- The Washington Times - Friday, February 19, 2016

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas on Friday warned of dire consequences for the U.S. Supreme Court and the country if Republicans lose the presidential election contest — or if the “wrong Republican” ends up getting nominated.

“If we nominate the wrong Republican — if we nominate a Republican president who doesn’t care about the court, who isn’t committed to the court, they’re going to make the same mistake Republican president after Republican president has made of not investing the capital, not fighting,” Mr. Cruz said at a rally in South Carolina, one day before the state’s GOP presidential primary.

“And one more justice on the left and the Second Amendment is written out of the Bill of Rights,” he said. “One more justice on the left and our religious liberty is gone for a generation. That’s what the stakes are.”

Mr. Cruz is one of many Republicans who say the next president — and not President Obama — should be the one to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court left by the recent death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

“We all know if a Democrat wins — if Hillary Clinton wins, if Bernie Sanders wins or if some other socialist wins — that our freedoms are gone for a generation,” he said. “But I’ll tell you what we also know: if the wrong Republican wins, they’re gone too.”

He said Democratic presidents have a history of getting their way in installing reliably liberal justices to the court.

“Republicans have been a disaster,” he said. “Many of the worst liberal justices have come from Republican presidents. Earl Warren, Bill Brennan, John Paul Stevens, David Souter, Harry Blackmun — the author of Roe versus Wade. Every one of those was a Republican appointee.”

Mr. Souter was nominated by President George H.W. Bush, the father of former former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. The younger Mr. Bush is one of Mr. Cruz’s rivals for the 2016 GOP nomination.

“You look at the justices who have been principled constitutionalists: Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Sam Alito, my former boss, Chief Justice William Rehnquist,” Mr. Cruz said. “Every one of them had a long, proven record [of] standing and defending the constitution, defending conservative principles, and being criticized for doing so.”

Mr. Cruz said what happens is you have Republican presidents who don’t really care about the court.

“And they say, you know what? If we nominate one of those guys, the Democrats are going to fight us,” he said. “We will have a knock-down, drag-out battle, and I got to save my political capital to pass some other piece of legislation I care about more.”

“And so they go with a stealth nominee,” he continued.

He said if you’ve lived 50 years of your life and haven’t said, done or written anything to prove you’re a conservative, “you ain’t.”

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