Democrat Mazie Hirono snaps at Ted Cruz and tells him to ‘stop mansplaining’ during Senate hearing on one of Biden’s judicial nominees
- Senators clash during hearing on President Biden’s pick for appeals court
- Sen. Ted Cruz said Sen. Mazie Hirono did not want judges who used originalist interpretations of the Constitution
- Hirono snapped back, saying he was mischaracterizing her position
- Senators spoke over one another bringing proceedings to a brief halt
A Senate Judiciary Committee hearing turned testy on Wednesday, as senators clashed and Sen. Mazie Hirono accused Sen. Ted Cruz of ‘mansplaining’ during an argument about the U.S. Constitution, originalism and judicial rulings.
It occurred as they quizzed District Court Judge Gustavo Gelpi, picked by President Biden to take a seat on the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals.
Cruz was asking the nominee which historical cases he believed had been wrongly decided as he tried to unpick his legal philosophy.
‘Sen Hirono just offered a defense of you, saying that you refuse to commit to originalism because originalism would prevent outcomes that she supports,’ said Cruz, saying that it would have given her the wrong result in a case such as Roe v Wade.
Sen. Ted Cruz clashed with Sen. Mazie Hirono in a bad-tempered session of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He expressed irritation when he was cut off by the chairman and then Hirono accused the Texas senator of ‘mansplaining’
Hirono, he continued, did not want judges who followed originalist interpretations of the U.S. Constitution, before asking: ‘Is it right that you don’t intend to follow the original understanding of the constitution?’
After Gelpi addressed the question, saying he will follow originalism where appropriate, Cruz tried to ask a follow-up question.
Sen. Ossoff, who chaired the session, told him his time had expired.
‘This is a committee where we have had a little bit of comity and I recognise Sen Ossoff is new,’ said an exasperated Cruz, ‘but we generally don’t have the chairman trying to jump in thirty seconds in and I recognize the chairman does not want these questions answered…’
His bluster triggered confusion as senators talk over each other and the chairman struggled for control.
Sen. Alex Padilla: ‘Sen. Cruz, the floor is mine.’
Ossoff banged the gavel. ‘There will be order,’ he said.
The clash happened as senators were quizzing District Court Judge Gustavo A. Gelpi on how he would adjudicate cases before the appeals court and whether he would consider originalist interpretations of the Constitution
As proceedings calmed, Hirono asked to make a ‘point of personal privilege’ during which she took exception to the way Cruz had represented her position.
‘I would request that my colleague Sen. Cruz not misstate what I’m saying. You know what, all this mansplaining, please stop.’
‘What was mischaracterized Sen. Hirono? You just said I mischaracterized something,’ he said above the sound of frantic gavel hammering, before turning his attention to Ossoff.
‘I’m very proud you have the gavel, but a point of personal privilege, Sen. Hirono just said I mischaracterized something she said, so I am asking her: What was mischaracterized?’
‘Mr Chairman, very briefly… the thing with my colleague is he always has to get the last word and that is a fact,’ she said.
The pair have history.
Last year she snapped back at Cruz after he accused Democrats of ‘facilitating’ riots and violence in US cities.
‘Sometimes I don’t think you listen,’ said Hirono as she walked out of the Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on Antifa.