Sunday, February 14, 2016

Sen. Ted Cruz Gets Fact-Checked At GOP Debate Over SCOTUS Confirmations

At last night's GOP debate, Sen. Ted Cruz asserted that presidents shouldn't appoint Supreme Court justices in the final year of their terms.

Moderator John Dickerson asked Cruz if he would follow the same restriction should he be elected. What followed was a bit of confusion on Cruz's part and then a crowd booing when facts were introduced.

From Vox:

"Where do you set that date if you're president?" Dickerson asked. "Does does it begin in election year, in December, November, September? And once you set the date, when you're president, will you abide by that date?"

Cruz argued that there were "80 years of precedent" of not confirming Supreme Court justices in an election year. In fact, Justice Anthony Kennedy was confirmed in an election year by a Democratic Congress. Dickerson tried to fact-check Cruz in real time, and the audience was not having it.

"Kennedy was confirmed in '88," Dickerson said.

"In '87," Cruz said. (Kennedy was nominated in 1987 and confirmed in 1988.)

"That's the question, is it appointing or confirming?"

"In this case it's both. If I could finish--" Cruz started.

"I want to get the facts straight for the audience," Dickerson said. The audience promptly booed. "But I apologize."

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