Cruz: Supreme Court 'abdicating its duty'

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzPoll shows competitive matchup if O’Rourke ran for Senate again Democrats veer left as Trump cements hold on Republicans O’Rourke heading to Wisconsin amid 2020 speculation MORE (R-Texas) on Monday slammed the Supreme Court for declining to hear appeals on lower court rulings that overturn same-sex marriage bans, calling the justices’ move “tragic and indefensible.”

“By refusing to rule if the States can define marriage, the Supreme Court is abdicating its duty to uphold the Constitution,” he said in a statement. “The fact that the Supreme Court Justices, without providing any explanation whatsoever, have permitted lower courts to strike down so many state marriage laws is astonishing.”

On Monday, the Supreme Court decided not to hear challenges to lower court rulings on same-sex marriage during its upcoming term. That effectively marked the end of the road for cases from five states: Indiana, Utah, Virginia, Oklahoma and Wisconsin. Without a Supreme Court challenge, the lower court rulings that allowed gay marriage to become law in those states.

Similar ramifications are likely to be felt in six other states that fall under the same circuit courts.

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“This is judicial activism at its worst,” Cruz said. “Unelected judges should not be imposing their policy preferences to subvert the considered judgments of democratically elected legislatures.”

Cruz is often vocal on legal issues. As the former solicitor general of Texas, he argued cases in front of the Supreme Court and, before that, he clerked for former Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist. He is also a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The freshman Texas senator is a favorite among many Christian conservatives because of stances based upon his religious convictions, including a staunch opposition to same-sex marriage. In September, he won the presidential straw poll at the Value Voters Summit in Washington after a speech in which he repeatedly talked about his religious faith and said that Republicans should stick to socially conservative values.

Cruz included his own brief legal rationale for why he believed the court had erred and said that he will introduce a constitutional amendment to “prevent the federal government or the courts from attacking or striking down state marriage laws.” He also touted a bill he introduced in February that would force the federal government to follow an individual state’s definition of marriage.

In response to Cruz’s statement, the Democratic National Committee emailed out the entire text of his statement to reporters, along with photos of two female couples that were just married in Virginia and Utah.