Ted Cruz has been accused of “gaslighting” for saying Republicans never tried to “rig the game” by altering the size of the Supreme Court, a response to Democrats introducing legislation to expand the court to 13 judges.
The Republican senator for Texas was accused of contradicting his stance from 2016, when late Justice Antonin Scalia died unexpectedly and Mr Cruz endorsed an unprecedented partisan blockade in the Supreme Court to insist that the high court have eight members for 11 months.
The criticism came after Mr Cruz, along with fellow Repulicans Lindsey Graham and Marsha Blackburn, held a press conference in front of the Supreme Court on Thursday and accused Democrats of a “power grab” by introducing the legislation.
"You didn’t see Republicans, when we had control of the Senate, try to rig the game. You didn’t see us try to pack the court," he said.
The legislation in question was proposed by Democratic senator Ed Markey and others to increase the amount of Supreme Court judges to 13, citing that it is a necessary step to return balance to the court.
Democrats said the current court makeup is unsustainable as three of the justices were placed under former presient Donald Trump’s administration.
Mr Cruz accused Democrats of being “fundamentally corrupt” by trying to change the rules to “stay in power.”
“They’re behaving like corrupt politicians. And, by the way, just a few years ago, Republicans were in the same position — 2017, all of us were here, we had a Republican president, a Republican Senate, a Republican House. We didn’t do this. We could have,” he added.
The press conference was mocked on social media as several reminded Mr Cruz of previous attempts by Republicans to change the structure of courts.
“Gaslighting 101 on display here. Republicans practically sprained their ankles rushing to steal Ginsburg’s seat before the election,” said Representative for New Jersey’s 9th congressional district Bill Pascrell Jr.
He made reference to when late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away in 2020 and Donald Trump rushed to fill her seat just weeks before the presidential election despite opposition from Joe Biden.
KFile’s Andrew Kaczynski also fact-checked Mr Cruz’s comments and said the Texas senator did “exact reverse in 2016,” sharing the pictures of his previous statements.
“Ted Cruz not everyone in this country is as stupid as you think your followers are. We’ve watched you pack the courts, destroy our country and incite an insurrection to help keep your party in power. You don’t belong in congress you belong in jail,” said another Twitter user.
The Supreme court currently constitutes of a 6-3 majority of conservative judges.
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