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Monday, November 21, 2016
Ted Cruz for SCOTUS
Daniel John Sobieski
Among the many somewhat surprising visitors to Trump Tower was Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a former Trump presidential rival with whom unpleasant commentaries were exchanged. Politics does indeed make strange bedfellows and if we have seen anything since November 8 it is that president-elect Trump has proven more magnanimous and less vindictive than both his political opponents and media critics have painted him.
The broad swath of GOP control at all levels of government presents a huge opportunity to, as Trump promised, to drain the swamp. Already we have a very real prospect of repealing and replacing ObamaCare, of enacting pro-growth tax reform, rebuilding the military, securing our borders, and, yes, putting the Supreme Court on the right path for generations.
The prospect of restoring and protecting religious liberty and the Second Amendment and reigning in the regulatory excesses of federal agencies is at hand. Ted Cruz, who campaigned with vice president-elect Mike Pence for Trump in Iowa, has pledged to work with Trump on Supreme Court appointments, tweeting after their meeting:
I'm eager to work with the new POTUS to repeal Obamacare, confirm strong #SCOTUS justices & protect the constitutional rights of Americans.
Speculation was that Cruz might be offered the slot as attorney general, now offered to Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions. Well, Ted, if you want to put strict constitutionalist judges on the Supreme Court who would restore the original intent of the founding fathers, who would be a better pick than yourself?
Trump warned during the campaign that the Second Amendment was under attack and there was no better defender of the Second Amendment than Ted Cruz. He would be a worthy replacement for the late Justice Scalia, with whom Ted Cruz helped save the Second Amendment in the momentous Heller decision. In a statement on Scalia's passing, Cruz stated:
"As liberals and conservatives alike would agree, through his powerful and persuasive opinions, Justice Scalia fundamentally changed how courts interpret the Constitution and statutes, returning the focus to the original meaning of the text after decades of judicial activism. And he authored some of the most important decisions ever, including District of Columbia v. Heller, which recognized our fundamental right under the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms. He was an unrelenting defender of religious liberty, free speech, federalism, the constitutional separation of powers, and private property rights. All liberty-loving Americans should be in mourning.
What few people know, and the media won't remind them, is that Ted Cruz was a prime mover in getting Heller, in which Scalia wrote the majority opinion, before the Court and decided in favor of gun rights, ruling that the right to keep and bear arms was an individual right and that the word "militia", as the Founders intended, meant the "whole people" of the United States. If Heller had gone the other way, our gun rights would have been thrown on the ash heap of history. In January Cruz told CNN:
I represented 31 states in the Heller case, which upheld the individual right to keep and bear arms. You know what Barack Obama's position is? That there is no individual right to keep and bear arms whatsoever under the Constitution… Hillary Clinton, for example, has said she will put Supreme Court justices on the court who will overturn Heller. And if Heller is overturned… there were four justices who said that there is no individual right to keep and bear arms whatsoever, that it is only a collective right in the militia, which is fancy lawyer talk for a nonexistent right… [If] Hillary Clinton gets one more Supreme Court justice, what it would mean is, the Supreme Court would say you and I and every individual American have no constitutional right under the Second Amendment at all, and either the federal government or a state government could make it a crime to possess a firearm.
Before endorsing Trump, and perhaps one of the reasons aside from SCOTUS picks, Cruz received support from Trump in fighting the Obama administration's Internet giveaway that removed it from U.S. control. They are more in agreement than some commentators think. As Politico reported:
Donald Trump's campaign Wednesday criticized the Obama administration's plan to hand oversight of the internet's domain name system to an international body, echoing Sen. Ted Cruz's argument that it could lead to more censorship by countries like Russia and China.
"The U.S. should not turn control of the Internet over to the United Nations and the international community. President Obama intends to do so on his own authority -- just 10 days from now, on October 1st, unless Congress acts quickly to stop him," Trump's national policy director, Stephen Miller, said in a statement published on the campaign's website…
Cruz, who has famously refused to endorse Trump's candidacy, thanked the GOP nominee in a tweet: "Appreciate @realDonaldTrump's support of our efforts to stop Obama's Internet handover & keep the #Internet free."
There are those who suggest Cruz would turn down a SCOTUS offer and that in any event he might have a tough time getting confirmed by fellow senators whose toes he has stepped on. But if he is as unpopular as they say, they just might want to elevate him out of the Senate. Cruz, the argument goes, may not want to be just 1 of 9, but right now he is just 1 of 100. Would he pass up a chance to safeguard the Constitution or a generation or more in favor of having his bills die in committee? I think not. Would the United States and the Constitution be better off with a Justice Cruz? I think so.
Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor's Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.