October 13, 2020

Ted Cruz, Others Rip Obama’s Attorney General For ‘Lying’ Over ‘Court Packing’ Claim

By Tim Pearce
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 25: US President Barack Obama speaks about Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. (R) after announcing his resignation today, September 25, 2014 in Washington, DC. President Obama said that Mr. Holder will remain in office until a successor is nominated and confirmed. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and others slammed former Attorney General Eric Holder for falsely claiming that moving to confirm a judge to an open court seat is “court packing.”

Holder, who served as attorney general under former President Barack Obama, claimed on Monday that the Senate moving to confirm Jones Day associate Kathryn Mizelle to a federal court seat constituted court packing.

“THIS is court packing,” Holder said, reacting to a tweet reporting that Mizelle’s confirmation is scheduled for committee vote on Thursday. The question of court packing has gained significant national attention in recent weeks as Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has repeatedly refused to say whether he would push to add more seats to the Supreme Court if elected.

Cruz accused Holder of lying about court-packing is in order to deceive people of what the term really means.

“Webster’s defines ‘lie’: intransitive verb: to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive,” Cruz wrote.

Washington Examiner Justice Department reporter Jerry Dunleavy made a similar statement, contending that Holder was “lying” about what court packing actually means.

“Obama’s attorney general is claiming that nominating judges to existing vacancies & confirming them is court packing. Obama’s attorney general is lying,” Dunleavy said.

“It literally is not,” Natural Review senior writer Dan McLaughlin said.

Seung Min Kim, White House reporter for The Washington Post, also criticized Holder’s use of the term.

“No. Filling existing vacancies in the judiciary is not court-packing. It wasn’t court-packing when Republicans said it during the Obama administration and it’s not court-packing when Democrats say it now,” Kim said.

The idea of court packing originated under former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt when he threatened to stack the Supreme Court justices favorable to his agenda in order to secure court victories. The idea has been heavily criticized by lawmakers and pundits across the political spectrum as deadly to the integrity of the judicial system.

Democratic lawmakers and left-wing pundits have called for Biden and Democrats to pack the Supreme Court should Biden win the election in retribution for President Donald Trump and Republicans in the Senate pushing to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Trump nominated Barrett to the Supreme Court after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died from cancer last month.

Biden has consistently refused to commit one way or the other on the proposal to pack the court. On Friday, Biden said that voters do not “deserve” to know whether he will try to pack the Supreme Court with friendly justices until after he is elected. As The Daily Wire reported:

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden told a local news reporter on Friday afternoon that voters do not deserve to know whether he will pack the Supreme Court if he wins the upcoming the election.

“Sir, I’ve got to ask you about packing the courts and I know you said yesterday you aren’t going to answer the question until after the election, but this is the number one thing that I’ve been asking about from viewers in the past couple of days,” the reporter said to Biden.

“Well, you’ve been asked by the viewers who are probably Republicans who don’t want me continuing to talk about what they’re doing to the court right now,” Biden responded.

“Well sir, don’t the voters deserve to know—” the reporter pressed.

“No, they don’t,” Biden responded.

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