Cruz: SCOTUS ‘Elites’ Think ‘Flyover Country’ Views Shouldn’t Be Respected

Texas Senator and Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz argued that the “elites” on the Supreme Court “look over much of this country as flyover country. They think that our views are simply parochial and don’t deserve to be respected” on Monday’s broadcast of NBC’s “Today.”

Cruz stood by earlier comments that the Supreme Court’s rulings constituted “some of the darkest 24 hours in our nation’s history,” stating, “What happened last week is, twice, back-to-back, the US Supreme Court, a majority of the justices, violated their judicial oath. On Thursday of last week, the court rewrote Obamacare, rewrote the statute, ignored the language of the statute, and as a result forced millions of people into this failed law. Millions of Americans are hurting, have lost their jobs, have lost their healthcare because of Obamacare. And then the next day, the Supreme Court rewrote the Constitution, and threw out the marriage laws of all 50 states. Now, listen. I’ve spent my life fighting to defend the Constitution, and there is a constitutional means. If someone wants to change the marriage laws in a state, the way the constitution allows you to do so, is to convince your fellow citizens to do so through the democratic process. What we saw instead, is five unelected lawyers saying the views of 320 million Americans don’t matter, because they’re going to enforce their own policy position.”

He was then asked whether, given his support for country clerks opting out of issuing licenses for same-sex marriages on religious grounds, he would support a county clerk opting out of issuing a license for an interracial marriage. Cruz answered, “there’s no religious backing for that, and I have spent decades fighting against bigotry and racial oppression. I’m the son of a Cuban immigrant. Bigotry is fundamentally wrong. And one of the things I talk about in the book, ‘A Time for Truth,’ is fighting to defend religious liberty. For me religious liberty isn’t some new found campaign theme. I’ve spent two decades, when I was the Solicitor General in Texas, the chief lawyer for the state in front of the United States Supreme Court, over and over again, we fought and defended religious liberty, and won, we defended the Ten Commandments and won, we defended the Pledge of Allegiance and won. One of the things I was really honored to do, I represented over 3 million veterans defending the Mohave Desert veterans memorial and won. And religious liberty is right at the foundation of our country.”

Cruz was then asked if he would have considered interracial marriage a states rights matter. He said, “Of course not. And we fought a bloody Civil War…over the original sin of our country that was slavery. Slavery was grotesque and immoral and some 600,000 Americans lost their lives, spilled their blood on American soil to expunge it. And we passed three amendments, the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution that are to ensure that everyone has equal rights regardless of race. And that was honoring the promise of the Constitution. It was the right thing to do. One of the things that in my book, ‘A time for Truth,’ I talk about is my time clerking at the US Supreme court, trying to give people a window to what happens behind the scenes. It’s the same thing I try to do in the Senate, where we’re giving people an understanding, not just of what is said on the news, but what’s actually happening behind closed doors, the role of money, and sadly, the corruption of both Republicans and Democrats who join together in what I call the Washington cartel.”

Cruz concluded by discussing his proposal for merit retention of Supreme Court justices and whether that would politicize the court. He argued that “the court has injected itself into politics.” And pointed the fact that some states already have retention elections on judges as “a check when judges abuse their authority and violate the Constitution.” He added, “you’ve got nine lawyers, they’re all from Harvard or Yale, there are no Protestants on the court, there are no Evangelicals on the court. The elites on the court look over much of this country as flyover country. They think that our views are simply parochial and don’t deserve to be respected. And Justice Scalia pointed out, I mean, what a crazy system to have the most important issues of our day decided by unelected lawyers. We have 50 states. If states could decide this, some states, maybe New York and California would go one way, and maybe Texas and florida would go the other. That’s the miracle of our Constitution.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett