The Worst of Mazie Hirono

September 25, 2018

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D., Hawaii) is having a moment as a prominent voice against the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, making remarks like suggesting he's guilty until proven innocent and telling the men of the country to "shut up."

The Wall Street Journal ripped her in an editorial for saying Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her at a high school party, had to be believed, saying the presumption of guilt was the new liberal standard for justice.

Pressed on her stance by CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday, Hirono made the eyebrow-raising remark that she doubted Kavanaugh's credibility because of his jurisprudence.

"I put his denial in the context of everything that I know about him in terms of how he approaches his cases," she said. "When I say that he is very outcome driven, he has an ideological agenda, very outcome-driven, and I could sit here and talk to you about some of the cases that exemplifies his ability to be fair."

Hirono hasn't backed off the remarks in the days since, telling MSNBC that "we are not in a court of law" but rather a "court of credibility," and dismissing the idea Kavanaugh should have the "presumption of innocence" Tuesday on CNN.

Hirono impressed some in the media–HuffPost called it an "important message"–by telling men to "shut up and step up" concerning the sexual assault charge against Kavanaugh.

"I just want to say to the men in this country, just shut up and step up," she snapped at a press conference. "Do the right thing, for a change."

While Hirono was among the Senate Democrats who called for the resignation of Sen. Al Franken (D., Minn.) last year after allegations of sexual misconduct, National Review noted she appeared silent about a charge of sexual assault made against Sen. Daniel Inouye (D., Hawaii) in 1992 when she was one of his proteges in the Hawaii State House.

Democrats have been apoplectic about Merrick Garland being denied a confirmation hearing and a vote by Senate Republicans since 2016, so they may be troubled to hear her say last week that Democrats could hold up any Trump Supreme Court nominee beginning in 2019 should they capture the U.S. Senate in November.

As she put it on Politico's "Off Message" podcast, "the world does not come to an end because we don't fill all of the nominees."

She's referred to Supreme Court justices Neil Gorsuch, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito as the "three horsemen of the Apocalypse," and she registered confusion in August when a Trump administration immigration official pointed out illegal immigrants were breaking U.S. law upon crossing the border.