Cruz Pledges to Ignore Unconstitutional Gay Marriage Decision in Interview
Crisis Magazine is offering a transcript of the video interview with Senator Cruz:
Editor's note: Below is an excerpt from an interview with Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) conducted by Professor Robert P. George of Princeton University that aired November 25 on EWTN. The interview series, titled "Candidate Conversations 2016," will pose a number of questions to presidential candidates on topics of particular concern to Catholic voters. The passage below addresses the question of how public officials should best respond to the Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court ruling on so-called same-sex "marriage" decided last summer. Here, Senator Cruz publicly endorses a position advanced by Prof. George and others who argue that unconstitutional decisions of the Supreme Court can be resisted legally by the legislative and executive branches of the federal government as well as state governments not party to the case in question. This view follows the precedent of President Lincoln who famously rejected the Dred Scott slavery decision. . .
Start of Transcript:
ROBERT GEORGE: Let me ask you an important question about judicial power. Now, no one denies that sometimes the Supreme Court gets the Constitution wrong.
TED CRUZ: Yes.
ROBERT GEORGE: They're not infallible. As one of your competitors says: "The Supreme Court, not the Supreme Being." They were certainly wrong in the Dred Scott decision, which prohibited Congress from banning slavery in the federal territories; they were wrong to overturn worker protection legislation in 1905 in Lochner v. New York, and then they were again tragically wrong in Roe v. Wade in 1973, creating the abortion license. And now this year, they've done it again, another tragic mistake in imposing same-sex "marriage" on the entire country in its decision over Obergefell v. Hodges. So my question is going to be about how a president or senator should respond to the Supreme Court when it usurps the authority of the people and their elected representatives by issuing edicts that lack any warrant in the text, or logic, or original understanding of the Constitution and I want to make this question really quite specific.
Some people say that a president must always accept the court's interpretation of the Constitution no matter how dubious that interpretation is; that we have to treat it as the law of the land, binding not just on the parties to the case but on other officials of government, beginning with the president. Abraham Lincoln though, as you know, vehemently disagreed with that idea of judicial supremacy, saying that to treat unconstitutional court rulings as binding in all cases, no matter what, no matter how usurpative, no matter how anti-constitutional, would be for the American people-and I quote now the Great Emancipator-"to resign their government into the hands of that eminent tribunal." And Lincoln, of course, acted on this belief. He pursued legislation, and signed into law legislation, that restricted slavery in the federal territories. He issued passports and patents to black citizens, who, under Dred Scott v. Stanford, could not even be citizens. Even freed blacks couldn't be citizens. Was Lincoln right to defy the court on that, and would you, as president, do that with the Obergefell decision?
TED CRUZ: Lincoln was absolutely right. I agree with President Lincoln and courts do not make law. That is not what a court does. The court interprets the law, applies the law, but courts don't make law. And, you know, this is an area of really striking divide in this presidential election. One candidate, Hillary Clinton, agrees with the court and embraces gay "marriage" and is happy that unelected judges had purported to tear down the marriage laws of all fifty states. On the Republican side, they're quite a few Republicans who, when the gay "marriage" decision came down, they described it as the settled law of the land. It's final; we must accept it, move on and surrender.
Those are almost word for word Barack Obama's talking points and I think they are profoundly wrong. I think the decision was fundamentally illegitimate. It was lawless. It was not based on the Constitution. I agree very much with Justice Scalia, who wrote a powerful dissent saying, this decision is a fundamental threat to our democracy. It is five unelected judges declaring themselves the rulers of three hundred and twenty million Americans. And indeed, Justice Scalia, in the penultimate paragraph of his dissent, predicts, harkening back to President Lincoln defying Dred Scott, that state and local officials will refuse to obey this lawless decision. It is remarkable to see a Supreme Court justice saying that would be the consequence of this.
And, you know, we really saw the height of the arrogance of the court just a few weeks ago when Justice Kennedy was at the Harvard Law School and he was asked a question by students about this decision. And in his response, he compared the Supreme Court of the United States to the Nazis and he said, "How many judges do you think defied the Third Reich?" And with a smile he holds up his fingers and says "three."