Last week’s Supreme Court decisions upholding Obamacare and legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states were "lawless" and amounted to judicial activism, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said Tuesday during an appearance on MSNBC’s "Morning Joe."
Cruz, a constitutionalist who is seeking the presidency in 2016, told the show’s panel that in its decision, the high court rewrote federal statute and rewrote Obamacare.
"The text of Obamacare states that the mandates, the taxes, the subsidies, they all apply to an exchange established by the state," Cruz said. "What the Supreme Court did is it erased the word state and decided an exchange established by the federal government was an exchange established by the state. And that’s not the law."
Story continues below video.
The consequence of the ruling, he continued, is that the individual mandate means that millions of people who are struggling financially are forced to pay "illegal taxes" because the individual mandate is a tax that is not contained in the text of the law.
"The Supreme Court now is extracting billions of dollars from people who don’t properly owe it," he said, adding that it may be the ruling of the highest court in the land, but "it’s still contrary to the law."
Everyone agrees America needs healthcare reform, Cruz added, but he’d like to see it in the form of expanded competition, patient empowerment and keeping the government from coming between doctors and patients.
When asked by host Joe Scarborough if Chief Justice John Roberts' decision would classify him as a "traitor," Cruz said he was "very disappointed" with Roberts, who he has known for 20 years and with whom he clerked for Chief Justice William Rehnquist.
He called him an "extraordinary lawyer" and recalled Rehnquist telling Cruz that Roberts was perhaps "the finest Supreme Court litigator alive."
"When I was litigating in front of the court there was no lawyer I more tried to emulate than John Roberts, because he was calm and steady and matter-of-fact. He persuaded the judges with facts of law.
But he violated the law, Cruz maintained, and he changed the law and "he’s a good enough lawyer. He knows he did that."
The same-sex marriage decision, mandating the states to legalize gay unions, resolved the issue for the parties in that particular case but others are not bound by it, according to Cruz.
"That is how Article III of the Constitution operates," he said. "Now, will other courts treat the decision as binding precedent? Yes, so you might be sued."
"Reasonable minds can disagree," he said, and while many people may celebrate gay marriage and agree with it as a policy matter, under the Constitution, marriage has been an issue for the states.
"If you want to change the marriage laws in your state, there is a constitutional avenue for pressing to do that … convincing your fellow citizens, as a policy matter, that marriage laws should change and changing them at the state level," he said.
Citizens of California may decide differently than the citizens of Texas or New York, he opined, but "that’s our constitutional system."
The reason Justice Antonin Scalia described the decision as a fundamental threat to democracy is "because five unelected lawyers determined the policy views of 320 million Americans didn’t matter," Cruz said.
He urged Americans to recognize the decision "for what it was: political, judicial activism."
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.