Monday, April 18, 2016


On Good Morning America today, a married gay Republican name Todd Calogne addressed Ted Cruz and, citing so-called religious freedom laws, asked, "What would you as president do to protect me and my husband from that institutionalized discrimination?" Cruz danced around the question for a while, and eventually George Stephanopoulos asked him about his support for a constitutional amendment allowing states to ban same-sex marriage. Stephanopoulos's question: “What would that mean for couples like Todd and his husband who already are married?”

Cruz gave what a RedState diarist calls a "perfect response":
“I am a constitutionalist and under the Constitution, marriage is a question for the states. That has been the case from the very beginning of this country -- that it’s been up to the states. And so if someone wants to change the marriage laws, I don’t think it should be five unelected lawyers down in Washington dictating that. And even if you happen to agree with that particular decision, why would you want to hand over every important public policy issue to five unelected lawyers who aren’t accountable to you, who don’t work for you -- instead if you want to change the marriage laws, convince your fellow citizens to change the laws. And by the way, it may end up that -- we’ve got 50 states -- that the laws in one state may be different than another state and we would expect that. We would expect the people of New York to adopt different laws than perhaps the people of Texas or California and that’s the great thing about a big, diverse country is that we can have different laws that respect different values.”
Cruz isn't just saying that states should be able to limit marriage to opposite-sex couples. He's also saying, by implication, that Loving v. Virginia was wrongly decided in 1967. If Cruz believes without qualification that "marriage is a question for the states," then he believes a state ought to be able to restrict marriage to couples of the same race, as did Mildred and Richard Loving's home state of Virginia, along with fifteen other states, until the High Court unanimously declared miscegenation laws unconstitutional in the Loving decision.

Will Ted Cruz be asked whether he believes that the Loving decision was a mistake? I doubt it. If he is, I assume he'll dance around that question, too, until he find some convoluted way to say that that federal ruling on marriage was okay, but the Supreme Court doesn't have a right to rule on same-sex marriage. Or he'll say it's a moot point because no state today would ever want to ban interracial marriages. (I wouldn't be so sure. A 2011 Public Policy Polling survey found that 46% of Mississippi Republicans believed interracial marriage should be illegal.)

C'mon, news media -- surprise me. Ask Cruz about this.

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majcmb1 said...

The RW keeps trying to insist that the Civil War never happened and that the federal Constitution wasn't amended to specifically clarify the federal government's definitive role in protecting the privileges and immunities of every American from State depredation.

KenRight said...

On the other hand there is the almost phased-in creeping attempt (in the US and parts of western Europe) to dictate-universalize diversity, i.e. in this case social egalitarianism, which is of course liberalism turning in on itself and become fascism of its own.

Feud Turgidson said...

KenRight - I believe that were you required to unpack that comment, the velocity of the packing peanuts alone would suffice to rend your keyboard into its constituent elements.

Left alone however, it's simple - very simple - nonsense.

Feud Turgidson said...

I propose a basic test for POTUS eligibility: whether, on examination of everything the candidate has ever said or written, there is not slightest indication of funk, that candidate shall be deemed un-American and placed behind every then-filed application for citizenship, and disqualified from seeking public office unless and until he obtains citizenship.

I'm not sure Cruz contains more than the minimum funk to qualify as either Cuban or Canadian at this point, forget American. I firmly believe that Cruz is headed to eventually being disowned by his own children as a crank and a weirdo.

Jeff Ryan said...

He's a "constitutionalist"? Since when? When did he ever read it?

I had to study the damned thing, and I sure remember the words "equal protection".

marieburns said...

By Cruz's logic, it seems states should be able to prevent people from different religions to marry, too. Or people over the age of 60. Or citizens of other countries. Or people with freckles. Whatever.

Marie Burns

Jeff Ryan said...

Yeah, kinda like the Fourteenth Amendment never happened.

"Texas, like a whole 'nother country." Which would be great, if it meant deportation.

Philo Vaihinger said...

Loving was wrongly decided and the incorporation doctrine is bogus, anyway.

Which tells you we have a largely obsolete constitution, not much like what we really want today.

And Cruz, a natural born citizen of Canada ineligible for the presidency of the US, is right about 5 unelected people in black robes lying about the constitution to force change on society being in general not a good idea, even if historically the lies told by the Supremes of the late 20th Century and more recently have generally been done to very desirable political effect.

Though his support for values pluralism among the states is doubtless fake.

Once upon a time in the 19th Century America refused to admit Utah into the Union unless it abandoned polygamy.

Ask Cruz about that, while you're at it.

Philo Vaihinger said...

About incorporation, libertarians and some conservatives currently agree with some liberals in holding that the privileges or immunities clause in fact makes the 14th Amendment do what people used to say the due process clause made it do, make constitutional rights previously only good against the general government equally good against the states.

But the thing is a near-mindless repetition of the privileges and immunities clause of the Articles of Confederation and Article IV of the US Constitution.

To accomplish so revolutionary a change as the Incorporation Doctrine contemplates, language clearly intending just that would have been used and the thing would have been sharply and clearly controverted and discussed during drafting and ratification.

What did happen was considerable muddle and confusion between (a) the rights of persons and the rights of citizens, (b) preventing states from denying rights to the freedmen previously afforded by them to free whites, (c) preventing states from denying rights to freedmen or others that already existed according to the pre-Civil War constitution and (d) extending constitutional guarantees against certain sorts of behavior by the federal government by prohibiting those same sorts of behavior to the states (incorporation).

And in any case the ID is not an unambiguous win for liberalism, given for example the prevailing reading of the Second Amendment.

The equal protection and due process clauses were intended as responses to the behavior of states that in a very literal way denied both to the freedmen, leaving them exposed to terrorism at the hands of both white civilians and white government officials.

Liberal readings of both are useful lies - as is the liberal reading of the Second Amendment and pretty much any liberal reading of any part of the constitution.

The constitution is obsolete, as I said.

John Robinson said...

Jeff Ryan: Cruz, there, is a "Constitutionalist" in exactly the same way that the religious fanatics he numbers himself among are "Christians". The Holy Writ they constantly refer to apparently leaves out about 90% of the material that the actual document contains, and contains a great deal of material which is not to be found anywhere in the actual document. Apparently there is more to be found 'between the lines' in Cruz's Constitution and in his Bible than there are lines in either of his versions.

Jeff Ryan said...

@John Robinson: One irony is that the Framers would have thought Cruz deluded. They understood that the world would change, and that the principles of the Constitution would have to weather future storms. They would have found Cruz terrifying. And idiotic.

But Cruz's real problem is that he thinks the world is like Texas. It isn't. And he will learn that the hard way.

Jeff Ryan said...

@Philo Valinger: To dispense with the obvious first, "conservatives" have purposely misconstrued the Second Amendment for years in order to derive a meaning they like, instead of what is clearly the Amendment's purpose. Which you clearly don't get. (Hint: When Congress means something, they usually allude to it.) Factually, and purposefully, the Second Amendment applies only to the federal government. That is why Madison created it, and why it was enacted. But as a result, your constitutional arguments on other provisions suffer from misunderstanding as well.

There is zero evidence - and zero means "none" - that the "privileges and immunities" clause is to be interpreted in the manner you suggest. For one thing, "libertarians" would have been viewed by the Framers as idiots. And that's just for one. But a pretty big one.

There are certainly very good arguments against the Fourteenth Amendment incorporation principle, though Madison would have applauded it. But to claim that the "privileges and immunities" clause accomplishes what the Fourteenth Amendment incorporation principle accomplishes would have, if true, saved Madison a lot of time. It didn't, because what you and "libertarians" argue is far from the what the "privileges and immunities" clause was ever intended to do.

History matters. And the Framers weren't fools.

Philo Vaihinger said...

You misunderstand me, I am on the side of the liberals, on most things.

Even, mostly, when they have to do great and important good things by lying about the constitution, itself an illegal product of an illegal convention that was illegally adopted to replace the Articles of Confederation, themselves the improvised product of bloody revolution.

It would be too much to describe the constitution at any time as wholly satanic, and it would have been better to bring liberal values into it through the amendment process, but surely, for example, somebody had to somehow turn the right to an attorney into a positive right good not only against the general government but also against the states, eh?

Somebody had to somehow rip the power of the law out of the hands of Christianists (as Andrew Sullivan calls them).

Somebody had to somehow rip the power of the law out of the hands of racists who used it to carry out their agenda of hatred and malice.

And nobody else was doing these things, at all.

So liberal judges did them.

Be glad somebody did.

smartalek said...

Now, Ken, we've told you over and over:
Nobody is going to force you to get gay-married, or to become either a transexual or even a transvestite...
Unless, of course, that's what you want.
Is it?
Is there something you're trying to tell us here?
If so, do, by all means, let it go -- you'll feel so much better, really.
(Did the cold never bother you anyway?)