Ted Cruz is pushing back hard against Donald Trump’s reluctance to take on the Left’s aggression on overturning local norms:
TONY KATZ: How do you sell yourself as the guy to Indiana who should be the person making [Supreme Court] nominations?
CRUZ: Well, I’ve spent my entire adult life fighting to defend the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Before I was in the Supreme Court, I was the Solicitor General of Texas, the chief lawyer for the state of Texas in front of the Supreme Court before I was serving in the Senate, and have repeatedly represented the state of Texas, represented private parties in blockbuster litigation. We defended the Ten Commandments monument on the state capital grounds in Texas, and we won 5-4. We defended the Pledge of Allegiance, the words “one Nation under God,” and won unanimously before the Supreme Court. We defended the 2nd amendment, the right to keep and bear arms ,in the landmark case of Heller v. District of Columbia. I represented 31 states defending the 2nd amendment and we won 5-4. And we stood up to the world court and the United Nations and the President of the United States defending U.S. sovereignty and we won 6-3.
And when it comes to the court virtually all of our basic rights hang in the balance. If you care about religious liberty, and I care passionately about religious liberty, I’ve spent two decades fighting to defend it, we are one liberal justice away from the Supreme Court stripping away our religious liberty. If you care about the 2nd amendment, we are one liberal justice away from the Supreme Court effectively erasing the 2nd amendment from the Bill of Rights. And so this election, the next President will nominate, one, two, three, maybe even four Supreme Court justices. If Hillary Clinton is the President, our rights will be lost at least for a generation.
And I’ll tell you, Tony, the very simple choice: if Donald Trump is our nominee? Hillary Clinton will be President. Hillary wins by double digits if Donald Trump is the nominee. If I’m the nominee, we beat Hillary Clinton, we’re beating her in key swing states all across the country, we’re beating her in Ohio, we’re beating her in Iowa — Donald is losing in Ohio, he’s losing in Iowa — and we are tied with her in even blue and purple states like Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Donald is losing and losing big in blue and purple states. So if you don’t want to lose the Supreme Court, I ask you to join and unify with our campaign, like so many Republicans nationwide.
KATZ: I want to ask you about religious liberty. It is also something that you discussed in your conversation with the Indiana GOP here in Indianapolis just the other day. It’s a conversation we’ve been dealing with since RFRA and how that was unleashed on Indiana, that quote unquote fix, we’ve seen what’s happened in Kentucky, we’re seeing what’s happening in North Carolina, Georgia decided not to go forward. Do states need their own RFRA? Do you see a value in that going forward? Or would it be, as someone like I would believe, that we’re covered by the Constitution, it’s just not necessary for the states.
CRUZ: Well there is no doubt that the First Amendment protects our religious liberty, and that the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act protects religious liberty. From my perspective, I will support any and all efforts to protect religious liberty, because it’s our foundational liberty, it’s the first liberty protected in the first clause of the first amendment of the Bill of Rights. We’re a country that was founded by men and women fleeing religious oppression, and the right for us to be free to live according to our faith, according to our conscience, that’s a right that protects everyone, it protects Jews, it protects Christians, it protects Muslims, it protects atheists, it protects all of us equally.
And you know, Tony, it is a sad statement: two decades ago religious liberty was a bipartisan commitment. The federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act passed virtually unanimously, was signed into law by a Democrat, Bill Clinton. But today the modern Democratic party has gotten so radical, so extreme, they’ve decided religious liberty is inconsistent with their partisan agenda. I think that is very unfortunate. And it reflects the triumph of political correctness.
And I gotta say, Tony, we saw this just this week, when Donald Trump went on to the “Today” show and Donald agreed with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in saying that adult men should be able to go to the bathroom in little girls’ bathrooms. And I’ve got to say, as the father of two young daughters, this to me is not an issue of conservative or liberal or Democrat or Republican, this is an issue of basic common sense. Grown adult men — strangers — should not be alone in a bathroom with little girls. Bad things happen when that occurs. And that’s basic common sense, and to see Donald Trump embracing political correctness, joining the PC police, the same PC police that just fired Curt Schilling from ESPN for expressing the obvious point that grown adult men shouldn’t be alone in a bathroom with little girls, I think it’s unfortunate and reveals, really, who Donald Trump is.
Danny Cannon works for the American Principles Project.