Cruz and Durbin in colossal clash over silencing of hard questions: Bang that gavel ‘as loud as you want’

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Things got testy between U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) on Wednesday during day three of the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson.

Durbin accused Cruz of violating the time-limit procedures for each round of questioning and tried to gavel him out of order, which prompted Cruz to tell the Judiciary Committee chair in no uncertain terms that “You can bang it as loud as you want.”

Republicans on the committee, including Cruz and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and others, have tried to get straight answers from Jackson as to why she is apparently very lenient with child pornographers.

In this particular instance, Cruz wanted an explanation from his fellow Harvard Law School graduate about why she only sentenced the “egregious” offender in U.S. v. Stewart to a prison term much shorter than the federal guideline or apparently lower than what prosecutors recommended.

Pointing to a chart behind him, Cruz said he would be happy with an explanation of any of the similar cases over which Jackson presided, but he wanted to hone in on the Stewart matter in particular.

“You’re not recognized, Senator,” Durbin chimed in, as he tried to recognize Sen. Chris Coon (D-Del.) instead.

“You don’t want her to answer that question?” Cruz asked Durbin.

As the back and forth continued, Durbin advised Cruz that he exceeded his time limit by 2-1/2 minutes, and Cruz shot back that Durbin spent two minutes interrupting him.


Cruz continued to ask the chairman why he wouldn’t allow her to answer the question he posed about the Stewart case.

“Why do you not want the American people to know what happened in the Stewart case or any of these cases? Chairman Durbin, I’ve never seen the chairman refuse to allow a witness to answer a question,” the Texas senator noted.

Durbin responded nonverbally by banging his gavel twice. “You can bang it as loud as you want,” Cruz then said.

“I can just tell you at some point you have to follow the rules,” said Durbin, before tossing it to Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.).

To no avail, Cruz then several times asked Durbin to let Jackson answer the question about the Stewart matter.  “Apparently, you are very afraid of the American people hearing the answer to that question.”

In the Stewart case, according to Sen. Hawley, “Judge Jackson sentenced a man to 57 months in prison for possessing thousands of images of child porn and attempting to travel across state lines to abuse a 9-year-old girl. The guidelines called for a sentence of 97 to 121 months,” the Washington Times reported.

As the scenario exists currently, with Democrats voting in unison along with a few RINOs, there appear to be enough votes to narrowly confirm Jackson, a favorite of far-left activists, for a lifetime appointment to the high court regardless, for example, of her perceived soft-on-crime leanings or her alleged stealth support for critical race theory.

During the hearing process, Jackson separately was unable to define what a woman is because she’s not a specialist in biology.


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