Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) focused his opening statement in Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court as an attempt by Senate Democrats and their leftwing allies to re-litigate the 2016 election of Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton.
Cruz began by saying what the Kavanaugh confirmation fight is not about.
“First, this hearing is not about the qualifications of the nominee,” said Cruz. “Judge Kavanaugh is, by any objective measure, unquestionably qualified for the Supreme Court… Indeed, I have not heard anyone even attempt to make that argument.”
“Second, this hearing is not about his judicial record,” Cruz continued, noting that Kavanaugh “has over 300 published opinions, which altogether amount to over 10,000 pages issued in his role as a federal appellate judge.”
Everyone agrees that a judge’s record is by far the most important [evidence] of what kind of justice that nominee will be,” the Texas senator continued. “And, tellingly, we’ve heard very little today from Democratic senators about the actual substance of Judge Kavanaugh’s judicial record.”
Instead, Cruz said the entire confirmation fight had little to do with Kavanaugh.
“I believe this fight is nothing more and nothing less than an attempt by our Democratic colleagues to re-litigate the 2016 presidential election,” asserted Cruz. Noting that the Supreme Court became central to the election after the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia – whom Cruz called “one of the greatest jurists ever to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court” – Cruz explained that “Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were both clear about what kind of justices and judges they would appoint.”
“During all three presidential debates both candidates were asked what qualities were most important to them when selecting a Supreme Court justice,” Cruz continued.
“Secretary Clinton’s answer was clear,” he said:
She wanted a Supreme Court justice who would be a liberal progressive willing to rewrite the U.S. Constitution, willing to impose liberal policy agendas that she could not get through the democratic process – that the Congress of the United States would not adopt, but that she hoped five unelected lawyers would force on the American people.
“Then-candidate Donald Trump gave a very different answer,” he continued:
He said he was looking to appoint judges in the mold of Justice Scalia. He said he wanted to appoint judges who would interpret the Constitution based on its original public meaning, who would interpret the statutes according to the text, and who would uphold the rule of law and treat parties fairly regardless of who they are or where they come from.
“Then-candidate Donald Trump also did something that no presidential candidate has done before,” Cruz added. “He published a list of nominees that he would choose from when filing Justice Scalia’s seat, providing unprecedented transparency to the American people.”
“All of this was laid before the American people as they went to the polls on November 8, 2016,” he declared. “And the American people made a choice that night.”
“Now my Democratic colleagues are not happy with the choice the American people made,” explained Cruz. He elaborated:
But, as President Obama famously said, ‘elections have consequences.’ Because the American people had the chance to vote, a national referendum on the direction of the Supreme Court. I have said a number of times that Justice Gorsuch’s nomination and Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination have almost a super-legitimacy in that they were ratified, they were decided by the American people in a direct vote in 2016.
“And so, the Democratic obstruction today is all about trying to reverse that election. They’re unhappy with the choice the American people want,” he insisted. “And there’s a reason that the American people want strong constitutionalists on the U.S. Supreme Court.”
Cruz believes that most Americans “want judges who will follow the law, and will not impose their policy preferences on the rest of us,” including Supreme Court justices “who will be faithful to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.”
Cruz surveyed major constitutional decisions from the Supreme Court covering free speech, religious liberty, and the Second Amendment. Regarding the right to bear arms, he noted that Clinton’s model justices had dissented in District of Columbia v. Heller, voting that Americans had no right to own any guns whatsoever.
But those detractors do not have a majority in the U.S. Senate. Cruz therefore concluded that he is “confident that Judge Kavanaugh will become Justice Kavanaugh, and will be confirmed to the United States Supreme Court.”