Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) clashed with Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL) on Wednesday during his questioning of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson during her Supreme Court confirmation hearing.
Cruz pressed Jackson over her past sentences for child porn offenders, returning to his contention that she was too lenient and imposed sentences that were well below guidelines.
Durbin accused Cruz of refusing to allow Jackson to respond to his questions, causing a brief spat between the two senators.
Cruz then demanded to know why Jackson sentenced a particular offender to just 28 months when "comparable defendants" were given "substantially higher" sentences. Jackson countered that in "every" child porn case she presided over, she looked at the recommendations "of not only the government but also the probation office, the defendant, the record," as well as other factors.
Cruz pointed out that the case in question involved "sadomasochistic images of infants and toddlers."
"I'm trying to understand how you see someone that possesses images of infants and toddlers being sexually violated, and you sentence them to 64 percent below what the prosecutor's asking for," Cruz said, addressing Jackson. "You don't provide a justification other than a generic concern that the guidelines are too high. ... So I'm asking you to take the opportunity to explain to this committee and the American people why in 100 percent of the cases -- you have people with vile crimes ... but then you sentence them to very, very low sentences, and why do you constantly 100 percent of the time choose to do that."
Jackson replied, telling Cruz that "no one case can stand in for a judge's entire sentencing record."
Durbin later interjected again, telling Jackson that there was "no point in responding" to Cruz.
"If you don't like your witnesses answers, you can provide your own," Cruz shot back.
The two men clashed yet again after Durbin accused Cruz of going over his allotted time.
Watch the full exchange below:
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