Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii has sure distinguished herself during the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Amy Coney Barrett.
The Democratic member of the Judiciary Committee perhaps first became a nationally known figure when she told America’s men to “shut up” and listen to the accusers of now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearings in 2018.
Now, with her questioning during the Barrett confirmation process, Hirono appears to be trying to make a name for herself again.
Fulfilling a pledge she made in January of 2018 to ask all court nominees if they have a history of sexual assault or harassment — and perhaps wanting to relive the “glory” days of the Kavanaugh smears — Hirono asked the bizarre question of Barrett Tuesday:
“Since you became a legal adult, have you ever made unwanted requests for sexual favors or committed any verbal or physical harassment or assault of a sexual nature?”
Sen. Mazie Hirono asks ACB “since you became a legal adult, have you ever made unwanted requests for sexual favors or committed any verbal or physical harassment or assault of a sexual nature?” pic.twitter.com/6JgLkoIXIF
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) October 13, 2020
The former Notre Dame Law School professor stated she had not.
Hirono then launched into a series of questions that explains why the left gets so freaked out about originalist/textualist judges like Barrett and the late Justice Antonin Scalia: Because they actually follow the law.
“Do you think it is appropriate for justices to consider real-world impacts in their decision making as Justice [Ruth Bader] Ginsburg noted in a number of her dissents?” the senator asked.
Barrett pointed to the doctrine of stare decisis (a Latin phrase meaning “to stand by things decided”) as an example when judges do consider the real-world impact of their rulings.
The doctrine calls for decisions in a case to be consistent with previous like ones, so the public can rely on them.
The presumption is to uphold previous rulings in the case at hand, unless the court determines the precedent was in error.
Hirono cited the Affordable Care Act as an example of a law that should be upheld due to the impact striking it down would have on the public.
The lawmaker referenced stories that she and her Democratic colleagues on the committee told about Americans who would be negatively affected if the law were struck down.
“Judge Barrett, are you saying that all the stories that we brought forth yesterday and the millions of people who are relying on the Affordable Care Act can rely upon you that those impacts would be considered by you. That you would consider those to be legal arguments that you would consider?” she asked (about the 2:40 mark in the video above).
“When you say you’re going to make a decision based on the law, the real-life stories that we’ve been talking about, you would consider those to be part of the law?” Hirono followed up.
What strange questions. Personal stories are not legal arguments — either for or against whether the law is constitutional.
Barrett didn’t take the bait.
“What I’m trying to align myself with is the law and that I will take into account all factors, including real-world impacts when the law makes them relevant as it clearly does, for example, in the doctrine of stare decisis,” she said.
Hirono dismissed the notion that judges should not weigh the policy implications of their decisions, instead of focusing solely on the legal questions at hand.
She called that a “fiction” (about the 8:50 mark in the video).
“I know that there is some discussion about some distinction that you make about policy versus the law and I find that distinction to be a fiction, because every law, or most laws we pass, are supposed to have real-world impacts. Otherwise, why should we pass the law?” Hirono asked.
Believe it or not, there are many laws that may have good intentions and are helpful to people, but may not be constitutional.
The Supreme Court is not there to grant authority to the federal government it does not have.
That’s why the Founders created an amendment process, so the people could decide.
The court is there to uphold the rule of law.
It appears the Amy Coney Barrett understands that, but Sen. Hirono does not.
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