Texas Senator and presidential candidate Ted Cruz did not hold back in expressing what he thinks about the Supreme Court’s two most controversial decisions in recent memory.
Cruz told radio talk show host Sean Hannity: “Today is some of the darkest 24 hours in our nation’s history.”
“I couldn’t say it more eloquently,” Hannity responded.
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“Yesterday and today were both naked and shameless judicial activism,” Cruz went on. “Neither decision — the decision yesterday rewriting Obamacare for the second time. Six justices joined the Obama administration. You now have President Obama, Kathleen Sebelius and six justices responsible for forcing this failed disaster of a law on millions of Americans, and simply rewriting the law in a way that is fundamentally contrary to their judicial oaths.”
“And then today, this radical decision purporting to strike down the marriage laws of every state. It has no connection to the United States Constitution. They are simply making it up,” Cruz said. “It is lawless, and in doing so, they have undermined the fundamentally legitimacy of the United States Supreme Court.”
“If those justices want to become legislators, I invite them to resign and run for office,” Cruz reprimanded. “That’s the appropriate place to write laws — on this floor, not that courtroom.”
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Cruz took to the Senate floor yesterday to express his profound disagreement with the Supreme Court’s decision regarding Obamacare subsidies paid through the federal exchange.
“These rogue Houdinis have transmogrified a federal exchange into an exchange ‘established by the state.’ This is lawless,” the senator asserted.
He quoted Justice Antonin Scalia, who wrote in the dissent that “Words no longer have meaning” and that the law should be referred to as “SCOTUScare” because of the Supreme Court’s commitment to saving it using “somersaults” of statutory interpretation.
“Unelected judges have once again become legislators and bad ones at that,” said Cruz. “They are lawless, and they hide the prevarication in legalise. Our government was designed to be one of laws, not men.”
The senator then used the same metaphor Chief Justice John Roberts (author of yesterday’s Obamacare majority opinion) employed during his 2005 confirmation hearing to define the role of those who sit on the high court. “These justices are not behaving as umpires calling balls and strikes,” said Cruz. “They have joined a team, and it’s a team that is hurting Americans across this country.”
Roberts said in his opening statement at his confirmation hearing: “Judges are like umpires. Umpires don’t make the rules; they apply them…And I will remember that it’s my job to call balls and strikes and not to pitch or bat.”
Both Cruz and Roberts began their legal careers serving as clerks on the Supreme Court for the conservative Chief Justice William Rehnquist, over a decade apart. Perhaps, Cruz invoked the memory of their former boss to highlight that Roberts had strayed from the beliefs about the rule of law and role of the court for which Rehnquist stood (though the former Chief Justice would have likely approved of Roberts’ stance regarding whether the court should redefine marriage. For those supporters of same-sex marriage, Roberts wrote “…celebrate today’s decision…but do not celebrate the Constitution. It has nothing to do with it. I respectfully dissent.”)
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“If Chief Justice Rehnquist could see this court today,” said Cruz, “he would be filled with sorrow at what has become of the Supreme Court of the United States.”
The candidate then shifted his focus to what is next. “It is now up to us, to keep our promise,” he said. “I believe 2016 will be a national referendum on repealing Obamacare….I remain fully committed to repealing every single word of [it].”
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