Ted Cruz and Sheldon Whitehouse clash at hearing: ‘If you’re going to criticize my brief – read it!’
US Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas, speaks during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on "Review of the FY2023 State Department Budget Request," in Washington, DC, on April 26, 2022. (Al Drago / AFP / POOL)

During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing this Thursday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) accused Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) of trying to intimidate the Supreme Court into acquiescing to progressive politics. Unsurprisingly, Whitehouse took exception to Cruz's characterization.

At issue was an amicus brief that Whitehouse filed in a Supreme Court case. “The Supreme Court is not well. And the people know it,” wrote Whitehouse in the 2019 brief. “Perhaps the Court can heal itself before the public demands it be 'restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics.'”

Cruz described the brief as a "threat" to the Supreme Court.

"As to the outrage about threatening the court, if you're gonna be outraged about people who are saying unpleasant things about the Court ... have the decency to be consistent," Whitehouse shot back at Cruz.

IN OTHER NEWS: Susan Collins throws cold water on Democrats’ bill to protect the right to abortion, because Catholic hospitals

"I didn't hear a squeak from anyone when [Fox News host] Laura Ingraham, who has a way bigger audience than my little amicus briefs, went up on the air to say, 'We have six Republican appointees on this court, after all the money that's been raised, the Federalist society -- all these big fat cat dinners -- I'm sorry, I'm pissed about this. ... If this court with six justices cannot do the right thing here' -- the 'right thing here' being rendering a decision just like Justice Alito's opinion purports to provide -- 'then I think it's time to do what Robert Bork said we should do which it to circumscribe the jurisdiction of this court. And if they want to blow it up then that's the way to change things finally.'"

"Where was the outrage when a major Fox News commentator was talking about 'blowing up' the court and changing things 'finally'?" Whitehouse said.

"If we're going to be outraged, please don't be so selective," Whitehouse continued. "And as to my brief, the comment that's been described as a 'threat,' was actually a quote. If you're gonna criticize my brief, read it."

Watch the exchange below or at this link.

Cruz and Whitehouse clash at Senate hearing www.youtube.com