Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., became the target of derision Wednesday during the Senate confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett.
Sasse asked Barrett to list the “five freedoms” in the First Amendment. She listed four: speech, press, religion and assembly. Barrett then asked Sasse to help her fill in the fifth.
Sasse responded by saying the right to petition the government for the redress of grievances.
Sasse: "What are the five freedoms of the First Amendment?"
Amy Coney Barrett: "Speech, religion, press, assembly….uh…What am I missing?"
Sasse: "Redress or protest."
There was another bizarre moment in the hearings. Sasse, who has been in the Senate since 2015, pivoted from the constitution to discuss baseball — specifically, the Houston Astros, who were caught cheating in the 2017 MLB postseason.
“I’d like to talk about the Houston Astros, who are miserable cheaters,” Sasse said and acknowledged Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.
He added: “I think all baseball fans know that the Astros cheat. They steal signs. They bang on cans. They’ve done a whole bunch of miserable things, historically.”
This is one of the worst questions during a congressional hearing I have ever heard.
Sen. Ben Sasse calls the Astros "miserable cheaters" and tries to spin a question of out it. Stick to politics? pic.twitter.com/tFKS4JEcD8
On Monday, Sasse, who has been critical of President Donald Trump, delivered an eighth-grade civics lesson, saying he wanted to make sure Americans understood the process and the function of each branch of government.
I think I want someone besides Ben Sasse to teach me civics.
Republican Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Ranked by Loathsomeness
Even if she didn't know them, Sasse listed them on Monday… https://t.co/yIFZFIcELp
Meanwhile, senators covered much of the same ground Wednesday as they had in their two previous sessions, attempting to get Barrett to commit to specific positions on issues such as abortion rights, Obamacare and any election dispute that should arise from the coming presidential election. Barrett sidestepped, saying it would be inappropriate to comment on anything that might come before the court.
During a moment of inadvertent levity, Barrett said she would approach every case with an “open wine” before correcting herself and saying, “open mind.”
The questioning was interrupted in the afternoon session by a technical problem with microphones.