Senator Ted Cruz was in a virtual sparring match with a law student and professor that began when the student, identified by Newsweek as Billy Berns, confronted Cruz about court packing. Berns caught the interaction on video, which he shared on Twitter. The video has gone viral since then, and Cruz posted about it online, calling it “embarrassing” for the student.
Berns and his Georgetown University professor Josh Chafetz shared the video Thursday, April 22. Berns approached Cruz following a press conference regarding a Democrat-led move to expand the number of justices on the U.S. Supreme Court, according to Newsweek. Representative Jerry Nadler of New York and Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts introduced a plan last week.
The plan, known as The Judiciary Act of 2021, would add four justices to the nation’s highest court, increasing the Court’s members from nine to 13. You can watch the video here or later in this post.
Here’s what you need to know:
Berns Asked Cruz Why Republicans Were Trying to ‘Pack’ the Court With Conservative Justices, & Cruz Said They Were Only Filling Vacancies
Cruz was joined by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina at the press conference, when they spoke out against the Democrat-led move to expand the court.
“You didn’t see Republicans, when we had control of the Senate, try to rig the game,” Cruz said during the press conference. “You didn’t see us try to pack the Court.”
Berns approached Cruz after the press conference, and asked him why Republicans had tried to “pack” the court in the past with conservative justices. Cruz responded to Berns and said Republicans were only filling seat vacancies, not adding seats as the bill would allow legislators to do.
“We didn’t add a single justice,” Cruz said on the video. “We could have done the same garbage, but we didn’t because it would’ve been wrong. If there’s a judicial vacancy, Joe Biden and the Democrats in the Senate are entitled to act to try to fill it, and if they nominate someone bad, we’ll oppose that justice. I mean, that’s the political process.”
Berns shared the video on Twitter with the caption, “Law Student Calls Out @SenTedCruz and GOP Hypocrisy to His Face.”
Cruz Called the Interaction ‘Embarrassing’ for the Student & Said It Showed ‘Ignorance’
Cruz shared the video on Twitter, writing that he assumed the student had been a Democratic delegate count tracker.
I assumed he was a Dem tracker reciting talking points.
Not sure what’s more embarrassing: that he’s an actual law student who doesn’t know the difference btwn filling vacancies & packing the Court.
Or that his law prof is proud of his ignorance & thinks it’s ‘giving me hell.’
The tweet was in response to Chafetz Twitter post, in which he shared Berns video.
“One of my students came across Ted Cruz’s anti-Court-packing press conference and naturally gave him hell,” Chafetz wrote.
“Whole lotta folks suggesting that my student ‘can’t tell the difference’ between adding judges and other ways of affecting judicial personnel as if he just blows right past the distinction. He doesn’t. He clearly argues that it’s a distinction without a difference,” Chafetz added. “Agree with him or not, at least accurately characterize what he’s saying.”