Ted Cruz photographed checking his Twitter mentions after ‘performative tantrum’ at Supreme Court hearing

‘He was searching Twitter for his name, this was right after his exchange with Chairman Durbin’

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar
Friday 25 March 2022 10:15 GMT
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Senator Ted Cruz was caught checking his phone for Twitter mentions by a photo journalist after a confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson on Wednesday.

The Texas Republican was accused by social media users of a “performative tantrum” at the hearing after he ignored repeated requests from senator Dick Durbin, the chair of Senate Judiciary Committee, to stop speaking after his allotted time.

Mr Cruz had quizzed the federal judge about her views on issues of race and crime and why she handed down lighter sentences in cases he displayed on a chart. He was in the middle of asking more questions when Mr Durbin interjected, saying the senator’s 20-minute time had expired.

“You can bang it as long as you want,” Mr Cruz shot back at the chairman.

“I just want you to play by the rules,” Mr Durbin told the Republican senator as the heated tirade continued.

“I know you like to interrupt, but you have consumed a substantial time of my questioning, and I’m going to ask my questions. And if you want to testify, you are welcome to,” Mr Cruz said before proceeding to ask Ms Brown Jackson about her record on cases related to child pornography.

Shortly after the argument, Mr Cruz was photographed checking his phone.

Ted Cruz is seen checking his phone during Wednesday’s Supreme Court hearing (AFP via Getty Images)

LA Times reporter Nolan D McCaskill shared Mr Cruz’s photo and said it “looks like he’s checking his mentions after his back and forths with KBJ [Ketanji Brown Jackson] and [Dick] Durbin”.

Kent Nishimura, a photo journalist from the newspaper and McCaskill’s colleague, shared a photo of Mr Cruz from a different angle and “confirmed” the senator was "searching Twitter for his name... right after his exchange with Chairman Durbin”.

Several commentators attacked Mr Cruz on social media after the hearing.

“Just throw Ted Cruz out. I’m serious,” wrote author Majid M Padellan.

“Ted Cruz: We’re running out of time. Everyone watching the hearing: Praise the lord,” said legal analyst Joyce Alene.

Meanwhile at the confirmation hearing, Republican senators signed a letter demanding files of Ms Brown Jackson’s cases and insisted the panel probe deeper into the judge’s decision making.

The chairman dismissed the request as unprecedented, calling it a “fishing expedition” he would not allow.

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