UPDATED 1:10 PM PT – Wednesday, February 2, 2022
A fiery exchange broke out between Republican Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and judicial nominee Kenly Kato. During Kato’s Senate Judiciary hearing on Tuesday, Cruz asked her if she believes racial discrimination is wrong. However, Kato, who is considered by senators for a life-time appointment as a judge, was apparently unable to give a yes or no answer.
Today I asked Kenly Kiya Kato, President Biden’s nominee to be judge of the Central District of California, if racial discrimination is wrong.
She was unable to answer that simple question. pic.twitter.com/Zgxe4MIjJU
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) February 1, 2022
The Texas lawmaker then grilled her about a book review she co-wrote as a law student in which she wrote that neo-conservative Asian Americans internalize the “dialogue of oppressors.” According to Cruz, she also suggested in the review that Asian Americans should support policies that discriminate against their ethnic group. Kato danced around the questions regarding her comments, but Cruz fired back and demanded answers.
The Biden Administration has a pattern of nominating left-wing activists to the bench.
Kenly Kiya Kato is no exception. pic.twitter.com/xAE2JjHdxM
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) February 2, 2022
Cruz also pointed to a lawsuit that Harvard, her alma matter, is facing before the U.S. Supreme Court, which accuses the university of discriminating against Asian American undergraduate applicants. However, when Cruz asked her if she finds that practice to be concerning, she declined to discuss the case.
This comes at a time when Cruz, along with other GOP senators, warned the Biden administration has a pattern of nominating political activists and radicals to the bench. In the meantime, if the full Senate confirms Kato’s nomination she will have a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California for life.
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