turn it on for the cameras
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) on Wednesday appeared to subtly call out what was likely the behavior of Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) as another long day of confirmation hearings for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson stretched on.
Speaking on the issue of allowing cameras in the Supreme Court (which Sasse believes should be decided by the nine justices, not Congress), the lawmaker said that, although he understands where his colleagues in support of the added transparency are coming from, "a huge part of why this institution doesn't work well is because we have cameras everywhere."
"Cameras change human behavior," Sasse continued. "I think we should recognize that the jackassery we often see around here is partly because of people mugging for short-term camera opportunities."
Notably, Sasse's remarks arrived not long after Cruz grew incensed during his turn questioning Jackson, leading some online to suggest the Nebraska lawmaker was actually talking about his Texas colleague. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Graham have been particularly aggressive during the hearings, as well.
"It is definitely a second and third and fourth order effect that the court should think through before it has advocates in there who are not only trying to persuade you nine justices," Sasse continued, on the issue of cameras, "but also trying to get on cable that night or create a viral video."
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) later called out Cruz directly, saying, "I know the junior senator from Texas likes to get on television. But most of us have been here a long time trying to follow the rules."