and precedent for recusals

    Now he’s onto the ACA.

    I was right that it wasn’t necessary to listen to any more.

    • #7
  8. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    You didn’t say anything about how impressive she is as a potential justice. I watched as you did and I was very impressed as were the Senators, I suspect even the Democrats, although they won’t mention that.

    Yes that is true. She did very well and didn’t lose her temper despite the inane and largely irrelevant line of questioning from the opposition. I think the Dems strategy was to keep badgering her until she lost her temper, thereby demonstrating that she would be unfit for the position. But she was as patient as I would expect a Mom of 7 to be with repetitive senseless questions from children.

    Reading some of the exchanges, I am reminded of why I should never appear at a legislative hearing: I would be too tempted to respond, “Congressman, are you genuinely this stupid, or are you just playing stupid for the cameras?”

    [Today’ s thought prompted by stupid comments by Sen. Blumenthal concerning the Second Amendment (Judge Barrett confirmed that her family owns a gun). Is Sen. Blumenthal similarly concerned that a justice who reads news sources or has written for publications won’t be able to judge fairly the First Amendment? Or that a judge who has ever been stopped by the police for a traffic violation won’t be able to judge fairly the Fourth Amendment (unreasonable search and seizure)?

    • #8
  9. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    You didn’t say anything about how impressive she is as a potential justice. I watched as you did and I was very impressed as were the Senators, I suspect even the Democrats, although they won’t mention that.

    My new favorite photo of Judge Barrett is in a Fox News article about the fact that the only thing she has on the table in front of her is a blank notepad. She holds up the notepad with a look of, “Sorry, this is all I got for cheat sheets.” 

    • #9
  10. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    Senator Leahy was embarrassing. His reading of his staff’s long questions was barely intelligible. He is way past his “use by” date.  Retire this fossil!

    • #10
  11. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Columbo (View Comment):

    Senator Leahy was embarrassing. His reading of his staff’s long questions was barely intelligible. He is way past his “use by” date. Retire this fossil!

    You mean good old Leaky?

    • #11
  12. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Columbo (View Comment):

    Senator Leahy was embarrassing. His reading of his staff’s long questions was barely intelligible. He is way past his “use by” date. Retire this fossil!

    Leahy has a lot of practice being embarrassing. He’s done it non-stop since 1974.

    • #12
  13. Goldgeller Member
    Goldgeller
    @Goldgeller

    I saw from Hirono up to Crapo (stopped then). She did really well in answering the questions and keeping her composure and her fluency with the law made me feel confident she will be a solid addition to the Supreme Court. 

    The questions by the democrats were really bad questions if someone wanted to get a better understanding of how ACB thinks but there were good questions in you want to motivate democrats to be angry with Trump and the process.  Fearmongering about Obamacare and healthcare and gay marriage. Deciding that the term “sexual preference” is now deeply offensive– its a get out the vote campaign and well frankly, it is a waste of everyone’s time, except for the democrat senators. Send this thing to the senate and get it over with. 

    • #13
  14. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):
    [Today’ s thought prompted by stupid comments by Sen. Blumenthal concerning the Second Amendment (Judge Barrett confirmed that her family owns a gun). Is Sen. Blumenthal similarly concerned that a justice who reads news sources or has written for publications won’t be able to judge fairly the First Amendment? Or that a judge who has ever been stopped by the police for a traffic violation won’t be able to judge fairly the Fourth Amendment (unreasonable search and seizure)?

    When you mention Sen. Blumenthal, you don’t need to include the clarifing “stupid comments.” I have found that (nearly) all comments by Sen. Blumenthal are stupid. He ranks right up there with Senators. Whitehouse and Patty Murray.

    • #14
  15. OldPhil Coolidge
    OldPhil
    @OldPhil

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    You didn’t say anything about how impressive she is as a potential justice. I watched as you did and I was very impressed as were the Senators, I suspect even the Democrats, although they won’t mention that.

    My new favorite photo of Judge Barrett is in a Fox News article about the fact that the only thing she has on the table in front of her is a blank notepad. She holds up the notepad with a look of, “Sorry, this is all I got for cheat sheets.”

    • #15
  16. OldPhil Coolidge
    OldPhil
    @OldPhil

    Kamala sitting in her safe space literally reading from a script and Amy calmly answering with no notes whatsoever. She makes most current Democratic senators look like children.

    • #16
  17. Goldgeller Member
    Goldgeller
    @Goldgeller

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    Kamala sitting in her safe space literally reading from a script and Amy calmly answering with no notes whatsoever. She makes most current Democratic senators look like children.

    This must have been a poll tested line of questioning because she’s just repeating some of these “scary” stats. It’s wild because this is just a campaign speech. Do people see this stuff for what it is? They know this is just about wasting ACBs time to cite some statistics to scare people.

    • #17
  18. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    You didn’t say anything about how impressive she is as a potential justice. I watched as you did and I was very impressed as were the Senators, I suspect even the Democrats, although they won’t mention that.

    My new favorite photo of Judge Barrett is in a Fox News article about the fact that the only thing she has on the table in front of her is a blank notepad. She holds up the notepad with a look of, “Sorry, this is all I got for cheat sheets.”

    Mazie Hirono asked her if she’s ever committed sexual assault.

    I think Mazie is a few French fries short of a Happy Meal.

    • #18
  19. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    Goldgeller (View Comment):

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    Kamala sitting in her safe space literally reading from a script and Amy calmly answering with no notes whatsoever. She makes most current Democratic senators look like children.

    This must have been a poll tested line of questioning because she’s just repeating some of these “scary” stats. It’s wild because this is just a campaign speech. Do people see this stuff for what it is? They know this is just about wasting ACBs time to cite some statistics to scare people.

    It must have been written by someone else because she hardly ever looked up from her script, as if she was reading it for the first time. Embarrassing.

    • #19
  20. Gary Robbins Reagan
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    She did very well.

    • #20
  21. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    Percival (View Comment):

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    You didn’t say anything about how impressive she is as a potential justice. I watched as you did and I was very impressed as were the Senators, I suspect even the Democrats, although they won’t mention that.

    My new favorite photo of Judge Barrett is in a Fox News article about the fact that the only thing she has on the table in front of her is a blank notepad. She holds up the notepad with a look of, “Sorry, this is all I got for cheat sheets.”

    Mazie Hirono asked her if she’s ever committed sexual assault.

    I think Mazie is a few French fries short of a Happy Meal.

    Sen. Hirono did a spectacular job of embarrassing herself in the Kavanaugh hearings, demonstrating both ignorance (of some quite basic facts about the structure of the U.S. government) and a mean streak. Ignorant and mean is really a winning combination. She brought out the mean streak also in her insulting comment about the wording “sexual preference” that @goldgeller mentioned in Comment #13 above. 

    • #21
  22. Goldgeller Member
    Goldgeller
    @Goldgeller

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    You didn’t say anything about how impressive she is as a potential justice. I watched as you did and I was very impressed as were the Senators, I suspect even the Democrats, although they won’t mention that.

    My new favorite photo of Judge Barrett is in a Fox News article about the fact that the only thing she has on the table in front of her is a blank notepad. She holds up the notepad with a look of, “Sorry, this is all I got for cheat sheets.”

    Mazie Hirono asked her if she’s ever committed sexual assault.

    I think Mazie is a few French fries short of a Happy Meal.

    Sen. Hirono did a spectacular job of embarrassing herself in the Kavanaugh hearings, demonstrating both ignorance (of some quite basic facts about the structure of the U.S. government) and a mean streak. Ignorant and mean is really a winning combination. She brought out the mean streak also in her insulting comment about the wording “sexual preference” that @goldgeller mentioned in Comment #13 above.

    I think she really was incredulous at the idea that the Court shouldn’t just pick up whatever ball Congress or the Democrats dropped and run with and play cleanup. It just didn’t compute for her. I think some democrats actually believe there is a “people are frightened” clause in the Constitution that lets Congress do what they want. 

    I saw John Kennedy’s questioning and he actually did a really good job of letting ACB actually explain how she’d think through cases. I didn’t have a sense of him before this but it was actually worth watching. 

    • #22
  23. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    Goldgeller (View Comment):
    I think some democrats actually believe there is a “people are frightened” clause in the Constitution that lets Congress do what they want. 

    Good one!  We’ve certainly seen that mindset during the pandemic. 

    • #23
  24. Giulietta Coolidge
    Giulietta
    @giuliettachicago

    Sen. Hirono’s questioning about whether ACB had ever sexually assaulted someone was a Hirono Classic. Please tell me that Hawaii, with all its associated volcanic islands, can churn up a better senator than Hirono at some point.

    • #24
  25. JamesSalerno Coolidge
    JamesSalerno
    @JamesSalerno

    Yes, but does she like beer?

    • #25
  26. MARTIN WORNATH Coolidge
    MARTIN WORNATH
    @ManOfTheWest

    The Democrat Senators were not “asking questions” of her to explore her judicial temperament, they were making campaign speeches in the form of questions.

    • #26
  27. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    MARTIN WORNATH (View Comment):

    The Democrat Senators were not “asking questions” of her to explore her judicial temperament, they were making campaign speeches in the form of questions.

    Just like every other time.

    • #27
  28. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    Giulietta (View Comment):

    Sen. Hirono’s questioning about whether ACB had ever sexually assaulted someone was a Hirono Classic. Please tell me that Hawaii, with all its associated volcanic islands, can churn up a better senator than Hirono at some point.

    I disagree.  Since the last nominee’s ox was badly gored by fraudulent allegations of sexual assault, this is a reasonable thing to elucidate.  However, given that the answer was predictably “no”, it allowed ACB to get ahead of the count on the matter.  Hirono asked the question that an ACB advocate should have asked.

    Unless, of course, senator Old than Dirt Feinstein has a letter in her desk drawer…

    • #28
  29. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    Giulietta (View Comment):

    Sen. Hirono’s questioning about whether ACB had ever sexually assaulted someone was a Hirono Classic. Please tell me that Hawaii, with all its associated volcanic islands, can churn up a better senator than Hirono at some point.

    I disagree. Since the last nominee’s ox was badly gored by fraudulent allegations of sexual assault, this is a reasonable thing to elucidate. However, given that the answer was predictably “no”, it allowed ACB to get ahead of the count on the matter. Hirono asked the question that an ACB advocate should have asked.

    Unless, of course, senator Old than Dirt Feinstein has a letter in her desk drawer…

    Or if she doesn’t already, she might soon…

    • #29
  30. Casey Way Member
    Casey Way
    @CaseyWay

    Percival (View Comment):

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    You didn’t say anything about how impressive she is as a potential justice. I watched as you did and I was very impressed as were the Senators, I suspect even the Democrats, although they won’t mention that.

    My new favorite photo of Judge Barrett is in a Fox News article about the fact that the only thing she has on the table in front of her is a blank notepad. She holds up the notepad with a look of, “Sorry, this is all I got for cheat sheets.”

    Mazie Hirono asked her if she’s ever committed sexual assault.

    I think Mazie is a few French fries short of a Happy Meal.

    More like an empty Happy Meal box.

    • #30