Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, tried to immortalize her vote Monday night against the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett for the U.S. Supreme Court when she walked to a table on the floor of the Senate, pointed her thumbs down and said, “hell no” while casting her vote.
The vote did not affect the evening’s outcome but was seen as an encapsulation of the deep frustrations felt by Democrats that President Trump would be filling a court seat just a week from the November election.
Hirono was criticized over her treatment of Barrett during the confirmation hearings. She asked the judge if she ever “made unwanted requests for sexual favors, or committed any physical or verbal harassment or assault of a sexual nature?”
Barrett responded, “No,” and Hirono told her that she asks the question to all nominees who come before committees on which she sits.
Hirono also scolded the Trump appointee for saying "sexual preference" during the hearing.
"Let me make clear, 'sexual preference' is an offensive and outdated term," Hirono said. "It is used by the anti-LGBTQ activists to suggest that sexual orientation is a choice. It is not. Sexual orientation is a key part of a person's identity... So if it is your view that sexual orientation is merely a 'preference,' as you noted, then the LGBTQ community should be rightly concerned whether you will uphold their constitutional right to marry."
Her decision on Monday to vote in such a dramatic fashion and then seem to exit the chamber was criticized by Republicans on social media who saw the move as theatrics that play for the Democrat base. Her office did not immediately respond to an email from Fox News seeking comment.
All Republicans, except for Sen. Susan Collins, voted in favor of the confirmation; every Democrat opposed it.
The Barrett nomination process brought new tension to Washington that seemed to culminate when Demand Justice, a left-wing organization, called on Sen. Dianne Feinstein to step down from the judiciary committee. The California Democrat also drew fire when she embraced Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., at the end of the fourth and final day of testimony in Barrett’s confirmation hearing.
The Supreme Court said in a press release Monday that Barrett will be able to start her new role after Chief Justice John Roberts administers her judicial oath on Tuesday. Justice Clarence Thomas administered the constitutional oath at Monday's ceremony.
Barrett told the audience at the South Lawn of the White House Monday night, "It is the job of a senator to pursue her policy preferences. In fact, it would be a dereliction of duty for her to put policy goals aside. By contrast, it is the job of a judge to resist her policy preferences. It would be a dereliction of duty for her to give into them. Federal judges don't stand for election. Thus, they have no basis for claiming that their preferences reflect those of the people."
Fox News' Sam Dorman, Joseph Wulfshon and Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report