Ted Cruz Lauds Retired Justice Stevens at Senate Hearing

Wednesday, 30 Apr 2014 11:12 PM

By Cathy Burke

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Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who once led the liberal wing of the nation's high court, won over an unexpected admirer Wednesday: Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.

Cruz, who argued before the Supreme Court as Texas solicitor general, marveled at being "on this side of the dais rather than answering questions from Justice Stevens," The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

"Justice Stevens often disagreed with the position of my clients," Cruz said admiringly, CNN reported. "And there was no justice whose questions were more incisive, more friendly and, frankly, more dangerous than Justice Stevens."

"Always with a twinkle in his eye" Cruz recalled, smiling, "he would ask a question: Counsel, wouldn't you just agree with this small little thing– that if you said yes, would walk you down a road that would unravel the entire position of your case."

"It is very nice to have the good justice with us," Cruz said.

The Journal noted that Stevens appeared before the Senate Rules Committee on Wednesday to discuss ideas from his new book, "Six Amendments," which proposes six changes to the Constitution, including one to overturn the Citizens United campaign-finance ruling from 2010, from which Stevens dissented as a member of the court.

Stevens, 94, did not take questions from the senators and was on his way out of the hearing room as Cruz spoke.

But he looked over at the lawmaker and nodded thanks, the reports said.

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