Senator Ted Cruz brought the crowd to their feet when he entered the room at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Thursday, and he didn’t disappoint the crowd of conservative activists who had gathered to hear him speak. In a freewheeling conversation with commentator Mark Levin, the Texas Solon declared that Washington Democrats have gone “bat-crap crazy” due to their anger and resentment over the results of the 2016 election. He then predicted that’s only going to get worse when the next vacancy occurs on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Senator Cruz expressed particular scorn for the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, which just this week upheld Maryland’s ban on certain centerfire rifles and magazines. He accused the judges of tearing the heart out of the Second Amendment by “inventing” a test where rifles and other firearm accessories would not be protected by the Bill of Rights if they were useful in a military context.
“This test isn’t just questionable…it’s not just a little bit out there…it is nuts!” Senator Cruz exclaimed. “The Second Amendment was designed explicitly to protect weapons that would be useful in a military context.” He reminded the audience that in 1789, citizens were expected to show up for militia duty with their own muskets, the high-powered military-grade long guns of the era. “Apparently, the Second Amendment [only] protects feather dusters,” he said sarcastically. “The Second Amendment is not about hunting [or] target shooting. It’s about protecting your home, your family and your life.”
The Senator also expressed dissatisfaction with the 9th Circuit’s recent decision stopping the Trump administration’s executive order restricting immigration from certain countries, claiming that it was another example of ‘activist judges’ ignoring the Constitution and the laws passed by Congress in order to impose their own policy preferences.
Putting Judge Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court could help matters, he said, given the Judge’s reputation as a staunch constitutionalist and originalist. The Senator cautioned, though, against the idea that Gorsuch by himself would be able to radically reshape the judiciary. “The Scalia seat is defense. We won’t do better than him. The best we can do is uphold victories like the Second Amendment [in the Heller and McDonald decisions.]” The next vacancy, he said, is where conservatives will have the opportunity to “get back and restore basic constitutional protections.”
The Senator then dropped a mini-bombshel, predicting that there would likely be another Supreme Court vacancy this summer. “If that happens, the left will go full armageddon meltdown then.”
“Democrats are living in an alternate universe right now…. They are in denial, and they’re angry…. I’ve never seen anything like it.” He characterized their obstructionism and repeated use of the filibuster in the Senate as being motivated by a fear on the part of some Democrats in Congress of being “primaried” because they were seen as insufficiently left-wing by their base, whom Mr. Cruz described as being “bat-crap crazy.”
When asked about his legislative priorities, Second Amendment activists may have been disappointed by the Senator’s response. The Texan said that in 2017 he hoped that Congress could repeal Obamacare, confirm Judge Gorsuch and the rest of Trump’s cabinet appointees, pass fundamental tax reform “ideally a flat tax,” and pass the legislation he co-sponsored to de-fund the United Nations until they reverse their stand against the State of Israel.
With all due respect to the Senator, that sounds like weak beer. Both the National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act and the Hearing Protection Act are awaiting action in the House. Considering how much time the Senator devoted to expressing concern over the Second Amendment’s fate in the Courts, it would have seemed natural to talk about the practical steps that he and the rest of Congress could take to help secure those rights against infringement. But that didn’t happen.