This column by ACRU Fellow Ken Klukowski was published February 25, 2017 by Breitbart.
OXON HILL, Md. — Calling Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) “one of the leading constitutionalists” in America, conservative giant Mark Levin engaged the prominent Texan senator at CPAC on Thursday in a wide-ranging conversation covering the Constitution, immigration, and the Second Amendment. Many CPAC-goers are wondering if Cruz might be President Trump’s next pick for the Supreme Court.
“Let me ask you about the courts,” Levin said early through the interview, asking Cruz about the recent decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit against Trump’s executive order restricting foreigners from seven terror-prone nations from entering the United States.
“You look at judicial activism,” Cruz began, unloading on the San Francisco-based appeals court. “They don’t even cite the controlling federal law!” he exclaimed, noting that Congress in 8 U.S.C. § 1182(f) explicitly delegated to the president the power to do precisely what Trump did in issuing Executive Order 13,769.
Cruz also tackled the Second Amendment, blasting a decision this week from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which held that firearms useful in military conflicts are not protected by the Second Amendment.
“It is nuts!” the senator declared. “If we were living back in 1789, your musket would be really useful for military conflict,” yet muskets are clearly protected as part of the right to bear arms.
He explained that the Second Amendment is “about protecting your home, and your family, and your life,” and that any firearms that could achieve that purpose could also be used in a military setting. But, he continued, this appeals court — which is now dominated by liberal Democrat-appointed judges — have excluded all such firearms from constitutional protection.
“So apparently the Second Amendment protects feather-dusters,” Cruz added sarcastically, saying that if someone breaks into your home, the owner can make sure the intruder is clean while he’s robbing the house.
Later the conversation shifted to Jeff Sessions becoming the nation’s top law enforcement officer as attorney general. “Let me just say that again: ‘Attorney General Jeff Sessions,’” Cruz said, to the laughter and applause of the crowd. “I just like to make Chuck Schumer twitch,” he quipped.
“The Democrats right now are living in an alternative universe,” he went on, discussing Democratic reactions to Sessions and various other presidential appointments.
He pointed out that Democrats have no one to blame but themselves. Focusing again on the former Alabama senator, Cruz kept the applause coming with, “Let me, on behalf of CPAC, thank Harry Reid… Harry Reid, that you for Attorney General Jeff Sessions,” singling out other Cabinet officials for praise as well.
Cruz also promised that, one way or the other, Senate Republicans would also get Judge Neil Gorsuch confirmed to the Supreme Court.
After Gorsuch is confirmed, there’s already buzz about who conservatives want to see as the next nominee to the High Court. Experts expect two more vacancies, likely for Justices Anthony Kennedy and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, during Trump’s current four-year presidential term.
When talking with top conservative leaders at CPAC, two names keep popping up, neither of whom is a judge. One is former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement. The other is Sen. Ted Cruz.