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On Monday, in his opening statement in the confirmation hearings for Ketanji Brown Jackson, President Biden’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Senator Ted Cruz targeted Biden, pointing out that the shameful treatment of Justice Clarence Thomas at his confirmation hearings were held when Biden himself was the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Cruz also pointed out the Democrats’ ignominious treatment of Judge Robert Bork, not mentioning that the vicious attacks on him, which led to the term “borking” being coined, also were led by Committee Chairman Biden and then-Senator Ted Kennedy, as Bork wrote about copiously in his classic, “The Tempting of America.”
“Supreme Court nominations were not always controversial … so what changed?” Cruz asked rhetorically, continuing:
Well, what changed was starting in the 1960’s and the 1970’s the Supreme Court’s role in our society changed dramatically; the Supreme Court became a policy-making body rather than merely a judicial body. … Our Democratic colleagues want the Supreme Court to be anti-democratic. Our Democratic colleagues get frustrated with the democratic process. When they can’t pass gun-control laws because the American people don’t support them, they want unelected judges to mandate those same laws instead. Law after law after law that they can’t get through the democratic process the Democrats have decided it’s much simpler to convince five lawyers in black robes than to try to convince 330 million Americans. That is why Supreme Court confirmations have become so contentious, is because the Supreme Court has arrogated to itself a responsibility the Constitution doesn’t give it, which is to make contested policy decisions and take them away from the American people.
Turning to the current hearing, he stated, “Now what should this hearing be and what should it not be? You’ve heard a number of members of the Republican side of the aisle quite clear on what it should not be. This will not be a political circus. This will not be the kind of character smear that, sadly, our Democratic colleagues have gotten very good at.”
“It’s important to note that couple of years ago I was doing my weekly podcast and I was on with a noted liberal intellectual who made a comment something to the effect of “Both sides do this; both sides smear Supreme Court Justices,” he recalled. “And I was forced to laugh out and say, ‘Look, I understand that’s a pretty good talking point. It just happens not to be true.’ It is only one side of the aisle, the Democratic aisle, that went so into the gutter with Judge Robert Bork that they invented a new verb: to ‘bork’ someone.”
“It is only one side of the aisle that with Justice Clarence Thomas was so reprehensible that as the president who nominated him, President George Herbert Walker Bush, wrote at the time, ‘What is happening to Clarence Thomas is just plain horrible. All the groups that tried to beat him up on abortion, affirmative action, have now come out of the woodwork. They are trying to destroy a decent man. This is an ugly process and one can see clearly why so many good people elect to stay out of public life.’”
Cruz noted, “As Justice Thomas observed in that hearing, what happened there was, to use his words, a high-tech lynching. And I would note the chairman that presided over that disgrace was Joe Biden.”
“And then most of the members of this committee remember the confirmation hearing of Brett Kavanaugh, one of the lowest moments in the history of this committee, where Democrats on this committee sat on allegations, didn’t refer them to the FBI, didn’t ask for investigations, hid them, and then leaked them against the wishes of the complainant,” Cruz asserted. “And we began a circus that featured Spartacus moments; featured such nuts as Michael Avenatti, whom CNN breathlessly for some months described as a possible Democratic presidential candidate — that’s before presumably he became a felon in recent months.”
Cruz said, “Judge Jackson, I can assure you that your hearing will feature none of that disgraceful behavior. No one is going to inquire into your teenage dating habits. No one is going to ask you with mock severity, ‘Do you like beer?”‘