Sen. Hirono Hammers Amy Coney Barrett For Using the Slur 'Sexual Preference' While Referring to Gay People


Day two of the confirmation hearing of Judge Amy Coney Barrett was characterized by Barrett’s refusal to answer straightforward questions about race, abortion, and health care. But there was a moment worth perking up for. Late Tuesday afternoon, Sen. Mazie Hirono pointed out that earlier in the day, Barrett neglected to offer a direct answer as to whether she agreed with the 2015 Supreme Court decision which legalized same-sex marriage in the United States. But it wasn’t simply Barrett’s evasiveness that concerned Hirono: Barrett used the term “sexual preference” to describe members of the LGBTQ community.

“Sexual preference is an offensive and outdated term,” Hirono said.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.”

Hirono added that the identity aspect was a major factor in the 2015 decision and doubted that Barrett’s language was an accident. Notably, Barrett’s hero, the late Justice Antonin Scalia, wrote the dissenting opinion for the landmark case. Later, during a line of questioning with Sen. Cory Booker, Barrett insisted she “didn’t mean to offend” with her “sexual preference” comment.

Yeah, sure. This charade will linger well into the night, and will continue throughout the week. Don’t expect much enlightenment; it’s increasingly clear that this is all for appearances, that the Republican-majority Senate will speedily vote her onto the Supreme Court lest an unforeseeable hindrance occurs. But, hey, it’s 2020, so who knows.

Speaking of Barrett, 88 of her Notre Dame colleagues have written an open letter urging the Supreme Court nominee to withdraw her nomination until after the 2020 presidential election. Their rationale? The rushed nomination process, the clear violation of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s final wishes, and the nation’s ever-widening divisions:

The rushed nature of your nomination process, which you certainly recognize as an exercise in raw power politics, may effectively deprive the American people of a voice in selecting the next Supreme Court justice. You are not, of course, responsible for the anti-democratic machinations driving your nomination. Nor are you complicit in the Republican hypocrisy of fast-tracking your nomination weeks before a presidential election when many of the same senators refused to grant Merrick Garland so much as a hearing a full year before the last election. However, you can refuse to be party to such maneuvers. We ask that you honor the democratic process and insist the hearings be put on hold until after the voters have made their choice.

The letter went on to call the timing of Barrett’s nomination—just days after the Ginsburg’s death—“unseemly” and stressed that Barrett’s nomination will “further inflame our civic wounds, undermine confidence in the court, and deepen the divide among ordinary citizens.”

It’s worth noting that none of the signatories hail from Notre Dame’s Law School, where Barrett is a professor. It’s also worth noting that Barrett likely doesn’t give a fuck. Hell continues!

  • More bad court news: The 2020 census is officially fucked:
  • Oh, and some Trump goons on the courts are backing Texas Gov. Abbott’s voter suppression scheme of requiring only one ballot box per county in the state. [Washington Post]
  • President Trump did this last night, unfortunately:
  • And in other unfortunate news, the Trump campaign still doesn’t give a shit about social distancing:
  • How long can you expect to wait in line to vote? Well, that depends: What’s your skin color? [NBC News]
  • Sen. Marsha Blackburn acting incredibly normal on main.

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