Ted Cruz used, as a fig leaf for endorsing Donald Trump, the fact that Trump issued a new list of possible Supreme Court nominees that included the name Mike Lee. Now, nobody loves Mike Lee more than Patterico. Nobody. That I can tell you. But Mike Lee himself indicated that he was not swayed by the inclusion of his name, and anyone who knows anything about Donald Trump knows that it is a phony move on Trump’s part to include the name, because Lee has opposed Trump. Trump will never nominate Lee and everyone knows it.
But beyond that, Ilya Somin has an amazing piece in the Washington Post laying out why Trump cannot be trusted on the Supreme Court:
Donald Trump himself has repeatedly indicated that the Supreme Court list is merely a “guide” and not binding. Moreover, Trump has a long history of lying about a wide range of issues, and there is no reason to think he will be more trustworthy in this case.
But the problem goes far beyond Trump’s dishonesty. It is also far worse than mere ignorance about constitutional issues. Though Trump is indeed ignorant about the Constitution, ignorance does not imply indifference. To the contrary, he has a wide-ranging repressive agenda that would undermine the Constitution at many points. And much of that agenda is an outgrowth of views he has consistently held since long before the 2016 campaign. Unlike the Supreme Court list, it is probably not just a campaign ploy.
For many years, Trump has sought to undermine freedom of speech (in order to shut down his critics) and constitutional property rights (in order to empower government to seize property for transfer to influential developers, including himself). He also wants to gut constitutional constraints on executive power, in numerous areas – going even farther in this respect than Bush and Obama. Much of this is a result of his deep authoritarian streak, exemplified by his lonstanding admiration for brutal tactics of foreign strongmen like Vladimir Putin and the Chinese communists who perpetrated the Tiananmen Square massacre.
The list of unconstitutional policies promoted by Trump increases almost daily. Just in the last two weeks, he has advocated gutting the Sixth Amendment rights of terrorism suspects (including even US citizens with no known connections to foreign terrorist groups) and outlined a maternity leave policy that includes unconstitutional sex discrimination.
The last claim was not immediately obvious to me, but Somin backs it up in this post, and I think he’s right. The rest of it is definitely true. I think the judge issue is the best reason to vote for this cretin, and it’s really a very bad reason indeed.
I watched the entirety of Ted Cruz’s appearance at the Texas Tribune Festival today, in which Cruz was entertainingly raked over the coals by the Texas Tribune’s CEO Evan Smith. Cruz was his usual self, doing his best to appear credible in a tough situation and succeeding as well as anyone could in such a circumstance. It is clear how reluctant he was to come to his decision and how tepid the endorsement truly is.
I still like Ted Cruz, but this Supreme Court list ain’t much of a fig leaf. The fig leaf is small enough, indeed, that we can still see what’s missing. If you catch my drift.
I hope Trump has the decency to return Ted’s balls to him after the election
— Allahpundit (@allahpundit) September 23, 2016
P.S. Also worth reading: Erica Greider’s Ted Cruz Caves.