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Jeff Flake Asks Neil Gorsuch Irrelevant Questions During Senate Confirmation Hearing

Jeff Flake Asks Neil Gorsuch Irrelevant Questions During Senate Confirmation Hearing
Screengrab/CSPAN
For upward of 10 hours Tuesday, members of the Senate Judiciary Committee probed Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch to find out his views on topics like physician-assisted suicide, maternity leave, and abortion.

And Arizona Republican Senator Jeff Flake showed that he's taking the confirmation process very seriously.

"My family's been texting me throughout this process, asking me to ask questions that they would ask," he said when his turn to ask questions came up. "My son Dallin, a teenager, said, 'Ask him if he would rather fight 100 duck-sized horses or a horse-sized duck.'"

Gorsuch looked at him blankly, with the expression usually reserved for someone trying to figure out whether the crazed-looking guy on the light-rail platform is about to murder them, or just wants some money.

"I'd never heard that either," Flake added. "Apparently it was a question on Reddit a while ago."

"You can tell that I'm very rarely at a loss for words," Gorsuch replied, blinking a bit. "But you got me."

(The question has been a meme on the internet at least since 2013 and has been pontificated on by such heavyweights as New York Times Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Nicholas Kristof.)

Flake then followed up with another hard-hitting line of inquiry: "My brother Scott asked me if you've ever worn gym shorts and a tank top under your robe."

Finally catching on to the fact that Flake was just burning up time so that other senators couldn't ask about relevant topics like, you know, women's rights, Gorsuch jokingly responded that he'd have to plead the Fifth. That earned him some fake laughter from the other Republicans in the audience.

But while we'll never know whether or not Gorsuch wears gym attire under his judge's robe, he did answer additional queries from the Flake family, such as what he does for fun (ski) and where he likes to go on vacation (Winter Park, Colorado). Illuminating!

Also, Flake asked him about the largest trout he'd ever caught, and Gorsuch rambled a bit about how fishing is great and he also likes to read novels. Great.

Video of the full exchange isn't online yet, but you can watch an excerpt here:



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Antonia Noori Farzan is a staff writer at New Times and an honors graduate of Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. Before moving to Arizona, she worked for the New Times Broward-Palm Beach.