Biglaw, Election 2012, Politics, R. Ted Cruz, SCOTUS, Supreme Court, Supreme Court Clerks, Texas

Congratulations to Ted Cruz, Tea Party Favorite in Establishment Clothing

Ted Cruz

Congratulations to Ted Cruz, who will most likely be the next U.S. Senator from the great state of Texas. Cruz, who is currently a partner at Morgan Lewis, just won a runoff election for the Republican Senate nomination. Considering that Texas hasn’t sent a Democrat to the Senate since Lloyd Bentsen in 1988, the general election is probably Cruz’s to lose.

Cruz, 41, defeated a formidable opponent in the primary: Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, 66, who had the advantage of wide name recognition thanks to nine years in his current statewide office. Dewhurst, a wealthy businessman, also had money on his side: he outspent Cruz by about three to one. But Cruz — an amazing college debater, known for making his opponents wet themselves (he and I know each other through debate circles) — knows how to fight. And to win.

Ready for some résumé porn? Read on to learn about Cruz’s Texas-sized achievements….

Cruz received significant backing from Tea Party figures and social conservatives, including Sarah Palin, Rick Santorum, and Jim DeMint. Despite these Tea Party ties, Cruz is superbly well-credentialed. As The Daily Dolt put it:

[U]nlike many tea party candidates, Cruz’s resume is actually pretty bad-ass. The 41 year-old Cruz [served as] Texas’s Solicitor General and previously worked as an advisor to President George W. Bush. He received his B.A. from Princeton, graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, and then went on to clerk for William Rehnquist.

Wow. Think of Ted Cruz as a Tea Party darling in Establishment clothing. But note this about him:

Don’t get any ideas about the presidency, Republicans. [Cruz] was born in Canada.

Ah yes — proof that the Constitution isn’t perfect. It won’t allow us to elect a foreign-born president, even if he clerked for the Supreme Court. Let’s try and get this amended, stat. Members of the Elect are the closest we can come to Platonic guardians.

UPDATE (12:45 PM): A commenter claims that Cruz’s parents — his Cuban-born father, and his Irish-American mother — were U.S. citizens at the time of Cruz’s birth, which would make Cruz a “natural-born citizen” for purposes of running for president. If someone has authority for this proposition, please feel free to post in the comments or send my way.

UPDATE (1:00 PM): It seems there’s ambiguity over whether Cruz is a “natural-born citizen.” Read more over at the Los Angeles Times.

I’ve shared with you just a few highlights from Cruz’s résumé. Note also his clerkship for one of the top feeder judges in history, former judge J. Michael Luttig (now the general counsel of Boeing); a slew of Supreme Court arguments, including a high-profile win in Medellin v. Texas; and his partnership at Morgan Lewis (which pays him handsomely; see the “P.P.S” at the end of this post).

Alas, the blinding prestige of Cruz’s curriculum vitae will probably be lost on the voters of Texas. Here is something they will be able to understand: ¡él es Cubano!

Yes, that’s right: as you could probably guess from his surname, Ted Cruz is a Wise Latino. He’s a Cuban-American whose father left Cuba with $100 sewn into his underwear. Cruz’s Hispanic ethnicity and inspirational family history will be huge electoral assets. As noted by the New York Times, Cruz “has drawn comparisons to Mr. Rubio, another youthful Cuban-American who quickly became an icon of fiscal and religious conservatives around the country.”

I don’t agree with all of Ted Cruz’s stances — e.g., his opposition to marriage equality — but I admire his brilliance, his dedication, and his commitment to public service, reflected in his many years of service in both state and federal government. Best of luck to him in the U.S. Senate race and beyond.

P.S. A fun fact (and a sign of his conservatism): Cruz got his election party grub from Chick-fil-A, the fast food company known for its CEO’s opposition to gay marriage. I’m tempted to scarf down one of their delicious chicken sandwiches and then offset my Chick-fil-A footprint by donating to Freedom to Marry.

Tea Party Favorite Wins Texas Runoff [New York Times]
Who is Ted Cruz? [Washington Post]
For Cruz, Supreme Court Work at Heart of Campaign [Texas Tribune]
Ted Cruz Defeats Dewhurst Texas U.S. Senate Runoff [Fox News Latino]
Tea Party Darling Ted Cruz Wins Senate Primary, Serves Chick-fil-A At Election Party [The Daily Dolt]
Questions about the qualifications of Ted Cruz, the GOP’s newest star [Los Angeles Times]

Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of Ted Cruz

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