Last week’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, like so many before them, went beyond simply vetting a candidate for the U.S. Supreme Court. They offered a window into the culture.

Amid soliloquies about the Affordable Care Act, a tour of American government and constitutional law and explications of an originalism whose inherent countermajoritarian dilemma was left unchallenged, the hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett were laced with a disquieting gender bias. That it thrived during proceedings to fill the seat of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a woman who dedicated her life to eradicating that brand of stereotype, illustrates its insidiousness and bathed the hearings in irony.

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