During the course of her questioning of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett Tuesday, Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii asked the judge if she had ever sexually assaulted someone.
"Since you became a legal adult, have you ever made unwanted requests for sexual favors, or committed any physical or verbal harassment or assault of a sexual nature?" Hirono inquired.
Seated in front of her seven children, Barrett replied, "No, Senator Hirono."
The senator continued to press Barrett on the same issue.
"Have you ever faced discipline or entered into a settlement related to this kind of conduct?" she asked Barrett.
Again, the appeals court judge replied, "No, Senator."
Hirono justified her line of questioning by citing a 2017 statement from Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who acknowledged that the federal courts are not immune to sexual misconduct.
The junior senator from Hawaii said she felt it was her duty to "ensure the fitness of nominees" and thus is compelled to ask those questions of all judicial nominees who come before her committee.
Hirono then moved on to discuss Barrett's judicial philosophy.