‘When in your opinion does life begin?’: Court nom balks when questioned by straight-shooting senator

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Louisiana Senator John Kennedy (R-La.) pummeled Ninth Circuit nominee Gabriel Sanchez with simple questions about his personal beliefs, to which the judicial nominee refused to provide a direct answer on Wednesday.

“When in your opinion does life begin?” Kennedy asked, making it abundantly clear that he was asking the judge’s personal opinion on the matter.

Sanchez who is currently a justice on the California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, stumbled over his words and refused to give a direct answer to the question. He eventually cited that “as a judicial nominee and as a sitting judge, I would not want those views to weigh into how I approach cases.”

The exchange occurred at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday where Sanchez and five other nominees appeared before the panel for questioning before the nominations are sent to a vote by the full Senate, Court House News reported.

(Video Credit: Senator John Kennedy)

Moving on, Kennedy inquired, “Biologically, how many sexes are there?”

“As I understand it, there are different views on that topic,” Sanchez answered indirectly.

“Biologically, in your opinion, as a thinking adult, how many sexes are there?” the senator asked again.

“It is a matter of importance and debate in our society today,” Sanchez stated after much deflection.

Kennedy also asked if Sanchez believed the Ninth Circuit District Court of Appeals was systemically racist. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that he circled around that answer, too.

“Why won’t you answer my questions judge?” Kennedy asked rhetorically.

But lo and behold, Kennedy did finally get a direct answer to a question.

“What is your favorite color?” Kennedy asked.

“Blue,” Sanchez answered definitively.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) also took a turn grilling Sanchez, focusing his line of questioning on his involvement with Proposition 57 in California which many believe has made California less safe.

“As a result of your direct efforts, violent criminals were paroled and California was made less safe,” Cruz stated, according to a report by Reuters. “Did you intend for violent criminals to be released early or were you simply unaware of the consequences of your actions?”

Sanchez responded that they knew “it would affect the entire population of the prison system, hopefully to get people to rehabilitate and improve their lives.”

Many condemned Sanchez’s responses, citing that his refusal to answer the questions was an indicator that he “lacks a backbone.”


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