Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, said on Tuesday that she had never "made unwanted requests for sexual favours, or committed any physical or verbal harassment or assault of a sexual nature".
Barrett also denied that she had "ever faced discipline or entered into a settlement related to this kind of conduct".
This came in response to Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono's question on the matter as Trump's nominee was grilled by Republicans and Democrats before the Senate Judiciary Committee during day two of Barrett's confirmation hearings.
Netizens immediately clashed over whether it was appropriate for Hirono to ask such a question, with some insisting that "it's something she's asked all nominees".
Its something she's asked all nominees. So everyone calm down, she's just doing what she is legally allowed to do.— Mackenzie (@mackenziefrye) October 13, 2020
This is a standard question for any confirmation hearing…— William LeGate 🇺🇸 (@williamlegate) October 13, 2020
That’s a relevant question.— SpauldingCoach (@CoachLspaulding) October 13, 2020
She asks every Supreme Court nominee this.— Rogue 🚀 Scientist (@scientist_rogue) October 14, 2020
"This is a standard question for any confirmation hearing", one user argued, while another tweeted that "it's a relevant question".
Many, however, berated Hirono for what they described as "disgraceful" behaviour, with one Twitter user wondering "how low the left can go".
If you're related to Hirono, you should be embarrassed with that asinine statement/questions! How in the hell is this person part of the committee?!! My goodness!! 🤦🏻♀️— nelia 🎃🧡🇺🇸 (@texafan123) October 13, 2020
What kind of question is that? And in front of her family. This kind of question only reflects badly on the person asking. Shameful.— The Cairn's 'kern (@CairnKern) October 13, 2020
Sometimes I wonder how low can the left go? Then I remember the Marianas trench which is the lowest point on Earth is probably the equivalent of a pothole compared to a liberal’s morale compass— Heath Darr (@HeathDarr1) October 14, 2020
That is the most sickening and ridiculous question I’ve ever heard of— - (@bfortrump20) October 13, 2020
Amazing and scary to think a question like that comes from 1 of the 100 people who run our senate.— JimboFig (@JimboFig) October 13, 2020
Hirono needs to be immediately removed from the Judiciary Committee! Absolutely despicable of her to ask that. But she is a Democrat, so it’s not surprising. 😡😡😡— Robert Fullmer (@rgfullmer) October 13, 2020
This appalling line of questioning has to stop, unless there is clear evidence to support it.— Bushwalking Light 🇦🇺 (@BushwalkingLite) October 14, 2020
That is outrageous and sick. Those people have no common decency or shame. Does that really leave any doubt about which party is deserving of your vote!— Iowa Boy (@IowaBoy2021) October 13, 2020
The intelligence level of some of these democrats is scary! How did they ever get to Congress n never mind, I don’t want to know!— Linda Ann (@teacher397) October 13, 2020
So insane, how can you be an elected official and ask a question like that. Show some respect! 🙏🇺🇸— Jonas Christensen (@JonasChr88) October 13, 2020
"Absolutely despicable of her to ask that. But she is a Democrat, so it's not surprising", he added.
The procedure is expected to last four days, with the Republicans hoping to confirm Barrett ahead of the 3 November presidential election and seeking to strengthen a 6-3 advantage in the country's highest court.
Earlier, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden called on the Senate not to confirm any Supreme Court candidate until after the November vote.