Ted Cruz for the Supreme Court
The 5-4 SCOTUS decisions upholding the constitutionality of President Trump’s travel ban and declaring the unconstitutionality of public sector unions extorting money from non-members to support political parties, candidates, and causes they oppose are two more benefits from President Trump’s appointment of originalist Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
The retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy provides another opportunity to appoint another justice like the late Antonin Scalia, an originalist who believed that the words of the Constitution should be interpreted as written by the Founders in the context of the time in which they were written. I put forward the name of Sen. Ted Cruz.
The most importance consequence of President Trump’s election will the transformation of the Supreme Court and lower courts into conservative and constitutional bastions of freedom. The nomination of Cruz, former attorney general of Texas who has argued many cases before the Supreme Court and won, would be another giant step in that direction.
During the transition, among the many somewhat surprising visitors to Trump Tower was Sen. Cruz, a former Trump presidential rival with whom unpleasant commentaries were exchanged. I, too, had serious reservations, as readers may remember, but was won over by actions that mark the most conservative presidency since Reagan, perhaps even more so.
Politics does indeed make strange bedfellows, but, at the risk of cliché overload, actions speak louder than words. If we have seen anything since November 8, 2016, it is that President Trump has proven more conservative in thought, word, and deed than anyone could have imagined. And more magnanimous in the treatment of his former foes.
Gorsuch was on the list or 21 names Trump had announced for Supreme Court consideration, a list that made most conservatives ecstatic. Ted Cruz’s name was not, although a Cruz ally was on Trump’s short list for SCOTUS. Cruz would make a great second pick -- a constitutional originalist in the Scalia mode.
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 Cruz helped save the Second Amendment in the momentous Heller decision. 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. As 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 free lance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.