Ted Cruz calls for judicial retention elections for Supreme Court justices

Senator Ted Cruz is calling for a Constitutional amendment that would require nationwide elections every eight years on retaining Supreme Court justices. 

The proposal comes in the wake of the decisions on Obamacare and gay marriage that many observers say had less to do with the law than they had to do with politics.

Washington Post:

“I am proposing an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would subject each and every justice of the United States Supreme Court to periodic judicial retention elections," Cruz said Saturday, during a speech in Des Moines, Iowa. He also called for such elections in the National Review on Friday.

The proposal from Cruz, who once served as Supreme Court clerk, comes as he is trying to position himself as the presidential candidate of choice for conservatives and evangelicals who disagree with the court's decisions this week. The Texas Republican is using the rulings to paint himself as a stalwart defender of religious freedom, opponent of same-sex marriage and reaffirm his pledge to abolish the Affordable Care Act should he win the presidency.

Cruz is also using the rulings to reemphasize his assertion that he tacks far to the right of the rest of the 2016 GOP field when it comes to social issues, a point he started making in the wake of a controversial religious freedom law Indiana passed in March.

"Sadly we’ve seen several 2016 candidates in response to yesterday’s decision saying it is the law of the land, we must accept it and move on," Cruz said as the Des Moines audience booed. "When Republican candidates are standing up and reciting Barack Obama's talking points things have gone seriously wrong."

Earlier this year Cruz filed legislation that would protect states that prohibit same-sex couples from getting married.

Cruz said last week in Iowa that some Republican presidential candidates chose to "rearrange their sock drawers" in the wake of the Indiana decision. After a backlash to the initial law, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) signed arevised version of the religious freedom bill making it clear that businesses cannot use the legislation as the basis to discriminate based on sexual orientation.

Since the Supreme Court justices continues to act like politicians rather than judges, this is a proposal that actually makes sense. But at the same time, there is the danger that exposing the justices to the political winds might taint their decisions anyway. 

I believe that rather than elections, what's needed is a better way to vet Supreme Court nominees. The way we go about approving nominees is appalling. Senators can't ask specific questions about rulings in order to pin down the nominee on where he/she stands. That's got to change. The American people have a right to know if a justice will vote to overturn Roe or how expansive their view of civil rights might be.It may make it more difficult to confirm a nominee but that might make the president look a little harder at a nominee's beliefs before sending their name up to the Hill.

 

Senator Ted Cruz is calling for a Constitutional amendment that would require nationwide elections every eight years on retaining Supreme Court justices. 

The proposal comes in the wake of the decisions on Obamacare and gay marriage that many observers say had less to do with the law than they had to do with politics.

Washington Post:

“I am proposing an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would subject each and every justice of the United States Supreme Court to periodic judicial retention elections," Cruz said Saturday, during a speech in Des Moines, Iowa. He also called for such elections in the National Review on Friday.

The proposal from Cruz, who once served as Supreme Court clerk, comes as he is trying to position himself as the presidential candidate of choice for conservatives and evangelicals who disagree with the court's decisions this week. The Texas Republican is using the rulings to paint himself as a stalwart defender of religious freedom, opponent of same-sex marriage and reaffirm his pledge to abolish the Affordable Care Act should he win the presidency.

Cruz is also using the rulings to reemphasize his assertion that he tacks far to the right of the rest of the 2016 GOP field when it comes to social issues, a point he started making in the wake of a controversial religious freedom law Indiana passed in March.

"Sadly we’ve seen several 2016 candidates in response to yesterday’s decision saying it is the law of the land, we must accept it and move on," Cruz said as the Des Moines audience booed. "When Republican candidates are standing up and reciting Barack Obama's talking points things have gone seriously wrong."

Earlier this year Cruz filed legislation that would protect states that prohibit same-sex couples from getting married.

Cruz said last week in Iowa that some Republican presidential candidates chose to "rearrange their sock drawers" in the wake of the Indiana decision. After a backlash to the initial law, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) signed arevised version of the religious freedom bill making it clear that businesses cannot use the legislation as the basis to discriminate based on sexual orientation.

Since the Supreme Court justices continues to act like politicians rather than judges, this is a proposal that actually makes sense. But at the same time, there is the danger that exposing the justices to the political winds might taint their decisions anyway. 

I believe that rather than elections, what's needed is a better way to vet Supreme Court nominees. The way we go about approving nominees is appalling. Senators can't ask specific questions about rulings in order to pin down the nominee on where he/she stands. That's got to change. The American people have a right to know if a justice will vote to overturn Roe or how expansive their view of civil rights might be.It may make it more difficult to confirm a nominee but that might make the president look a little harder at a nominee's beliefs before sending their name up to the Hill.