Ted Cruz scowls from his desk in the Senate

Ted Cruz Just Referred To Brett Kavanaugh’s Sexual Assault Allegations as ‘Teenage Dating Habits’

The Senate confirmation hearings for Ketanji Brown Jackson began today and while we knew we were in for some Republican shenanigans, Ted Cruz took things to a whole other level today when he referred to the accusations of sexual assault and other forms of misconduct made against Brett Kavanaugh as “teenage dating habits.”

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On the first day of Jackson’s hearings, each of the 22 members of the Judiciary Committee got to give an opening statement. (It was a lot.) Cruz used his time to tell Jackson that her hearing will feature none of the “disgraceful behavior” that he believes Kavanaugh faced during his confirmation hearings.

“No one is going to inquire into your teenage dating habits,” Cruz said. “No one is going to ask you with mock severity, ‘Do you like beer?'”

First of all, in just one day, Jackson has already faced far worse than Kavanaugh did, with these Republicans ranting about “dark money,” George Soros, and straight-up QAnon dog-whistling. And Jackson has handled it all with composure, unlike Kavanaugh, who literally screamed and cried his way through his confirmation.

As for Cruz’s comment about “teenage dating habits,” let’s remember that what he’s actually referring to are the allegations made by multiple women, accusing Kavanaugh of a range of abuses including sexual assault, attempted rape, exposing himself to women, and perpetuating a disgusting culture of sexism and harassment.

As for the questions about beer, those seem valid as Kavanaugh repeatedly used his love of beer as a defense meant to justify those actions and behaviors.

But no, I can’t imagine Jackson will be facing those sorts of questions during her hearing—not because Republicans are the paragon of civility as they’re trying to depict themselves, but because Brett Kavanaugh was accused of truly vile behavior that warranted those questions and she has not.

(image: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)


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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.