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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

By Lawrence Hurley

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz on Wednesday stepped up his criticisms of the U.S. Supreme Court over its recent decisions on gay marriage and Obamacare, saying the rulings were “the very definition of tyranny.”

A member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Cruz held a hearing on “Supreme Court activism” and took aim at Justice Anthony Kennedy.

A regular swing vote on the nine-member court, Kennedy wrote the ruling legalizing gay marriage nationwide, in which the court was split 5-4, and joined the majority in a 6-3 ruling upholding tax subsidies that are central to President Barack Obama’s healthcare law.

Cruz, a senator from Texas, said at the hearing: “Justice Kennedy’s pop psychology has no basis in the text and history of the Constitution.”

The healthcare and gay marriage decisions, issued on successive days in late June, were highly unpopular among the Republican primary voters Cruz is courting in his White House campaign.

Cruz has said states should be allowed to ban same-sex marriage and has repeatedly backed attempts to repeal the 2010 Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.

Democratic Senator Chris Coons of Delaware said Cruz and other conservatives were unhappy that the court did not rule the way they hoped in the two cases. Coons noted that liberals, too, have criticized recent court rulings. One, for instance, was the 2010 decision in Citizens United v. FEC, which lifted limits on corporate and union expenditure in federal elections.

After the latest decisions, Cruz called for the justices to face retention elections, similar to those used in some states, whereby justices could be voted out of office. Such a move would require a constitutional amendment.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted after the gay marriage and Obamacare rulings showed that a majority of Americans would support term limits for Supreme Court justices.

Cruz said during the hearing he would also support term limits.

Before he was elected to the Senate in 2012, Cruz was a prominent lawyer who argued nine cases before the Supreme Court.

Cruz is one of 16 candidates in the running to be the Republican nominee in the 2016 presidential election.

(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Lisa Shumaker)

Photo: U.S. Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz speaks at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, United States, July 18, 2015. REUTERS/Jim Young  

  • Marv Nochowitz

    But Cruz has no problem with the Citizens United decision or the neutering of the voting rights act. If Cruz agrees with the decision no problem. If he doesn’t then it’s tyranny

    • Dominick Vila

      Not surprising for a Cubano by way of Canada. A system of justice similar to what existed in Cuba under Fulgencio Batista would probably be more of his liking.

      • Louis Allen

        Come on Dom.
        That’s unfair and you know it.
        In order to cater to Marv, whose comments were not that measured, you resort to calling an honorable, self-made man and brilliant lawyer a “Cubano by way of Canada”. And now don’t tell me that your comment is “factually” true because your slip is showing.
        Marv and you might not agree with Ted Cruz but calling such a principled man and excellent attorney a Fulgencio Batista unconditional was, I think you will now admit, wayyyy off base.
        I will await your more reasoned response.

        • Dominick Vila

          I should have been more accurate, especially considering that Cruz Sr was once a supporter of Fidel Castro, before moving to greener pastures. I readily admit that I am biased, politically, when it comes to Ted.

          • Louis Allen

            1) Cruz Sr. might have been, “at first”, a supporter of Castro. So were Nixon and Kennedy “at first”.
            2) But of course you are biased politically against Ted and (most ??) of the Reps running!!
            Does that justify you leaving the “political” realm and entering the personal one to call an honorable man “a Cubano by way of Canada”?

          • Dominick Vila

            Yes, a lot of people supported Castro at first, and changed their minds later.
            Regarding personal attacks, everything that is discussed in forums like this is political. Nothing personal, since in most cases none of us know the candidates or elected officials personally. In any case, I think it is a bit rich for Republicans to complain about questions of constitutional eligibility to run for president, after all the attacks directed at a man born in Hawaii, simply because of who he is, and because his father was born in Kenya and his step father in Indonesia. Both sides can play the same game…
            BTW, I am keenly aware of Ted’s eligibility to be President. My wife was born in Spain, and so were our children. My kids became American citizens immediately as a result of me being a U.S. born citizen. The same is true for Ted, whose mother was born in the USA. My wife had to go through the naturalization process to become a citizen.

          • bobnstuff

            So other then voting against the ACA what great things has he done as a senator, what bill has he written that will go down in history as the Cruz bill? He likes to say thing that get headlines but what has he really done? Is trying to take down the government the actions of a great leader or even that of a man of honor? I believe that his clam to fame is being loud.

          • Louis Allen

            Here’s back at you.
            1) What bills has HilLIARy written that will go down in history as the HilLIARy bill? (Hint: Not one. BUT, she has done things that will result in her “going down” in history.)
            2) As to what Ted Cruz has “really done”, does this qualify? The fact that he chastised a Ms. Saldana, Obama’s ICE Director, during a recent Senate hearing for having released 104,000 illegal aliens in 2014, many of them having committed criminal acts. Ms. Saldana had to answer “You are absolutely right, sir.”
            3) Does the fact that he insists that ALL cities should observe and follow federal laws qualify him as a man of honor?
            4) Does the fact that Obama has steadfastly refused to defend and apply federal laws (something that he promised under oath) when it comes to illegal immigration qualify HIM as an honorable man?
            5) Is there any doubt in anybody’s mind about the fact that if it had been a Republican president who applied the law in such a SELECTIVE fashion, he would have been impeached long ago?
            Oh brother. You nincompoops never learn. On the contrary, you keep repeating your liberal mantra like stupid parrots.

          • bobnstuff

            First, what does Hillary or the President have to do with what Mr Cruz has done? By your account he has done very little, The 68,000 Illegals criminals that were released all had served the full terns in jail for their crimes, and that fact was known before the hearing which did not lead to any new laws. He makes lots of noise but not much else. Oh and by the way presidents have
            been selectively enforcing the laws since Washington, check the last few presidents records if you don’t believe me.

          • dpaano

            And, considering that he’s missed more House meetings than he’s attended, which was brought out during the 2nd GOP debate the other night….why would anyone want to elect him. He even said that he didn’t like Washington, D.C. …unfortunately, Mr. Cruz, if you are elected president, which won’t happen, you’ll have to actually LIVE there and you’ll be expected to be at work EVERY DAY, 24/7! If he can’t make it to committee meetings, how’s he going to make it to the Oval Office???

          • bobnstuff

            His attendants record is bad but still better then Rubio who has pretty much given up being a member of congress. Ted is an egocentric big mouth who doesn’t play well with others. He tries to pretend that he is an outsider but he has never work in the private sector and his wife works for a large New York brokerage. Why is it Texas likes to send people like Ted to Washington? I guess it is one way to get them to leave the state.

  • Lynda Groom

    I’m sure the members of the Court are sitting on the ends of their chairs waiting for Cruz’s next announcement. Yeah right, sure they are!

  • jamesowens

    the court finally voted to do whats right and not follow the party line and the GOP can stand it

  • Dominick Vila

    I don’t have a problem with term limits for Supreme Court Justices. In fact, I think that is a good idea. Unfortunately, that would not prevent Justices from voting in ways that are inconsistent with our values or aspirations. Should we assume that Rafael’s solution to the problem is nominating more Scalia’s, Alito’s and Thomas?

    • Steve Batchelor

      What would solve the problem the way I see it would be to select a “watch dog” to monitor the justices and if they cross the line into the political spectrum like the 3 you mentioned with their attendance at right wing fund raisers and the like they would be removed from office. Of course IMO members of Congress should get the same treatment for being “stupid”, which would rid us of the problem we now have with the “tea party”.

      • Dominick Vila

        I agree. Unfortunately, as long as the GOP controls both chambers of Congress that is not going happen. In fact, if they keep control of Congress after 2016, which is likely, and they win the White House, what is most likely to happen is a quick transition to an oligarchy where the middle class and the poor are nothing more than serfs with no voice.

        • Steve Batchelor

          There are 1 or 2 scenario’s that I am hoping to see acted out in the next year.
          1. The Repubs will have to placate Trump because of his threats to run on a 3rd party ticket which would pretty much assure a Democrat winning the presidential election. I don’t really see that helping them in the long run(placating Trump) though because hopefully as deranged as the clowns are they are going to tear each others throats out(case in point is Cruz calling McConnell a liar on the senate floor) in the debates which will show the voters just how uncaring and stupid they are.
          2.I am sure you and I and every other sane individual hope the courts get more involved with curbing the Repubs with their redistricting and gerrymandering BS. That and the people in the red states are going to get fed up(with school,healthcare, and all the other failings) and just maybe there will be an outcrying against the Republicans running for Congress.

          • Dominick Vila

            I think it is clear that there is a major struggle ongoing within the GOP between Tea Party advocates and the establishment. That struggle has been exacerbated by the emergence of Donald Trump, and his slash and burn philosophy. I already see signs of an effective comeback by the GOP establishment. A recent poll in Florida show Jeb and Marco leading by a wide margin, and Donald lagging with only 11% of the vote.
            Honestly, I don’t expect anything from this Supreme Court or Congress on the issue of gerrymandering. The part that they have not figured out how to destroy is the Democratic advantage in the Electoral College. With the exception of Texas, the GOP dominates small, poor, Southern and Bible Belt states. Democrats have a solid hold on the most populated and wealthy states in the country. What is surprising to me is the fact that so many Americans struggling to make ends meet continue to support the elitist policies of the GOP, and support policies such as the right to work for less.

          • Steve Batchelor

            I don’t believe that Florida is a true indicator if for no other reason because it’s Jeb and Marco’s home state, not that either have ever done the Florida any favors.
            I don’t really believe Trump has much of a chance in the Republican primaries if for no other reason then he’s nucking futz. The problem facing the Republican’s is if Trump keeps to his promise to run on a 3rd party ticket which will weaken the Republican vote.
            I don’t believe Scotus or Congress have much to do with gerrymandering.We have already seen some move on the gerrymandering in the NC courts and I hope the Democrats push for more states to get in on the act.
            I am bewildered by the way the people keep voting against their own self interest myself, seems illogical if not plain stupid. With the rash of mass shootings in the last month i think is going to get people to reexamine their thinking on the 2nd amendment which is partly why some vote Repub though I’m not holding my breath on that.
            I’m just holding my breath and praying that the Republicans self implode and show their true self which we see more of every day. Cruz calling McConnell a liar on the senate floor made me smile. Between Trump,Cruz,and the rest of the know it all loudmouth clowns imploding is quite possible.

          • Dominick Vila

            I agree with your assessment about Florida, and the fact that the opinions or preferences of many Florida voters are influenced by the fact that Jeb is a former FL governor, and Marco is a FL Senator and fairly popular in South Florida.
            Congress and the Courts could play a major role in ending the use of gerrymandering, but they won’t.
            The fact that so many middle class Americans vote against their own interests because of misguided ideology, fear of change, or prejudices is truly perplexing; and so is the insistence on lax gun laws, and proposals to solve the slaughter that is taking place nationwide by making it easier for every citizen to own a gun!

  • jakenhyde

    Poor, poor baby Cruz. Why wasn’t he crying “politics” when the court rendered its Hobby Lobby and Citizens United decision? What a two faced baboon.

    • CrankyToo

      Because, of course, he supports the radical decisions of the REAL activists on the court – the odious cons Roberts, Scalia, Alito and Thomas.

  • johninPCFL

    I’m unsure what Cruz’ solution to the problems that denying recognition would be. For instance, a couple legally married in NY moves to Texas. The spouse now cannot make medical decisions for the other spouse in the event of hospitalization (indeed, cannot even visit the spouse), cannot inherit the estate, cannot even pick up the children without special forms being filed with the school.

    So, Cruz, what’s the solution to the situation where married couples retire to your state and it continues to be firmly anchored in the 1700s?

    • CrankyToo

      There are no solutions to be found in Texas; only problems. It’s the bunghole of the nation, and it’s filthy with cons. From my perspective, anyone who voluntarily moves to Texas gets what they deserve and deserves what they get.

    • Bob Eddy

      His solution seems to be to pass a Constitutional amendment. I guess no one has explained to him how difficult it would be to get the two-thirds majority needed to pass an amendment that 60% disagree with. And this is the “smart” Republican in the field!

      • @HawaiianTater

        Smart Republican is an oxymoron. It’s a sad state of affairs when you have to put smart in quotation marks to describe the “smart” candidate in a party.

        • Bob Eddy

          There are actually smart Republicans, but they tend to be of the evil sort, Dick Cheney and Carl Rove for example.

          • @HawaiianTater

            I wouldn’t call them smart, necessarily. What they have is something different. More like… diabolical.

          • Steve Batchelor

            In Cheney’s case it’s more like “EVIL”.

      • Allan Richardson

        The Constitution already has the “full faith and credit” clause. Without it, a person who was acquitted legally of a crime in the state where it was committed, then moved to a state whose government believes he “oughta” been convicted and the crime “oughta” been under their jurisdiction, would be able to rearrest him and retrying because they did not honor the “full faith and credit” of the other state’s courts.

        Utah’s admission into the union was delayed because the OTHER states would have had to recognize their polygamous families, which the voters in every other state opposed, until their theocracy agreed that maybe God DIDN’T approve of Brigham Young’s harem after all.

  • Bren Frowick

    Does anybody really care what this loser says anymore? The look of desperation on his face says it all: his campaign is already over, he just hasn’t realized it quite yet… And besides, the shrinking pond of idiots supporting him are still sending money…

  • indiokie

    So continue bashing the Supreme Court. That will get you extra points for next time.

  • And now, on a lighter note, and as “Comedy Relief”, we give you Trump Jr.(aka cruisin’ Cruz) to entertain us with that inimitable trade-mark snarl of his as he continues belching fire in the direction of the SCOTUS.

    What an intriguing “work of art” little Trump is. But he performs, unwittingly, the task of showing how deep the extremists have descended into the abyss. Keep doing what you’re doing, little buddy.

  • itsfun

    reactions to rulings depends on whose ox is getting gored.

    • Bob Eddy

      How true! But it us only Republicans that seem to think the only way they can win is to change the system.

  • jiro tanaka

    If he doesn’t like the law of the land, he can always go back to Canada, the land of his birth or Cuba his ancestral homelands. Moron

  • Wayne Thorson

    The majority of the American people want universal health insurance and same sex marriage. Why does this buffoon want to go against the majority?

    • Steve Batchelor

      Because just like the rest of the idiots on the clown car they are paid by subversives like the Koch brothers to heel to their masters!

      • Wayne Thorson

        You got that right brother. The Supreme Court did just what the majority of what the American people wanted.

  • jesse

    Hahahaha! This charlatan has no right to talk about liberty because he supported that EVIL RACIST Jesse Helms who opposed the Civil Rights Movement and the Martin Luther King Holiday!

  • Jim

    He sure knows how to talk and talk and talk.

  • candace.hardison
  • iowasteve

    Term limitations would be acceptable to me – as long as it also applied to Congress. But, I can guarantee that Cruz would NOT be ok with those term limitations.

  • Eleanore Whitaker

    First of all, how Ted Cruz is EVEN allowed to run for president is a mystery. Everyone in Calgary, Alberta Canada knows that is where Ted Cruz was born. Cruz only forfeited his citizenship to Canada 3 years ago. According to the US Constitution a candidate for the presidency must have lived in the US 14 years and be a citizen of the US for that 14 years.

    This is the same GOP BS that Bachmannistan pulled with her dual citizenship with Switzerland. But, then these same GOP hypocrites had the gall to question Obama’s birthplace when the GOP knew all along Cruz and Bachmannistan were not full US citizens?

    Cruz wouldn’t dare mouth off about Canada’s Court system and he knows why. His Albertan status as an ultra conservative from the major Oil province is not the fair haired child in Ottawa’s national government.

  • pattreid

    so, is he opposed to Citizen’s United as well? Or just those things that are decided in favor of living human people?