Reporter/commentator Brendan Kirby has watched enough of the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing to identify the “Five dumbest questions put to Gorsuch.” Kirby’s report is current as of 10:19 a.m. yesterday, so it may not be his last word on the subject. However, each of Kirby’s winners is deserving of recognition in its own right.
Minnesota Senators Amy Klobuchar (with one) and Al Franken (with two) account for three of the five dumbest questions. Hey, Minnesota, we’re number one!
Kirby doesn’t say it, but I will. The competition for recognition was stiff. Each of the Democratic members contributed questions that deserved to be ranked among the winners. This is one contest in which the concept of the participation trophy makes perfect sense.
Kirby’s frame of reference excludes the members’ statements and monologues. Here Senator Leahy really came into his own, though again the competition for recognition would be intense. While Republicans may deserve their designation as the stupid party, the Senate’s Democratic crew is long on guile but not exactly full of intellectual heavyweights.
The video above captures Senator Klobuchar’s crude effort to disparage the doctrine of originalism. She seems not to understand that the masculine pronoun includes the feminine and to assert tacitly that the Constitution by originalist lights may prohibit a female president. That seems to be the gist of the question recognized by Kirby for its stupidity:
The questioner: Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).
The issue: Klobuchar pressed Gorsuch about his views on originalism, a concept in which judges adhere to the strict meaning of the Constitution when it was written.
The question: “So when the Constitution refers, like, 30-some times to ‘his’ or ‘he’ when describing the president of the United States, you would see that as, well back then, they thought a woman actually could be president of the United States even though women couldn’t vote?”
The answer: “I’m not looking to take us back to quill pens and horses … Of course women can be president of the United States. I’m the father of two daughters. And I hope one of them turns out to be president.” In response to a similar question about the Air Force, which did not exist at the time of the Constitutional convention, he said, “Senator, I think the generals of the Air Force can rest easy.”
The founders recognized the natural equality of rights among men and women. When they asserted that “all men are created equal” — shocker! — “men” meant “mankind” or “human beings” and included “women.”