Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) lit into freshman Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) during a contentious Senate Judiciary Committee session on a bill to ban assault-style weapons.The bill eventually cleared the Committee on a party-line 10-8 vote. It now heads to the full Senate, where it is likely to be defeated.
The session became heated when Cruz — who opposes the assault-weapons ban — questioned Feinstein on its constitutionality, comparing it to placing limits on the First Amendment or Fourth Amendment rights.
“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.”
Here’s video of the exchange:
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