During a Thursday press conference to announce Senate Republicans’ opposition to a Democratic proposal to expand the Supreme Court, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said, without a hint of irony, that the GOP has never tried to game the system. “You didn't see Republicans when we had control of the Senate try to rig the game. You didn't see us try to pack the court,” the Texas lawmaker exclaimed.
Cruz and other Republican senators, of course, held up then-President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court 2016 nomination of Merrick Garland for nearly a year in hopes to carry it over to a Republican administration. (This ultimately resulted in Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation in 2017.) At the same time, Republicans ignored their own precedent of confirming election-year Supreme Court justices when they rammed through Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination just a week before the 2020 election.
Furthermore, Cruz himself made the case for keeping the ninth seat (and perhaps others) of the Supreme Court vacant if Hillary Clinton were elected president in 2016, saying there was “certainly long historical precedent for a Supreme Court with fewer justices.”