The Senate hearings for the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court are underway, and the Democrats and Republicans on the Judiciary Committee have already shown this will be a dog fight. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) used his opening remarks on Monday to excoriate his Democratic colleagues for failing to discuss Barrett's record. The committee Democrats have instead asserted that Barrett would torpedo Obamacare and complained about a supposedly unfair process too close to a presidential election.
"What speaks the loudest is the dog that didn't bark," Cruz said, aptly quoting fictional detective Sherlock Holmes. "We've heard, virtually, not a word about Judge Barrett."
Cruz went on to list Barrett's stunning resume and her remarkable achievements, as a judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, all while being a mother to seven children.
"On any measure Judge Barrett's credentials are impeccable," Cruz said. But the partisan division in the Senate was preventing Democrats from even giving her record a moment's thought as they attacked her and the president and the entire Republican Party throughout their opening remarks.
But that was nothing compared to the Democrats' interpretation of the role of the judiciary branch of government.
"Democrats and Republicans have fundamentally different visions on the Supreme Court," Cruz said. "Democratic senators view the Court as a super-legislature, as a policy-making body."
Sen. @tedcruz during Judge Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation hearing:— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) October 12, 2020
"Democratic senators view the Court as a super-legislature, as a policy-making body...Who in their right mind would want the United States of America ruled by five unelected lawyers wearing black robes?" pic.twitter.com/ILKCA7BxgJ
Cruz framed the terrifying concept of having laws that affect everyday life for Americans handed down by a court instead of the elected legislature.
"Who in their right mind would want America ruled by five unelected lawyers in black robes?" Cruz asked. He went on to criticize Democrats for accusing Barrett of being a Republican "torpedo" against Obamacare in an upcoming hearing about the 2010 healthcare legislation, the hallmark of President Obama's time in office.
"Much of the argument this morning is about Obamacare," Cruz said. "They want a promise from this nominee that she will work with Democrats to implement Democrat policy." But that is not the role of judges serving on any court, even the Supreme Court, Cruz said.
Cruz also said he understood the concern over potentially removing Obamacare and how it would be replaced.
"Remember this: every single member of the Senate believes that preexisting conditions can and should be protected," he said. He also noted that there was bi-partisan concern over how high insurance premiums have become under Obamacare. But, Cruz insisted, these were matters for the elected legislature to resolve, not the Supreme Court.
"Those questions should be resolved in this body, by the elected legislature," he said. Cruz also took senate Democrats to task for failing to approve COVID-19 recovery money for Americans, using the filibuster to escape the responsibility of passing meaningful, life-saving legislation.
"Today our Democratic colleagues fillibuster everything and complain that nothing gets passed," he said. Instead, they use their time to blame the president for everything and insist the process of confirming Amy Coney Barrett is not fair.