Ted Olson compares Ted Cruz’s gay marriage views to racist miscegenation laws

Republican super-lawyer Ted Olson — who, along with co-counsel David Boies, successfully defeated California’s gay marriage ban (Proposition 8) — has a few choice words for GOP presidential hopeful, and Tea Party favorite, Ted Cruz.

Olson was responding to Cruz’s recent comments to Jeffrey Toobin about gay marriage, in which Cruz suggested that voters have the right to vote away the rights of minorities.

Here are Cruz’s comments at the Texas Republican Convention earlier this month (June, 2014):

Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz (bottom right) lead "veterans" in protesting the Republicans own shutdown of the government.

Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz (bottom right) lead “veterans” in protesting the Republicans own shutdown of the government. Cruz was the architect of the 2013 federal government shutdown, then later tried to claim that he opposed it.

“Marriage is under assault,” Cruz told the crowd. “It is under assault in a way that is pervasive. We’re seeing marriage under assault in the courts, including, sadly, the Supreme Court of the United States. It struck down the California marriage laws. California had a referendum. They asked the voters of California, ‘Do you want marriage to be a traditional marriage between one man and one woman?’ And the voters of California—those crazy right-wing kooks—said, ‘Yes, now that you mention it, we like marriage to be between one man and one woman!’ Went to the U.S. Supreme Court, and the U.S. Supreme Court said, ‘You can’t say that,’ and struck it down. You want to know what judicial activism is? Judicial activism is judges imposing their policy preferences on the words of the Constitution.”

Olson, appearing on Ari Rabin-Havt’s show on SiriusXM, walked Cruz through how American democracy actually works:

“It is a sad thing when people don’t understand that the people cannot vote away the rights of minorities.”

And it got even better when Olson, a lifelong conservative Republican, compared Cruz to the kind of people who felt that blacks shouldn’t be permitted to marry whites, less than 50 years ago:

“This is very very said, it’s very very unfortunate. It is the same sort of thing that people said 40 some years ago when the Supreme Court overturned the laws of 16 states, supported by 2/3 of the population of the United States, that made it a felony to marry someone of a different race.”

And Olson is correct. In fact, 73% of Americans opposed inter-racial marriage in 1968, the year after the Supreme Court’s momentous decision striking down racist miscegenation laws in the Loving v. Virginia decision:

73% of Americans disapproved of inter-racial marriage in 1968, the year after the Supreme Court's famous decision in Loving v. Virginia.

73% of Americans disapproved of inter-racial marriage in 1968, the year after the Supreme Court’s famous decision in Loving v. Virginia. Source: Gallup.

There’s a wonderful ABC News on the 1967 Loving decision, that includes a great tidbit from the ACLU lawyer talking about the state of Virginia’s position on why it was bad for society if blacks were permitted to marry whites:

“They seemed to say that there was a present-day justification for these laws. That is, that they’re interested in the welfare of the children of such marriages.”

Sound familiar?

Mildred and Richard Loving and their 3 kids.

Mildred and Richard Loving and their 3 kids.

Cruz is also apparently out of touch with American history as well. More from Toobin’s story:

Ted Cruz, the Republican junior senator from Texas, has heard the line about how the Party needs to become more moderate to win Presidential elections. “It is amazing that the wisdom of the chattering class to the Republicans is always, always, always ‘Surrender your principles and agree with the Democrats,’ ” he told me. “That’s been true for my entire lifetime. The chattering classes have consistently said, ‘You crazy Republicans have to give up on what you believe and become more like Democrats.’ And, I would note, every time Republicans do that we lose.” Cruz then offered a short history of recent Presidential politics. Richard Nixon ran as a conservative, twice a winner; Gerald Ford, moderate, loser; Ronald Reagan, also twice a winner. “President George Herbert Walker Bush ran as a strong conservative, ran to continue the third term of Ronald Reagan, continue the Ronald Reagan revolution,” Cruz went on. “Then he raised taxes and in ’92 ran as an establishment moderate—same candidate, two very different campaigns. First one won, second one lost. In 1996, you got Bob Dole; 2000 and 2004, you have George W. Bush; 2008, John McCain; 2012, Mitt Romney. And what does the entire D.C. Republican consulting class say? ‘In 2016, we need another establishment moderate!’ Hasn’t worked in four decades. ‘But next time will be the time!’ ”

It would seem Senator Cruz is a tad confused. First off, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan would be liberals in today’s Republican party. Let’s start with Nixon: fervent supporter of the Clean Air Act and creator of the EPA and OSHA. Nixon was also, reportedly, a “champion” of affirmative action.

As for Ronald Reagan, he raised taxes, a lot. Reagan’s daughter, Patti Davis, thinks her dad would have been in favor of gay marriage. And even Ronald Reagan’s uber-conservative son, Michael, admitted that his dad would have a hard time getting the GOP nomation today:

“If you look at my father and you just knew him as governor — raised taxes, signed an abortion bill, no-fault divorce, and a few other things — today, the argument against him would come from the right, not from the left,” Reagan said. “He would have trouble getting his own nomination, but yet he ended up being the greatest president in our lifetimes.”

As for McCain, the man is a lifelong conservative Republican who played a liberal in 2000, then went back to being a neanderthal in 2008. Then he lost. In Romney’s case, the man is a flamingly pinko who pretended to be a hard-right Republican in 2012, and lost.  Both men lost after they ran as Republicans.

Speaking of the country’s pro-conservative tilt, someone should ask Cruz how much the American people loved his federal government shutdown.

Olson concluded by suggesting that Ted Cruz is not and should not be the future of the GOP:

“Ted Cruz is just plain wrong about that, and it’s unfortunate because that is not and should not be the future of the Republican party.”

Here’s a short 2 minutes-and-change snippet from the interview:

And here’s ABC’s reporting on the Loving v. Virginia decision back in the day:


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  • cleos_mom

    But remember, the downhill slide that began with Reagan’s destruction of the air traffic controllers’ union began not with that action but with the widespread applause of what he did. It gave the GOP a very clear message: give American voters a few sound bytes like “standing tall” and “morning in America” and they’ll lick the very boots that kick them. Some of them are still doing it.

  • cleos_mom

    I remember Michael Reagan’s radio talk show. He would be a perfect textbook example of an adult with Daddy issues.

  • Moderator3

    I know it seems you’re talking to no one, but I will attest that there was someone there. Her comment went on a one way trip. She described herself as an “Evangelical Christian Conservative” and then posted obscene comments at CNN. She’s just a troll.

  • hyhybt

    Turns out it’s explained elsewhere in the thread. At least one of his parents was a US citizen when he was born, so it doesn’t matter where that was or if he, until recently, had dual citizenship. Had he ever had to *become* a citizen, he’d be ineligible.

  • Butch1

    I’m not sure how he can run for the presidency being a former Canadian.

  • Butch1

    His religious beliefs are the Dominican sect. They would like to change this country from a democratic-republic into a theocracy. He is an active member and his father is a minister of this sect. Even though he tries to down play his role in it, he is an active member of his church. He is a rabid homophobe and has an agenda against gays.

    The Dominican religion wants to round up all gays and put them to death. They are very literal about this. Cruz is an evil man and I hope he never makes it to the Oval Office.

  • Butch1

    Cruz is definitely a religious right nut with a religious agenda.

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  • hyhybt

    Haven’t figured out how to manage that one.

  • Q00LKat

    As an Evangelical Christian Conservative, I like being on the wrong side of history on all issues. For whatever reason, it fills me with pride. It’s my right as a proud American. If you don’t like it, you can go efff yourselves.

  • LanceThruster

    “[T]hat is not and should not be the future of the Republican party.”

    Well…it is. Get used to it.

  • http://www.zazzle.com/mineomine Kyle Shepherd

    This isn’t just Cruz. Its all of those on the religious right who think this way.

  • Harry81

    Reagan’s son had me going until he said his father “ended up being the greatest president in our lifetimes.” St Ronny was the worst president since………..

  • Gary Harmer

    Teddy-poo cruz…needs his mouth broken.

  • mgardener

    ‘Republicans is always, always, always ‘Surrender your principles and agree with the Democrats,…”
    There is something fundamentally wrong with Ted Cruz.
    No Ted, Democrats do not want you to surrender your principles. We want freedom for everyone. That means you do not get to ‘force’ your principles on the rest of us, which is what You and the RW Republicans want.
    You are not forced to marry a gay person or your wife have an abortion. You can worship at your choice of churches and not have a religious set of beliefs forced upon you. Your children can attend a school in your community and not have Catholic or Muslim or Jewish ideas forced on them. You can have health care if you are poor.

    With your set of values Ted Cruz, none of this would be possible. Your religious beliefs would permeate my life.
    That is not what the Founding Fathers sought for this country.

  • goulo

    “Macduff was from his mother’s womb Untimely ripped.” (Macbeth)

  • hyhybt

    Ah, that clears that up then.

  • hyhybt

    I’m a bit confused. This is the first time I’ve heard Romney described as anything like “flamingly pinko.” And isn’t Cruz Canadian, or was until recently?

  • geronl

    John Aravosis eats little puppies for breakfast. Which is about as trustworthy a statement as anything in this so-called article.

  • http://www.americablog.com/ Naja pallida

    His mother was born in November, 1942. Obama was born in August, 1961. So if he was born in Kenya, she’d had to have left the country before she met the “at least 5 years of being physically present in the United States after the 14th birthday” requirement. So, technically, no.

  • Mark_in_MN

    Yes, Cruz is a natural born citizen, whether you like it or not. He wasn’t naturalized. He was born a citizen because of at least his mother’s citizenship. Being on US soil or not has nothing to do with it. The Constitution says nothing about being born in US territory. If that’s what they wanted to say, they could have clearly said that. They didn’t.

  • Indigo

    An interesting internal skirmish but here’s where I get to invoke that meme:
    “Not my circus, not my clowns!”

  • Indigo

    Wha- wha- whaaat?

  • Indigo

    Funny you should say that, I mentioned the same idea to some friends today. They were horrified! But they didn’t have alternatives to offer . . . go figure.

  • emjayay

    So that means Obama is legal even though he was born in Kenya? Ha!

  • jm2

    Cruz & his ilk give even revisionists & apologists a bad name every time they open their mouths. That’s really bad…

  • 2karmanot

    ppppffffttt

  • PeteWa

    smh…

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Aye… There is no doubt whatsoever in my mind that Dick Cheney is the most evil man to have ever run the United States, and I remain astonished he managed to do it through an unopposed electoral coup, with no repercussions.

  • jharp

    Reagan was the worst President in my lifetime. (mid fifties)

    Until George W. Bush but even so one can blame Reagan for some of W’s failures.

  • Zorba

    This is what you came up with? You sound like the old right-wing “America, love it or leave it!” people.
    And you don’t need to have gone to law school to understand what is in the Constitution. After all, Obama went to law school, and even taught Constitutional Law. Yet he has managed to do a number of things that are, very frankly, unconstitutional.

  • http://musephotos.wordpress.com/ GarySFBCN

    He was born via Cesarean section?

  • PeteWa

    the fact that LBJ caught Nixon sabotaging the Vietnam Peace talks and said nothing is a very bitter pill to swallow. It’s rather odd that what Nixon got away with Reagan would mirror a few years later vs. Carter.

    what a country.

  • PeteWa

    for me it’s such a toss up.
    the architect vs. his evil monkey.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I know. When I list “the worst presidents of my lifetime,” Reagan is surpassed only by Der Shrubbenfuhrer.

  • PeteWa

    it is not surprising that Mikey still loves daddy Ron… but it always confuses me when other, non biased people swallow the nonsense of Reagan being anything but a plague on the country.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    No, the 1986 Simpson-Mazzoli Act didn’t refer to Panama.

    However, despite Elijah’s certainty, the term ‘natural-born’ is never actually defined in the Constitution, does not specify ‘U.S. soil’ (or what the even means), nor does the Constitutional exclusion for running president appear to specify that someone born on foreign soil who is nonetheless a U.S. citizen (through parentage alone) therefore ineligible for the Presidency.

    On the other hand, there did remain enough confusion that even McCain’s eligibility was questioned — enough so that Obama and Hillary Clinton actually co-sponsored a Senate measure that would’ve settled the matter. Why? Because the law at the time (before all the reforms of the 20th century) said that children of U.S. citizens born in Panama were “declared” to be citizens, but did not include the words ‘natural born’ or ‘native born.’

    However, there was a 2000 Congressional Research Service report that concluded most constitutional scholars consider the phrase “natural born citizen” to include eligible children born to U.S. citizens while outside the country, for whatever reason.

    The operative rules appear to be whether the citizen in question required a naturalization process. If naturalized, not eligible. If they were automatically granted citizenship upon birth — whether in the U.S. or born abroad, they’re eligible. And the conditions of that grant make it clear that both Obama and Cruz are ‘natural-born’ citizens, regardless of their place of birth.

  • http://musephotos.wordpress.com/ GarySFBCN

    Ted Olson has been a tireless advocate for same-sex marriage and we should be thanking him for that. But in just about every other measure, he continues to be an enemy of progressive ideals.

  • Elijah Shalis

    no whether you like it or not he isn’t natural born.

  • http://www.americablog.com/ Naja pallida

    Federal Law trumps the Constitution every single day. It’s what the courts decide that matters, and this has been ruled on many, many times, whether you like it or not.

  • http://www.americablog.com/ Naja pallida

    There was a law passed back in the 80s(?) that retroactively and specifically declared anyone born in the Panama Canal Zone with a US citizen parent, to be a US citizen. They did that to specifically close the issue once and for all.

  • Elijah Shalis

    That is under Federal Law, Federal Law can not trump the Constitution. He wasn’t born on US soil so he isn’t naturally born.

  • kevinbenett

    Cruz could never become POTUS, he’s in it for the cash, he’s a dick that will never get hard!!!

  • http://www.americablog.com/ Naja pallida

    Despite the vague wording of the Constitution, the law is actually pretty clear on the issue. As long as the parents are married, and as long as as one of those parents is a US citizen, and that parent has, in the past, lived in the United States for at least 10 years, 5 of which were after the age of 14. Their US citizenship immediately passes to any children, no matter where, geographically they are born. Cruz’s mother is a US citizen, and grew up in the US, thus fulfilling all of the above criteria.

    The only way they could disqualify Cruz at this point is by revoking his existing citizenship. Which is just not going to happen. Even if the law changes, people who already have citizenship by this method will get to keep it. Nobody would be stupid enough to suddenly pass a law revoking the citizenship of thousands of Americans.

  • bpollen

    You know, Ted, it may not be lack conservative cred that’s the problem, it may just be that Republican’s pick crappy candidates. You name the most popular clown from the clown circus (I think you call it the Republican convention) as your candidate, but you only see it as a case of them not being reich-wing enough when they lose.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Ad hominem attacks? Please.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    The greatest president in MY lifetime was LBJ (but only if I ignore Vietnam, which is not easy to do…).

    I feel sorry for anybody born after 1968, because the pickings are slim after that.

  • Elijah Shalis

    Evidently you never went to law school. It matters, it is in the Constitution. Grow up or leave the country

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Still doesn’t matter, and the question was just as debatable because ‘U.S. soil’ in Panama was merely leased, and not actual U.S.-owned territory. If Cruz runs, his birthplace isn’t going to matter. No judge is going to rule him ineligible simply because he was born in a different geographic location.

    It’s just another flavor of birther-ism and it’s just as bogus.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Couldn’t agree more. Nearly everything wrong with this country today, those seeds were planted by Ronnie himself.

    A short list: Arms-for-hostages. Iran-Contra. Destroying unions. Beginning America’s long, slow economic decline. Two crash-induced recessions. S&L bailouts. Decimated what was left of our space program. Massive deficit spending and skyrocketing military budgets. Rolled back EPA regulations. Canceled virtually all alternative energy research. Blocked comprehensive healthcare reforms. Opposed any and all civil rights expansions. Demonized gay people for the HIV crisis.

    Trickle-down economics — raising taxes on the poor and middle classes, slashing them for the rich and corporations. Arming the Afghani mujahadeen — the group that would later become the Taliban and provide Al Qaeda its ‘safe haven’ and arm them. And he also armed Saddam Hussein, and looked the other way when Hussein used chemical weapons.

    And those are just the ones off the top of my head.

  • jharp

    “He would have trouble getting his own nomination, but yet he (Reagan) ended up being the greatest president in our lifetimes.”
    Utter fucking bullshit.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Cruz, as ever with these radical far-right wingnuts, loves to play the “no true conservative” canard (derived from the ‘no true Scotsman’ rhetorical fallacy). With them it’s always “win = conservative, lose = must not have been true conservative”.

    And yeah, to say McCain and Romney didn’t run as conservatives is a joke.

    Cruz’s notion that civil rights ought to be granted or withheld based on a simple voting plurality — which, by the way, the GOPers are trying to limit to only those will vote hard-right conservative — is the exact opposite of the founding ideals of our country’s system of government. It was the very reason we have a Bill of Rights in the first place, and why the judiciary was tasked with determining whether or not laws comply with the Constitution.

    Aside: It is rather striking and almost funny how closely the fight for gay marriage and the opposition to it has tracked with the anti-miscegenation situation. In the 1960s, many states had repealed those old laws, but conservative states — including Virginia and quite a few in the South — had not. The justifications given for banning interracial marriage weren’t just similar to those being used now in opposition to gay marriage — they were identical. The racists claimed it was unnatural, immoral, and violated thousands of years of ‘tradition.’ They claimed that being forced to recognize such marriages (or to allow them to be performed at all) was a violation of their religious civil rights. And finally, their fallback position was that it was bad for the children of such marriages — and they also claimed to have the proof of it, even though the proof was just, “Our lily-white kids will be urged by us to bully your mixed-race kids.” (In other words, the disadvantages of being a child of a biracial marriage were created and promoted entirely by the racist bigots themselves.)

    I like to think we did have a rather more enlightened government back then, one where our judges especially weren’t afraid to go against majority opinion, if the intended result was an expansion of individual freedoms and civil justice. Now? Occasionally they do the right thing, such as striking down the federal part of DOMA, but I suspect it’ll be a long time before they’d ever do something as daring and expansive as the Loving v. Virginia ruling.

  • Elijah Shalis

    McCain was born on US Soil in the Canal Zone

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Then neither is John McCain, who was born in Panama. It’s not gonna matter that Ted was born in Canada, as he’s still a U.S. citizen who did not require naturalization to become one.

    His chances of being elected president are less than nil. Easily half of his own party loathes him.

  • Max_1

    Cruz doesn’t mind blacks GAYS on his bus…
    … He just doesn’t want them upfront and in his face.

  • PeteWa

    “yet he ended up being the greatest president who got the most destructive, America destroying ball rolling in our lifetimes.”

    FIFY Mikey.

  • Elijah Shalis

    Cruz is not a natural born US Citizen. That part of the Constitution is based on Roman law and you literally had to be born on Roman soil.

  • dcinsider

    Cruz sucks.

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