Ted Cruz & Dick Durbin Have Tense Exchange During Hearing
On Thursday, a heated exchange took place during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nomination of Adeel Abdullah Mangi, who was tapped by President Joe Biden in November to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. The contentious debate was reignited as Mangi was renominated in January, with Republican senators raising concerns about his connections to leftist hate groups.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, Mangi has served on the advisory board of the Alliance for Families for Justice since 2019. This organization, founded in 2016, aims to end “mass incarceration” and was formed with Weather Underground member Kathy Boudin as a founding director. The group has raised red flags for Republican senators due to its support of violent and radical groups, including advocating for the release of six Black Panther members who were convicted of murdering police officers.
Mangi’s ties to the Alliance for Families for Justice were not the only controversial aspect of his record. He also served on the advisory board for Rutgers Law School’s Center for Race, Security, and Rights until this year. This organization has faced criticism for its anti-Israel stances, including support for boycotts against the country. On the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the Center hosted an event featuring Sami al-Arian, a former professor convicted of raising funds for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group.
During Thursday’s hearing, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) raised these concerns about Mangi’s affiliations and questioned whether they made him unsuitable for a lifetime appointment as a federal judge. In response, Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) played the race card against Cruz, accusing him of “Islamophobia” and insinuating that his line of questioning was motivated by Mangi’s Muslim American identity.
It did NOT go well for him. pic.twitter.com/UhuUwZyhJr
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) January 18, 2024
Cruz was not about to take this attack lying down. He forcefully responded to Durbin, refusing to cede his time to other members of the committee until he had set the record straight on his stance and denounced Durbin’s baseless accusations of bigotry. In his response, Cruz pointed out the crucial distinction between questioning a nominee’s record and character and attacking them based on their race or religion. He emphasized that his opposition to Mangi’s nomination was based on legitimate concerns about his affiliations and positions, not his identity.
This is not the first time Democrats have used the race card to deflect legitimate questions and opposition from Republicans. During the eight years that Barack Obama was president, and even more recently during Hillary Clinton’s failed 2016 presidential campaign, the race card has been a go-to tactic for silencing dissent and avoiding genuine debate. However, with the changing media landscape and Republicans like Cruz not shying away from calling out and countering these underhanded tactics, the days of getting away with this kind of demagoguery may be coming to an end.
Cruz’s forceful response in Thursday’s hearing serves as a reminder that Republicans cannot back down in the face of these false accusations. They must continue to speak out and lay out their arguments clearly, regardless of the attempts to delegitimize and silence them with divisive rhetoric. The ideal of judging individuals based on their character and actions rather than their race or religion must not be undermined by these cheap tactics.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is responsible for vetting and approving judicial nominees, an essential and often contentious process in American politics. With the slim Democratic majority in the Senate, every nomination is critical, making it all the more important for Republicans to speak out against any attempts to silence their opposition. Cruz’s refusal to back down and his call-out of Durbin’s shameful behavior sets an example for all Republicans to follow when facing baseless accusations of bigotry.
As the hearing continues, it is crucial for the American people to pay attention to the arguments being presented and the tactics being used. Voters should hold their elected representatives accountable for their actions and words, demand genuine debate on the issues at hand, and reject any attempts to shut down discussion with cheap accusations of racism or sexism. The integrity of the judiciary and the principles of fairness and equality for all citizens must be upheld, and it is the responsibility of both parties to ensure this occurs.