Last week, Republican Senator Ted Cruz lambasted the Democratic legislation to expand the U.S. Supreme Court from nine to thirteen.
The Texas Republican stated:
"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."
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX): "You didn't see Republicans when we had control of the Senate try to rig the game. You didn't… https://t.co/r1ZYnj6RM3— The Recount (@The Recount) 1619102921.0
The Texas Senator's claim was patently false.
Fact-checking website PolitiFact provided receipts.
NEW: Ted Cruz said, "You didn't see Republicans when we had control of the Senate try to rig the game" in Supreme C… https://t.co/XiD34dFHqO— PolitiFact (@PolitiFact) 1619551128.0
After Justice Antonin Scalia's death in 2016, Senate Republicans blocked then-President Barack Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland, to fill Scalia's judiciary seat. During his presidential bid at the time, Cruz joined his Republican colleagues in deciding to "not vote on any nominee until the next President is sworn into office. The People will decide."
Scalia's seat remained open for nearly a year until Republican Justice Neil Gorsuch was nominated by President Donald Trump shortly after his inauguration in 2017.
Cut to 2020 when Democratic Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died weeks before the 2020 presidential election. Republicans—led by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell—fast-tracked the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court in under a month.
"Republicans treated Garland's nomination and Barrett's nomination differently because they held the Senate majority and were able to exercise their power in ways that benefited their party's goals."
"There was no consistency to the way they handled the two nominations—the approaches were exactly opposite."
No one was more infuriated over PolitiFact's takedown of Cruz's false statement than his adviser, Steve Guest—the former rapid response director for the Republican National Committee.
Guest sounded off on a Twitter thread, claiming:
"There was absolutely nothing to fact check in Senator Cruz's indisputably true statement."
"PolitiFact is giving a platform for the left's Orwellian impulse to redefine words."
"The consequence of redefining words to suit the Democrat Party's preferred political outcome will do grave damage to the discourse in America."
THREAD. There was absolutely nothing to fact check in Senator Cruz’s indisputably true statement, "You didn't see R… https://t.co/uu7axE0t31— Steve Guest (@Steve Guest) 1619557742.0
Presidents nominate judges. The Senate gives or withholds advice and consent. Those are the rules and Republicans followed them.— Steve Guest (@Steve Guest) 1619557742.0
PolitiFact is giving a platform for the left’s Orwellian impulse to redefine words. The consequence of redefining… https://t.co/mpodJvZZDi— Steve Guest (@Steve Guest) 1619557742.0
Twitter had no problem calling out a liar when they saw one.
@SteveGuest Uh huh. Sure thing Steve-o.— joyfullydreaded13🌹🕸🖤🦇💮 (@joyfullydreaded13🌹🕸🖤🦇💮) 1619562018.0
@SteveGuest You write “THREAD” as if you have something important to announce. You don’t. Never have. Never will.— Kranti Pally (@Kranti Pally) 1619562450.0
@SteveGuest High octane Gas lighting— Robert ryan (@Robert ryan) 1619565416.0
@SteveGuest WE WILL NOT FORGET STEVIE https://t.co/M2xuGsCuIX— SPACEFORCE Cadet 🧢 (@SPACEFORCE Cadet 🧢) 1619580297.0
@SteveGuest Cry harder, LIAR 🤣🤣🤣😂😂— M.C. Estrada (@M.C. Estrada) 1619562384.0
@SteveGuest How are lies comfortably spoken as thruths?— Susan Benjamin-Warda (@Susan Benjamin-Warda) 1619584865.0
@SteveGuest You are such a liar that’s exactly what you did was pack the courts.— Robbin ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (@Robbin ¯\_(ツ)_/¯) 1619567419.0
@SteveGuest In the history books, this will be held up as a textbook example of disingenuousness. #qcumber— The Politburo (@The Politburo) 1619562570.0
In PolitiFact's report, legal experts were not impressed with the Junior Senator's assertion his party "didn't rig the game" with the nominations of Garland and Barrett.
Emily Berman, an associate professor of law at the University of Houston suggested the Republicans' manipulation of judiciary rules to have a right-wing majority in the high court was a prime example of rigging the game.
"I don't know what else you call it. When you use your majority to make up the rules as you go along in ways that benefit your party, that's kind of the definition of rigging the game. You make the rules that lead to the outcome that you desire."