There were high expectations for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’s keynote address at CPAC 2013, and he delivered. As a young, passionate Hispanic who happens to be one of the most brilliant and accomplished constitutional experts and Supreme Court lawyers in the U.S. Senate in over half a century, Cruz poses a clear frustration for the left–and some in the Republican establishment as well.
Cruz was a rock star at the Conservative Political Action Conference. Whenever anyone mentioned him in their remarks, the utterance was met with applause. When Cruz himself showed up on stage Saturday afternoon, the crowd leaped to its feet in thunderous support.
He’s already starting to rack up the scars that a true conservative can expect to earn in the Senate, and he wears them like a badge of honor. Referring to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)’s criticism of the recent Brennan-CIA nomination filibuster, Cruz said with a smile, “If standing for liberty and the Constitution makes you a Wacko Bird, then count me a proud Wacko Bird.”
Cruz then went broader, saying that mistrust of government power is appropriate in all circumstances. Regarding the president: “No, we don’t trust you. And we don’t trust the next guy, or the next guy, or the next guy–whether he’s Democrat or Republican.”
His comments invoke one of the basic premises of our Constitution: that the Founding Fathers deliberately limited government power, broke it into different branches, and committed the whole system to writing, all in order to maximize the safeguards on the liberty of the American people.
He showed his unblemished pedigree as an elite constitutional lawyer and member of the Federalist Society. He quoted James Madison and The Federalist Papers about the proper role of government. In doing so, he illustrated the heart of originalism–that the terms of the Constitution must be interpreted according to their original, commonly-understood meaning.
Cruz also quoted Thomas Jefferson, who famously explained the purpose of a written Constitution was to act as “chains to bind the mischief of government.”
Everyone is wondering about Cruz’s future. Will he run for president? (He was born in Canada to an American mother, and is very likely eligible to run for president as I’ve previously explained.) Or might he be tapped as a vice presidential nominee? He’s manifestly fit to be a Supreme Court justice, and could be one of the best.
If Cruz chooses to stay a United States senator, he is still in a position to do immense good for the cause of constitutional government. His fellow Texans should be very pleased about the issues he is championing in the Senate and eager to keep him in that Senate seat for as long as he’s willing to serve if he delivers.
All that is talk for another day, though. He’s only been in office a few months. Yet already this freshman senator from the Lone Star State is making good on his promise to shake things up in Washington, D.C.
Keep your eye on Ted Cruz.
Breitbart News legal columnist Ken Klukowski is a constitutional lawyer and national-bestselling author.