Making good on months’ worth of threats, a group of Democratic lawmakers introduced legislation last week that would add four new seats to the Supreme Court bench, allowing President Joe Biden to name new jurists and swing the ideological tilt of the high court back to the left — a practice colloquially known as “packing the court.”
In response, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has accused his Democrat colleagues of “trying to rig the game,” even going so far as to point out that Republicans had the opportunity to “pack” the Supreme Court themselves, but refrained from doing so out of “respect for the rule of law,” as Breitbart reported.
Democrats plow ahead
The remarks from Sen. Cruz, who was joined in a press conference Tuesday by fellow GOP Sens. Lindsey Graham (SC) and Marsha Blackburn (TN), followed a presser last week by Democrat Sen. Ed Markey and several of his counterparts in the House to introduce their bid to expand the high court.
In his own comments, Markey said Republicans — namely, former President Donald Trump — had “stole[n] the Court’s majority,” and “politicized” and “undermined its legitimacy.”
He argued that adding four new justices, which would effectively flip the balance from 6–3 for Republican-appointed jurists to 7–6 in favor of Democrats, is necessary to “restore the Court’s balance and public standing.”
Suffice to say, the views espoused by Sen. Markey and his comrades from the House were not shared by Sen. Cruz and his GOP cohorts.
“You didn’t see us try to pack the court”
“There’s a reason the Democrats don’t actually want to go to the voters and try to convince the voters to do this: Because the voters will tell them to jump in a lake,” Cruz said Thursday, according to Breitbart. “Instead, they’re trying to rig the game. Instead, they’re trying to fix the system. They’re behaving like corrupt politicians.
“You didn’t see Republicans, when we had control of the Senate, try to rig the game,” the Texas senator added. “You didn’t see us try to pack the court.”
According to Breitbart, Cruz also declared that “nothing that would have prevented Republicans from doing what [Democrats are] doing,” except that the GOP has “basic decency.” He said Republicans recognize “that democracy matters and packing the Court and tearing down the institutions that protect our rights is fundamentally wrong.”
“What we shouldn’t be debating is a radical plan to destroy the United States Supreme Court, to destroy judicial independence, and to destroy the rights that are protected in the Bill of Rights. All of those are hanging in the balance,” the senator added.
Take a look at video of Cruz’s remarks shared by Fox News: