Why the Barrett hearings are verging on the absurd

Barrett’s refusal to offer her views on virtually every issue wasn’t surprising — almost all judicial nominees from both parties do that. But that approach turned Tuesday’s hearings into … OK, I’ll just say it: a farce.

Barrett is a one-time clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia and describes him as a role model. She’s aligned herself with anti-abortion causes and groups. She’s been championed by the conservative Federalist Society, was part of a group of a conservative judges appointed by the Trump administration at the lower-court level and has issued a number of conservative rulings in her time as an appeals court judge. Her repeatedly implying that she is not sure how she would rule on some of these hot-button issues is misleading — even if it’s par for the course in present-day judicial confirmation processes.

Democratic senators repeatedly asking Barrett about her views on these questions was a pointless exercise, as a result. It seemed, for example, like Sen. Dianne Feinstein, of California, thought that if she asked Barrett for her views on abortion enough times that Barrett would somehow be tricked or guilted into answering. Barrett, of course, stuck with the non-committal approach.

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