Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Schumer: Dem unity will happen eventually; Newsom prevails The Memo: Like the dress or not, Ocasio-Cortez is driving the conversation again Ocasio-Cortez defends attendance of Met Gala amid GOP uproar MORE (R-Texas) on Monday bashed “elites" on the Supreme Court for imposing their will on America’s heartland in its decision to legalize same-sex marriage.
“You’ve got nine lawyers, they are all from Harvard or Yale — there are no Protestants on the court, there are no evangelicals on the court,” the 2016 GOP presidential candidate said on NBC’s “Today,” echoing criticism from Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissenting opinion.
“The elites on the court look at much of this country as flyover country; they think that our views are simply parochial and don’t deserve to be respected.”
Cruz, who previously clerked for Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist, questioned a “crazy system” where “unelected lawyers” decide the most important issues.
He also pushed back against comparisons between his opposition of Friday’s same-sex marriage decision and historical opposition to interracial marriage during an interview Monday.
He argued that there is “no religious backing” for opposition to interracial marriage, unlike the religious concerns that stem from the Supreme Court’s ruling to legalize same-sex marriage. Cruz added that the constitutional amendments passed in the wake of the Civil War promised equal protection for all races and that the decision to legalize interracial marriage stemmed from that.
“We passed three amendments — the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the Constitution — to ensure that everyone has equal rights regardless of race,” he said.
“That was honoring the promise of the Constitution.”
Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion in the Supreme Court’s ruling on Friday derived the right to same-sex marriage from the 14th Amendment, which extends due process and equal protection. But Cruz’s reading of the law doesn’t extend that protection to same-sex couples.
Cruz also defended his calls for judicial retention elections, which he argued Friday should happen every eight years to keep the Supreme Court accountable to people. When NBC’s Savannah Guthrie asked him whether that would inject partisanship into a branch of government that’s supposed to be a neutral arbiter, Cruz said that it was too late.
“Lets be clear: The court has injected itself into politics,” he said, encouraging viewers to read Justice Scalia’s “powerful” dissents on same-sex marriage and from Thursday’s decision on ObamaCare.
“They are a check when judges abuse their authority and violate the Constitution.”