Rafael Cruz Supports Roy Moore, Nullification

Rafael Cruz, the incredibly far right father of Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz, is publicly endorsing Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore’s claim that states do not have to obey federal court orders and he thinks other states should do the same thing.

“Something very exciting that has happened is what happened in Alabama with Justice Roy Moore,” Cruz said, hailing a state supreme court ruling which found that “the courts of Alabama do not have to obey the opinion of a federal judge and as a matter of fact, Justice Roy Moore, ordered the civil courts in Alabama not to issue marriage licenses for homosexual couples. And so what they are doing is asserting that the state has supremacy and basically all of these laws were for the state to make those decisions, not the federal court, the federal court is overreaching and it is actually legislating from the bench, contrary to the opinion of the majority of the American people.”

And the same exact thing was true of desegregation. And the overturning of state laws against interracial marriage. Would Cruz make the same claim in those situations? I’m sure he’d claim he wouldn’t, but I think we all know he would. And he certainly can’t offer a coherent distinction between those situations.

Cruz added that states with marriage equality will begin forcing pastors to marry same-sex couples under penalty of prison, something that has never taken place in any of the dozens of states where same-sex marriage is legal.

“We need to realize that the attack on marriage is more than just an attack on marriage, it actually goes to the heart of religious freedom,” Cruz said. “What is going to come next and this is part of the danger of what may happen out of the Supreme Court in June, is that if marriage of anybody-with-anybody becomes a civil rights issue, then they are going to come to churches and force pastors to violate their religious convictions. And so it is going to come to America to where a pastor is going to be faced with a decision: do you obey a law that is not only unjust but violates your core principles, or do you obey God and face prison?”

This is bullshit, and only those who are hopelessly paranoid and ignorant would believe it.

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  • AndrewD

    Didn’t the matter of states rights v Fedearal rights get sorted out in the years after 1865? you know that fracas we in the UK call The American Civil War.

    The States lost I believe.

  • http://www.electricminstrel.com Brett McCoy

    With the exception of a few neo-confederate groups, we call it the Civil War in the US, too :-)

  • MikeMa

    Rafael Cruz, next GOP gubernatorial candidate for Indiana!

  • John Pieret

    Actually, Moore has something of a valid legal argument … not that Cruz understands it (or much else).

    The question of whether a Federal district or even a circuit court can enforce a decision that a state law is unconstitutional in the face of a state supreme court that holds that the law is constitutional is a complex and not entirely clear area of the law.

    Moore has, on at least one occasion (who knows what he’ll say or do tomorrow?) admitted that if SCOTUS rules in favor of SSM, that will overrule anything the Alabama Supreme Court rules.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    This is bullshit, and only those who are hopelessly paranoid and ignorant would believe it.

    Sure, but on the other hand you people are going to force us Moral Americans to either obey a law that is not only unjust but violates our core principles, or obey God and face prison.

  • D. C. Sessions

    With the exception of a few neo-confederate groups, we call it the Civil War in the US, too :-)

    Not just neo-Cons. Some Yankees call it “the war of treason in defense of slavery.”

  • matty1

    @1 Also from the UK so I could be wrong but my reading is that the states rights view of the ACW is a later interpretation. The Confederacy created a more centralised system than the pre-war US and it was only later as support for slavery waned even in the defeated southern states that confederate sympathisers seized on states rights as a way of maintaining their self image as righteous losers.

  • busterggi

    “And the same exact thing was true of desegregation. And the overturning of state laws against interracial marriage. ”

    And these will be next if the Religious Reich gets its way.

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    they are going to come to churches and force pastors to violate their religious convictions

    More like they’re haggling about the price.

  • whheydt

    One could, I suppose, go for a cheap shot by noting that Rafael Cruz, as a Cuban, isn’t especially familiar with US Constitutional Law. In reality, I suspect he knows damned well what’s going on and that his side is going to lose, and lose big, in June along with Moore. He may, perhaps, be trying to minimize the collateral damage.

    Since Indiana was mentioned in passing… I was amused to see the BBC characterize Gov. Pence as “either a knave or naive”, which is a nice, polite, alliterative way to put it.

  • brucegee1962

    If the government was going to force pastors to marry people, wouldn’t they have started years ago with the Catholic Church? My understanding is that many priests won’t marry a Catholic to someone of a different faith unless the non-Catholic agrees to convert. Time for Big Government to step in and force the marriage at gunpoint!

  • k_machine

    I personally prefer the name “Treason in Defense of Slavery” as the name of the American Civil War.

    Rafael Cruz fought with Castro way back in the 50s, but didn’t know he was a Communist. I smell a Manchurian Candidate in the offing 😉

  • https://www.facebook.com/kevin.long.9887 Kevin Long

    @2: In Britain they call it the *American* Civil War to distinguish it from the English Civil Wars, 1642-1651.

  • colnago80

    Re k_machine @ #12

    In some defense of Cruz, there were a number of people who thought that Castro was an agrarian reformer, just like a number of folks thought that Mao Zedong was an agrarian reformer.

  • hrafn

    The question of whether a Federal district or even a circuit court can enforce a decision that a state law is unconstitutional in the face of a state supreme court that holds that the law is constitutional is a complex and not entirely clear area of the law.

    Citation?

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    Didn’t the matter of states rights v Fedearal rights get sorted out in the years after 1865?

    More like 1788. The Constitution that conservatives claim to worship is quite clear on whose laws trump whose.

    Cruz the elder even uses the word “supremacy“, which is pretty hilarious.

  • John Pieret
  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    @7:

    Notions of “states rights” definitely preceded the Civil War, most pointedly in the nullification crisis. It wasn’t just some post hoc justification.

    The problem is that it’s always been applied selectively. So in the years running up to the Civil War, southern states declared that slavery was a matter of “states rights”, but they were also major proponents of fugitive slave laws by which the federal government required free states to return escaped slaves to their owners — an obvious case of meddling by the feds. The same hypocrisy holds true today. “States rights” arguments are always self-serving, used only when conservatives don’t want the federal government doing something but quickly abandoned whenever federal law suits their agenda.

  • colnago80

    Re John Pieret @ #17

    From my, very much a non-expert on constitutional law, perspective, what seems to be going on here is that the defendants in the action that was decided at the Federal District Court level are trying to claim that the State Supreme Court somehow has to power to overrule a Federal District Court Decision. This seems utterly preposterous to me.

  • theguy

    “is that if marriage of anybody-with-anybody becomes a civil rights issue”

    No, just two consenting adults

    “then they are going to come to churches and force pastors to violate their religious convictions”

    Also no, people do not need to go to a church or other house of worship to get married. They can go to the courthouse for that. I’m guessing Cruz hates that too.

    “where a pastor is going to be faced with a decision: do you obey a law that is not only unjust but violates your core principles”

    Legalizing gay marriage is just precisely because it violates your core “principles” but no pastor is ever going to be forced to perform a gay wedding ceremony.

  • John Pieret

    colnago80 @ 19:

    It’s not so much that they are saying they can overrule the District Court (the Alabama Supreme Court has no authority to review federal district court decisions) than it is that they’re saying the decision of the District Court has very limited precedential reach … essentially, a DC decision binds only the parties to the action. As detailed at the link I gave above, Moore and the Alabama Supreme Court are saying that Alabama courts have the independent authority (recognized in the Constitution) to construe the federal constitution, and are not, literally speaking, bound by the federal district court’s decision.

    That’s where things get really tricky. There is the practice of “comity” where courts usually, but are not required to, defer to courts of concurrent jurisdiction. See:

    http://constitution.findlaw.com/article3/annotation21.html

    Obviously, the ASC refused to defer to the DC and that sets up a possible clash of authorities. That is just the sort of thing SCOTUS doesn’t like. It might be a clever ploy on Moore’s part because if there is anything that might push Kennedy to punt on SSM, it is the specter of multiple state/federal court clashes, contempt citations by federal courts against state officials and sending in the National Guard.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    John Pieret “Moore and the Alabama Supreme Court”

    Dibs on jug band name!

  • Chiroptera

    …then they are going to come to churches and force pastors to violate their religious convictions.

    So, the best way to prevent pastors from being forced to perform marriages that are against their beliefs is to prohibit other people from willingly performing marriages that they do support?

    Somehow, I suspect there is a better solution. Unfortunately, the solution is to allow people to live their own lives as they will, and that is really the thing they hate.

  • John Pieret

    Modus:

    Oh, all right … but I’m keeping Punt On SSM for the glam-rock band I’m forming.

  • colnago80

    Re John Pieret @ #21

    It’s not so much that they are saying they can overrule the District Court (the Alabama Supreme Court has no authority to review federal district court decisions) than it is that they’re saying the decision of the District Court has very limited precedential reach … essentially, a DC decision binds only the parties to the action.

    Actually, this matter came up in reference to Vaughn Walkers DC decision earlier on on this issue. It is my understanding that the DC decision binds every court in the District until such time as it is overturned by a higher federal court. It also came up in reference to John Jones III decision in the Dover case and it was reported at the time that applied to every jurisdiction in his district (e.g. the school board in York could also not mandate the teaching of ID in science classes).

  • John Pieret

    colnago80:

    It is my understanding that the DC decision binds every court in the District until such time as it is overturned by a higher federal court.

    There is some difference of opinion on that point.

    http://volokh.com/2010/05/25/district-court-opinions-precedential-within-the-same-district/

    (Sorry to keep giving you links but it is the easiest way.)

    The issue was raised by the supporters of Prop 8 but was short circuited by the state government which decided to order all county clerks to issue SSM licenses and, since SCOTUS held, in effect, that only the state could appeal Walker’s decisions in the case, that was the end of that. The Alabama governor was not a party to the action in this case and the ASC held the AG had no authority over the probate judges (and the ASC decisions as to state law are binding on the Federal courts).

    As to the binding effect of Judge Jones’ decision on all schools within the district … yes and no. Obviously, if Judge Jones caught a case with substantially the same facts, he’d certainly rule the same way. If another judge within the same district got the case, almost certainly the first thing s/he would ask is whether there was any substantial difference between that case and Kitzmiller and, if the defendant couldn’t show any, the judge would likely tell the plaintiff to make a motion for summary judgment and grant it based on the, at least persuasive and maybe binding (per the above link) , precedent. One thing can be safely said is that any school in the same district that tried such a stunt would be very foolish.

  • whheydt

    Re: brucegee1962 @ #11…

    I can give you one data point on that. My wife is Catholic. When we were engaged, I was asked by a Catholic priest to agree to permit any children we might have to be raised Catholic. After a moments thought I agreed, given the specificity of the request.

    Sooner than I expected, our son asked a Sunday School teacher a question she couldn’t handle and threw him out of the class. Our daughter immediately declared that if her brother didn’t have to go to Sunday School, she wasn’t going to go either. And that was that.

    Note that I *permitted* them to be raised Catholic. No one asked me to *insist* that they be raised Catholic, so I had a free hand to operate as an example of someone who cares for them, but wasn’t religious.