Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas grilled United States Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn Wednesday about a case centering around a serial child rapist during a Wednesday confirmation hearing.

Netburn, who was nominated for a seat on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, was one of five judges testifying at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. Cruz started by asking Netburn if political ideology mattered more than individual rights.

“I don’t believe you, and I think this case demonstrates that you are willing to subjugate the rights of individuals to satisfy your political ideology,” Cruz said when Netburn claimed her political views “didn’t matter at all.” “This case involves a male defendant who raped a nine-year-old boy. Was he guilty of that?”

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“Yes, the petitioner pled guilty to that,” Netburn responded.

Cruz referred to a case where Justine Shelby, a biological male who identifies as female, filed a suit to force the Bureau of Prisons to assign him to a women’s prison following a federal conviction on child pornography charges. Netburn ruled that Shelby should be transferred to a women’s prison.

Cruz then got Netburn to confirm that the transgender inmate had also pled guilty to raping a 17-year-old girl, before questioning her about an August 2022 ruling ordering the Bureau of Prisons to transfer the biologically male inmate to a women’s facility.

“This individual, six-foot-two, biologically a man, a minute ago, you said that when this man decided that he was a she, you said this individual was, I wrote it down, ‘sober and entirely a female,’” Cruz said. “That phrase struck me as remarkable, did this individual have male genitalia?”

Netburn claimed that she was referring to the inmate being “hormonally a female,” and admitted that the inmate still retained male genitals after Cruz pressed her on the issue.

“So you took a six-foot-two serial rapist, serial child rapist, with male genitalia, and he said ‘You know, I’d like to be in a women’s prison,” Cruz responded. “And your answer was, ‘That sounds great to me.’”

 

“Let me ask you something, the other women in that prison, do they have any rights?” Cruz asked.

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