Ted Cruz has vowed to go after gay marriage in the 2016 election–saying that he’ll make it “front and center” in his campaign.
What’s more, he’s also going after the Supreme Court–telling a recent interview that he believes justices should be held accountable to the American people, by being directly elected, instead of having lifetime appointments by a President.
Cruz explains: “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.”
Cruz bolsters his explanation by saying that, in 20 states, Americans are trusted with voting to keep or remove their judges, especially if they “overstep their bounds” or even “violate the Constitution.”
Such a change in the appointment of justices would, as Cruz states, require a new amendment to the Constitution–something unlikely in today’s polarized political climate but, with an unprecedented bipartisan fury towards the Supreme Court (from conservatives, on issues like gay marriage and ObamaCare; and from liberals, on cases like Hobby Lobby and Citizens United), not completely impossible.
“That is very much front and center something I intend to campaign on,” Cruz said, about the future of the Supreme Court and whether or not justices should be appointed via direct election.
Bringing the issue back to gay marriage, he added: “And marriage and religious liberty are going to be integral, I believe, to motivating the American people to come out and vote for what’s, ultimately, restoring our constitutional system.”
Cruz was among the most vocal recent opponents of gay marriage, compared to his fellow 2012 opponents. Cruz called the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize gay marriage on Friday part of the “darkest 24 hours” in American history.
Some of his opponents–like former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who are both running for the Republican nomination for President–shrugged off the decision, by giving lip service to their opposition to gay marriage but basically saying that they’d respect the ruling of the Supreme Court.
Cruz, instead, came out swinging, as did some of his other opponents–namely Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who urged a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage once and for all.
While a sizeable majority of Americans now support gay marriage–more than 60%–Cruz is banking on a strong, vocal subset of conservatives to propel him to the White House. He feels that, despite poll numbers, Americans will stand strong behind his promise to turn back the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage.
“The court’s views are radically out of step with public opinion,” Cruz explained. “The Supreme Court follows the opinions of Manhattan and Washington D.C., but it doesn’t follow the opinions of America.”