Donald Trump unwittingly put Ted Cruz in a real bind when he came out and said he planned to sign an executive order ending the birthright citizenship required by the 14th Amendment. Politically, Cruz can’t come out against that plan in Texas. But guess what? He’s already on the record saying it’s unconstitutional.
As recently as 2011, Cruz — a former Texas solicitor general who has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court nine times — seemed solidly on board with that consensus.
“The 14th Amendment provides for birthright citizenship. I’ve looked at the legal arguments against it, and I will tell you, as a Supreme Court litigator, those arguments are not very good,” Cruz said in an interview during his first bid for U.S. Senate. “As much as someone may dislike the policy of birthright citizenship, it’s in the U.S. Constitution.”
But on Tuesday, Cruz dodged the legal question, telling a Dallas Morning News reporter, “I would need to examine the legal arguments behind an executive order, and I haven’t seen those yet.”
“I’ve studied this and it’s clearly unconstitutional.”
How about now?
“Gee, I really need to study this so I can’t answer you right now.”
How convenient. He knows it’s unconstitutional. He’s said so. But that’s politically damaging now, so let’s all play a big game of pretend like children. Patches O’Houlihan would be proud.