Almost immediately after learning that longtime Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia had passed away suddenly while on a hunting trip in Texas, Sen. Ted Cruz joined his fellow Republican senators in boldly announcing that they would oppose any nomination that President Obama made and block the process for the remaining 361 days of his term.
Justice Scalia was an American hero. We owe it to him, & the Nation, for the Senate to ensure that the next President names his replacement.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) February 13, 2016
Republicans, Cruz included, were instantly greeted with a collective “what the hell are you thinking?” from the American people. The ability to appoint a Supreme Court Justice to replace one that has retired or passed away is the president’s right by constitutional law. It’s been this way for hundred of years. Suggesting otherwise is a violation of one of the country bedrock democratic principles.
At the Republican Debate held later in the day, Cruz was asked to justify how torching the Constitution was defensible just because he didn’t like the current president. He responded that it wasn’t fair to appoint a new justice during an election year. In fact, he claimed, one hadn’t been appointed during the last year of a presidency in over 80 years.
Instantly, moderator John Dickerson’s bullshit detector lit up. Cruz’s lie was so egregious that his pants may as well have spontaneously combusted.
“I’m sorry to interrupt, were any nominees appointed in an election year? Or was that just 80 years, there happened to be [no appointees in an election year]?”
Cruz doubles down on his lie:
“There were 80 years of not confirming. For example, LBJ nominated Abe Fordus, Fordus did not get confirmed he was defeated.”
So John Dickerson drops the hammer:
“But Kennedy was confirmed in [an election year] 1988.”
Cruz comes back with lie number 3:
“No Kennedy was confirmed in 1987.”
Which is immediately fact-checked yet again:
“He was appointed in ’87, confirmed in ’88.”
In other words, just a few decades ago, the country was faced with a similar dilemma – and they stuck with the Constitution. The legal team at NBC News confirmed that Kennedy was indeed nominated in 1987, but confirmed in 1988. The country was fine with this.
For the record, Justice Anthony Kennedy was confirmed in 1988 but nominated in 1987. (We've been doing some research over here at #MTP)
— Shawna Thomas (@ShawnaNBCNews) February 14, 2016
As usual, Cruz has no leg to stand on. He simply wants his way and doesn’t want to be bothered worrying about the facts. Fortunately, Dickerson has been one of those rare debate moderators who won’t Cruz to spew lies and get no pushback.
Watch the video below:
Featured image via CBS News