Ed covered the confirmation theatrics this morning with Senators, led by Kamala Harris (but organized by Chuck Schumer), interrupting and moving to adjourn the hearing before it even got started. There were at least 44 interruptions before things settled down enough for Senators to make their statements.
Ted Cruz used his allotted time to make a sustained and fairly convincing argument that everything Democrats were doing was really just an attempt to relitigate the results of the 2016 election. But Cruz said that ultimately the Democratic tactics would be a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing.
“I want to discuss what this hearing is about and what it’s not about,” Cruz said. “First, this hearing is not about the qualifications of the nominee,” he said, pointing to Kavanaugh’s record as a judge. Cruz went on to say, “Indeed, I haven’t heard anyone even attempt to make that argument.”
“Second, this hearing is not about his judicial record,” Cruz stated, adding, “we’ve heard very little today from Democratic Senators about the actual substance of Judge Kavanaugh’s judicial record.”
“Third, it’s important to understand today is also not about documents,” Cruz said. He continued, “The claims that the Democrats are putting forward on documents don’t withstand any serious scrutiny. Judge Kavanaugh has produced 511,948 pages of documents” Cruz then offered this factoid, “The more than a half-million pages of documents turned into this committee is more than the number of pages we’ve received for the last five Supreme Court nominees combined.”
Cruz then pointed out that the documents Democrats have been most insistent about getting are the ones from Kavanugh’s time as staff secretary under President Bush. Cruz noted that the documents Kavanaugh handled were not written by him and are therefore not relevant to his nomination. In fact, Cruz said the only reason for requesting the documents was the certainty that they would never be released by the Bush White House. “Their objective is delay,” Cruz concluded.
And then, having put aside what the hearing theatrics were not about, Cruz offered his take on what the Democrats were really doing. “I believe this fight is nothing more and nothing less than an attempt by our Democratic colleagues to relitigate the 2016 presidential election.” Cruz pointed out that it was “the first presidential election in 60 years where Americans went to the polls with a vacant seat on the Supreme Court.” Cruz goes on to lay out how Kavanaugh is not the Supreme Court Democrats expected when they went to the polls in 2016. They are trying to avoid the consequences of that vote.
I’d say Cruz could go even farther. Kavanaugh nomination marks the moment when the Supreme Court could tilt to the right more than it ever did with swing vote Anthony Kennedy choosing sides between the left and the right. That’s what Democrats want to avoid. Even more specifically, they’re concerned about the fate of Roe v. Wade. That’s why you handmaids protesting today.
NOW: Waiting outside Kavanaugh hearing room. A silent but rather clear protest. (Re: abortion.) pic.twitter.com/VHku1dDEkS
— Lisa Desjardins (@LisaDNews) September 4, 2018
Here’s Cruz’s full statement.