War of words

03.14.13

Dianne Feinstein Won't Abide Ted Cruz

Video screenshot

Things got a little heated during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on banning assault weapons. Senator Dianne Feinstein nearly lost it after Senator Ted Cruz seemed to lecture her on the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.

"Would she consider it constitutional for Congress to specify that the First Amendment shall apply only to the following books and shall not apply to the books that Congress has deemed outside the protection of the Bill of Rights?" Cruz said, speaking to Feinstein.

"Likewise, would she think that the Fourth Amendment’s protection against searches and seizures, could properly apply only to the following specified individuals, and not to the individuals that Congress has deemed outside the protection of the law?"

Pointing her finger and glaring at Cruz, Feinstein shot back.

"One, I'm not a sixth grader," Feinstein said. "Senator, I've been on this Committee for 20 years. I was a mayor for nine years. I walked in and I saw people shot with these weapons.

"I'm not a lawyer," she added, "but after 20 years, I've been up close and personal with the Constitution. I have great respect for it. ... So I, you know, it's fine you want to lecture me on the Constitution. I appreciate it. Just know I've been here for a long time."

"I thank you for the lecture. Incidentally, this does not prohibit — you used the word 'prohibit' – it exempts 2,271 weapons. Isn’t that enough for the people of the United States? Do they need a bazooka? Do they need other high-powered weapons that other people use in close combat? I don't think so."

The bill passed the committee by a vote of 10-1, although it will likely not make it through the Senate.