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Opinion: Really, Sen. Cruz? This is what you asked Judge Barrett

October 13, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks as Judge Amy Coney Barrett appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee on day two of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on October 13, 2020. - President Donald Trump's US Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett faces a sharply divided Senate October 13, 2020 for her first question-and-answer session, with Republicans praising her faith and qualifications and Democrats set to bombard her over healthcare. (Photo by Alex Edelman / POOL / AFP) (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Laura Coates writes that Sen. Ted Cruz wasted a precious opportunity to ask Judge Amy Coney Barrett about her judicial record, an issue on the top of many voters' minds, and instead asked her questions about her personal life, which he likely would not have asked of a male nominee.

After speaking for over 20 minutes, the Texas Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee decided to ask Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a seminal legal mind, about her children's distance learning and piano lessons.

But rather than ask Barrett about her judicial philosophy of originalism, stare decisis, her controversial academic writings as a law professor or her judicial opinions over the past three years as a judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals -- all of which are top of mind for many voters -- he bafflingly decided that these four questions were a far better use of her intelligence.

While Barrett was gracious enough to answer the senator's questions, even laughing and smiling while doing so, many women -- myself included -- re-envisioned a different conversation playing out, one in which Barrett would have insisted and been given the space to discuss her judicial record, convince the panel of her impartiality and confront other US senators' consequential concerns, rather than engage in the ridiculous small talk to which few, if any, male nominees would have ever been subjected.

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