On the first day of the Senate confirmation hearings for President Joe Biden's SCOTUS nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) criticized the Democratic Party for making the Supreme Court nomination about race.
Jackson has been at the center of controversy since Biden made good on his promise to nominate a black woman to the Supreme Court. Republican lawmakers, like Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), have scrutinized Jackson's record as a judge who has lambasted the judicial system's "unfair" treatment of convicted sex offenders.
Progressives, however, have used Jackson's race as a defense against record critiques, calling any requests for the nominee's LSAT score "textbook racism."
"It is no longer the case that Supreme Court confirmation hearings are merely about qualifications..." Cruz said. "Our Democratic colleagues have abandoned that standard long ago. Our Democratic colleagues, then Senator Joe Biden, was perfectly happy to vote against John Robert, someone who was unquestionably qualified for the court. He was perfectly happy to vote against Sam Alito, someone who was unquestionably qualified for the court. And indeed, every member of our Democratic colleagues, who was here at the time, participated in the first ever filibuster of a Supreme Court justice on partisan lines with Justice Neil Gorsuch."
Cruz said, "They did so for someone unquestionably qualified, but they had a political agenda," noting "every one of them happily filibustered" Gorsuch.
"We will see Democrats in the media suggests that any senator that is skeptical of your nomination that questions you vigorously or that dares to vote against you must somehow harbor racial animus if that were the standard," Cruz noted.
Cruz went on to emphasize that multiple senior Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee "happily filibustered Judge Janice Rogers Brown, a very qualified African American woman nominated to the DC Circuit."
"And they did so precisely because they wanted to prevent Judge Brown from becoming Justice Brown, the first African American woman. Joe Biden was among the Democrats, filibustering the first African American woman nominated to the DC Circuit," the Republican senator from Texas pointed out Monday.
The senior Democrats on this committee also filibustered Miguel Estrada, he pivoted. As the staff for Sen. Ted Kennedy said in writing at the time, the Democrats filibustered Miguel Estrada, "because he is Hispanic," said Cruz.
"They were explicitly racial," Cruz stated, warning that if "you are Hispanic or African-American and you dare depart from [Democrats'] political orthodoxy, they will crush you; they will attack you; they will slander; they will filibuster you."
Also at the hearing Monday morning, Cruz said "our Democratic colleagues want the Supreme Court to be anti-democratic," alleging the progressive lawmakers in Congress are "frustrated with the democratic process" and want to push left-wing measures like gun control laws through the highest court via "unelected judges."
"This will not be a political circus," Cruz said of what the hearing should not be. "This will not be the kind of character smear that sadly our Democratic colleagues have gotten very good at," he declared referring to when Justice Brett Kavanaugh underwent a ruthless character assassination back in October 2018.
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