Ted Cruz shouts over Merrick Garland about the DOJ’s response to protests outside Supreme Court justices’ homes

US Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) arrives for a US Senate Judiciary Committee oversight listening to to look at the Justice Division on March 1, 2023.STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP through Getty Photos

  • Sen. Ted Cruz pressed AG Merrick Garland over the DOJ’s response to protests outdoors Supreme Courtroom justices’ houses.

  • Garland testified that he ordered greater than 70 US Marshals to supply nonstop safety to the justices and their households.

  • Cruz accused Garland and the DOJ of being politically biased.

Sen. Ted Cruz on Wednesday pressed Lawyer Basic Merrick Garland over his response to the protests that erupted outdoors of a number of of the Supreme Courtroom justices’ houses final spring following a leaked opinion that confirmed the conservative majority was able to toss out abortion rights.

The Texas Republican condemned the protestors as rioters and extremists organizing harassment campaigns in opposition to the justices and accused Garland of inaction.

“The Division of Justice beneath this president was completely joyful to refuse to implement the legislation and permit threats of violence,” Cruz instructed Garland throughout a Senate Judiciary Committee listening to on oversight of the Division of Justice.

Cruz questioned Garland significantly on whether or not the DOJ had charged anybody in connection to the protests, pointing to a federal statute that prohibits picketing or parading outdoors close to judges’ houses with the intent of influencing them.

Garland, a former longtime federal decide, disputed Cruz’s characterization that the DOJ failed to answer the protests, noting that he took historic steps to guard the justices and their households by ordering greater than 70 US Marshals to supply continuous safety to them.

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The back-and-forth grew heated as Cruz repeatedly shouted over and interrupted Garland as he tried to reply whether or not any protestors had been arrested and the way the DOJ enforces the statute. Garland responded that the US Marshals’ No. 1 precedence is to defend the lives of the justices, however is not conscious of any instances which have been introduced in opposition to protestors.

“Can I reply the query?” Garland stated at one level.

“No, you can not, you might have refused to reply the query,” Cruz responded.

Wednesday’s listening to, Garland’s first earlier than the 118th Congress, comes as Republicans have extensively accused the DOJ and FBI of turning into politicized. These criticisms heightened after FBI officers searched former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago dwelling associated to an investigation over his potential mishandling of categorised paperwork. Garland appointed particular counsel Jack Smith in November to supervise the probe.

Because it pertains to tradition wars, Republicans have additionally accused the division of serving to tech firms censor conservative voices on their platforms and of exhibiting bias in opposition to dad and mom concerned in class curriculum fights, anti-abortion teams and church buildings.

Cruz started his questioning on Wednesday by criticizing the DOJ as politically motivated and claimed that Garland disagreed with the Supreme Courtroom’s June 24 ruling, Dobbs v. Jackson Ladies’s Well being Group, that overturned Roe v. Wade.

“Your failure to behave to guard the protection of the justices and their households was an apparent product of political bias,” Cruz stated.

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Garland firmly rejected Cruz’s criticisms of the DOJ and defended the company’s work and its staff. “I consider the women and men of the division pursue their work each single day in a non-partisan and applicable manner,” the legal professional basic stated.

Different Republicans on the committee, together with Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, equally raised considerations about DOJ’s dealing with of the protests outdoors Supreme Courtroom justices’ houses final 12 months.

“It is very clear that they are making an attempt to affect in a technique or one other these serving on the US Supreme Courtroom,” Lee stated. “And but not one particular person, to my information, has been prosecuted for such issues.”

President Joe Biden signed a invoice into legislation final summer time that prolonged safety protections to the Supreme Courtroom justices’ households amid the protests and after an armed man close to Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s dwelling was arrested for threatening to kidnap or kill him.

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