WATCH: Ted Cruz Chews up Merrick Garland and Spits Him out at Senate Judiciary Hearing

Attorney General testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee - 3-1-23 (Credit: Twitter/Washington Post/Townhall)
The opinions expressed by contributors are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of


I’d speculate that Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) ate his Wheaties Wednesday morning, but it appears, instead, that his breakfast consisted of Attorney General Merrick Garland, who is testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee as I write this.


While questioning the AG about prosecutions brought under 18 U.S. Code § 1507, which prohibits picketing or parading in or near a court or judge’s residence with the intent of obstructing justice or influencing a judge, juror, or other court officer, Cruz lit into Garland and refused to let him weasel out of answering what should have been a simple yes-or-no question.

Below is just a sampling of their exchange:

Sen. Cruz: Let me try again. Have you — has the Department of Justice brought even a single case under this statute? It’s a yes-no question. It’s not a give a speech on the other things you did.

AG Garland: The job of the United States Marshals is to defend the lives of the…

Sen. Cruz: So the answer is “no.”

AG Garland:  …is to defend the lives of the justices and that’s their number one priority. They have…

Sen. Cruz: Why are you unwilling to say “no”? The answer’s “no.” You know it’s “no,” I know it’s “no,” everyone in this hearing room knows it’s “no.” You’re not willing to answer a question: Have you brought a case under this statute? Yes or no?

AG Garland: As far as I know we haven’t, and what we have done is defended the lives of the justices with over 70 U.S. Marshals.

Sen. Cruz: So how do you decide — how do you decide which criminal statutes the DOJ enforces and which ones it doesn’t?

AG Garland: The United States Marshals know that they have full authority…

Sen. Cruz: I recognize you want to give a separate speech…

AG Garland: No, I don’t want to give a s–

Sen. Cruz: How do you decide which statutes you enforce and which ones you don’t?

AG Garland: The marshals on scene make that determination in light of the priority of defen–

Sen. Cruz: The marshals do not make a determination over whether to prosecute. You, the Attorney General, make a determination. And you spent 20 years as a judge and you’re perfectly content with justices being afraid for their children’s lives — and you did nothing to prosecute it. Let’s shift to another area.

AG Garland: Can I answer the question?

Sen. Cruz: No, you cannot. You have refused to answer the question…

AG Garland: I am answering your question. The Attorney General does not decide whether to arrest..

Sen. Cruz: How did you choose…how did you choose not to enforce this statute?

AG Garland: The marshals on scene…

Sen. Cruz: Marshals don’t make that decision.

AG Garland: They do make the decision of whether to make an arrest.

Sen. Cruz: To prosecute someone? No they don’t.

AG Garland: If they make…if they make a…

Sen. Cruz: Marshals do not have prosecution authority…

AG Garland: If they make an arrest, then it goes to the marshals.


Presumably, Garland meant “DOJ” rather than “marshals” in that last sentence there, but he was clearly flustered. He was also being deliberately obtuse. He knows Cruz is asking about the decision to prosecute, not to arrest — two different functions. Yet he’s trying to lay the responsibility squarely at the feet of the U.S. Marshals, rather than the DOJ. Unfortunately, “We can’t prosecute if they don’t arrest,” doesn’t fly here. The U.S. Marshals operate under the direction of the Attorney General. While he may not be “on scene” making immediate arrest determinations, to imply that Garland and the DOJ play no role in the decision to arrest (and prosecute) those who violate this statute is horse hockey.

It appears that Garland is getting a right proper grilling on Capitol Hill today and it’s delicious.


Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on RedState Videos