(USA Features) Sen. Ted Cruz pushed back against a self-described law school student who attempted to claim Republicans engaging in so-called “court-packing” when they controlled the House and Senate.
The Texas Republican, speaking at a news conference with Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., in front of the Supreme Court building on Friday, railed against Democratic legislative efforts to expand the court from nine to 13, accusing them of a “power grab.”
“You didn’t see Republicans, when we had control of the Senate, try to rig the game. You didn’t see us try to pack the court,” Cruz said, The Blaze reported.
After he spoke, a man who is reported to be a law student approached and wanted to know what was the difference between “packing the courts” and the GOP Senate majority’s actions in 2016 to prevent then-Democratic President Barack Obama from filling a vacancy, as well as adding justices to the court in the years since.
“Senators, how is court-packing any different than what the Republicans did in 2016 and 2020?” the student asked.
— Billy Berns (@BillyBerns) April 22, 2021
“We filled vacancies, that’s not packing the court,” Cruz responded.
“They’re doing something that’s allowed under the Constitution,” the student pressed. “It’s not an obstruction to the rule of law if it’s in the law.”
Cruz explained that Democrats are attempting to “politicize” the high court with left-wing justices, giving them the majority.
“You politicized the court in 2016!” the student replied, using an argument Democrats at the time made when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would not allow the chamber to consider the nomination of then-federal Judge Merrick Garland, who is now President Joe Biden’s attorney general.
The student went on to claim that what Democrats are attempting to do now by adding justices is no different than what Republicans did when they controlled the chamber and approved three of former President Donald Trump’s nominees.
“We didn’t pack the court, we didn’t add a single justice,” Cruz fired back. “We could’ve done this same garbage, but we didn’t because it would’ve been wrong.”
As the student continued to argue, Cruz said that Biden would be in a position to nominate justices if there are vacancies.
“Look, if there’s a judicial vacancy Joe Biden and the Democrats in the Senate are entitled to act to try to fill it and if they nominate someone bad, we’ll oppose that justice. That’s the political process, that’s how it operates,” Cruz said.