Sen. Ted Cruz repeatedly defies Sen. Dick Durbin's pleas to stop questioning Ketanji Brown Jackson after his time expired

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Ted Cruz, Dick Durbin
Senator Ted Cruz with Chairman Dick Durbin as Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson speaks during the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on March 23, 2022.JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images
  • Cruz refused to stop speaking after he went over his allotted time during confirmation hearings for Ketanji Brown Jackson.

  • "You can bang it as loud as you want," Cruz told committee chair Sen. Dick Durbin as he struck his gavel.

  • "At some point you have to follow the rules," Durbin replied.

Sen. Ted Cruz on Wednesday repeatedly ignored requests from Sen. Dick Durbin, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, to stop speaking over his allotted time during confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson.

Cruz was in the middle of asking Jackson a question when Durbin hit his gavel to notify the Texas Republican that his 20 minutes had expired.

The Texas senator protested the move, saying that Durbin had "taken over a minute" of his time, referencing an earlier exchange between them, when Cruz had interrupted Jackson on several occasions and Durbin had asked the senator to stop cutting her off as she responded to questions.

Video: Some of the most contentious Supreme Court nominations in US history

"I just want you to play by the rules," Durbin told Cruz.

"I know you like to interrupt, but you've consumed a substantial time of my questioning and I'm going to ask my questions and if you want to testify, you're welcome to," Cruz replied before asking Jackson another question about her sentencing record on child pornography cases.

Several Republicans have claimed that Jackson was lenient toward offenders because she imposed shorter sentences than those recommended by federal guidelines. Legal experts have debunked the accusations, saying that they omit key context and data that show the guidelines are overly severe and outdated. Some Republicans, including Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, have criticized their GOP colleagues' attacks on Jackson.

As Cruz continued his questioning of Jackson, Durbin banged his gavel again, reminding the Republican that his time has expired and calling on the next member, Sen. Chris Coons, to start his questioning.

Cruz ignored the plea and kept speaking to Jackson.

"You're not recognized, senator," Durbin told Cruz.

"Do you not want her to answer that question?" Cruz snapped at Durbin.

"You wouldn't allow her anyway," Durbin said. "You've gone over the time, senator, by two minutes and a half."

The pair continued to spar in a heated back-and-forth, speaking over one another.

"Please, senator. Please senator," Durbin pleaded with Cruz.

"Will you allow her to answer the question, Chairman Durbin? Why are you not allowing her to answer the question?" Cruz insisted.

Cruz continued to engage with Durbin, who grew visibly frustrated and hit his gavel twice.

"You can bang it as loud as you want," Cruz said.

"At some point you have to follow the rules," Durbin replied.

Cruz stood his ground and refused to stop speaking. Durbin ignored him and called on Coons to begin his questioning, and Cruz eventually let up.

Cruz wasn't the only Republican to get into a spat with Durbin on Wednesday. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina also went over his allotted questioning time and repeatedly interrupted Jackson as she spoke.

Jackson has faced sharp questioning from Cruz and several other Republicans during her confirmation hearings this week. But she can be confirmed by Democrats through a simple-majority vote without any GOP support. If confirmed, Jackson would make history as the first Black woman on the Supreme Court.

Read the original article on Business Insider