Sen. Ted Cruz says that as far as he’s concerned, the Supreme Court will not have the final word on issues such as same-sex marriage and President Barack Obama’s federal healthcare program.
Cruz, a Texas Republican who is running for president, says he is making the Supreme Court’s decision Friday to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide a “front-and-center” issue of his campaign. The day before that ruling, the nation's highest court upheld the Affordable Care Act against a challenge that had galvanized a lot of Republican support.
In media interviews over the weekend, Cruz characterized the country's top court as being out of control and says he wants justices elected rather than appointed and not to hold their positions indefinitely.
"This week in response to both of these decisions, I have called for another constitutional amendment — this one that would make members of the Supreme Court subject to periodic judicial retention elections," said Cruz in an interview with NPR.
"That is very much front-and-center something I intend to campaign on," Cruz said. "And marriage and religious liberty are going to be integral, I believe, to motivating the American people to come out and vote for what is, ultimately, restoring our constitutional system."
In an interview with Fox News on Friday night, Cruz said, “Today is some of the darkest 24 hours in our nation’s history. Yesterday and today were both naked and shameless judicial activism.”
Cruz says in no uncertain terms that he wants to show voters he is a true conservative, unlike some others who profess to be but whose actions do not match their words.
While several GOP presidential candidates have indicated that they favor “traditional marriage” between a man and a woman, they say they respect the Supreme Court’s decision as the law of the land.
In fact, according to several published reports, some Republican contenders privately have expressed relief that the court essentially has closed the door on issues they did not want to deal with during the primaries.
Candidate and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush believes that same-sex marriage should be decided by states, but at the same time, he says, everyone is entitled to respect.
Sen. Marco Rubio, another Florida Republican also running for president, said he personally does not agree with same-sex marriage, but the Supreme Court decision is the law.
Cruz says he doesn’t necessarily see a Supreme Court decision as the end of the argument. "The parties to a case cannot ignore a direct judicial order, but it does not mean that those who are not parties to a case are bound by a judicial order," he says.
As for Obamacare, he told NPR, "The Supreme Court's decision has made 2016 a referendum on repealing every single word of Obamacare."
"In the 2016 primary, you're going to have 15 candidates up there going, 'I'm conservative! No, no, I'm conservative!'" said Cruz.
"It's very easy for Republican politicians to stand up and say they oppose Barack Obama. That's not hard to do," he observed. "I think the question Republican primary voters should ask is, 'When have you stood up against the Washington cartel? When have you stood up against leaders in our own party?'"
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