Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) recently said that the United States Supreme Court‘s landmark decision which legalized same-sex marriage across America was “clearly wrong” but stressed that he did not believe the high court had any “appetite” to review the case and that it would be “chaotic” to disrupt such unions that occurred in accordance with the law.
On the Friday episode of his podcast “The Verdict,” Cruz and co-host Liz Wheeler discussed Obergefell v. Hodges — the 2015 case that ruled states were prohibited from banning same-sex marriage — as it compared to Roe v. Wade. Wheeler asked Cruz to pretend he was an advocate of the Court and explain the vulnerability of Obergefell and what it would take to overturn that precedent.
“Obergefell, like Roe v. Wade, ignored two centuries of our nation’s history,” Cruz told Wheeler. “Marriage was always an issue that was left to the states. We saw states before Obergefell, some states were moving to allow gay marriage, and other states were moving to allow civil partnerships. There were different standards that the states were adopting.”
In Obergefell, the Court ruled 5-4 that state laws banning same-sex marriage were unconstitutional under the due process and equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.
“And had the Court not ruled in Obergefell, the democratic process would have continued to operate; if you believed gay marriage was a good idea, the way the Constitution set up for you to advance that position is to convince your fellow citizens,” Cruz explained. “And if you succeeded in convincing your fellow citizens, then your state would change the laws to reflect those views. In Obergefell, the Court said, ‘No, we know better than you guys do and now every state … must sanction and permit gay marriage.'”
The former presidential candidate added that he believed that the Court was “overreaching” in that decision, but that it was a “fundamentally” different question than abortion.
“I think that decision was clearly wrong when it was decided,” Cruz added of same-sex marriage. “It was the court overreaching.”
In June, the SCOTUS emphasized in its Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision, which led to the overturning of Roe, that the abortion issue was not the same as marriage.
“… so in Dobbs, what the Supreme Court said is Roe is different because it’s the only one of the cases that involve the taking of a human life and that’s qualitatively different” than Obergefell, he explained.
“I agree with that proposition,” Cruz added.
In reaction to an edited clip of his answer, some leftists like Ron Filipkowski claimed that Cruz was calling on the Supreme Court to overturn Obergefell completely. As Cruz’s senior communications advisor Steve Guest pointed out, the full context of Cruz’s remarks proves otherwise.
Guest quipped, “Noticed you only clipped 18 seconds,” while linking to a longer version of Cruz’s response.
Noticed you only clipped 18 seconds.
Here's Sen. Cruz's full comments: "You've got a ton of people who have entered into gay marriages & it would be more than a little chaotic for the court to do something that somehow disrupted those marriages…" https://t.co/O0IbB8ztPr pic.twitter.com/c0khF0N4hW
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) July 17, 2022
Cruz went on to clarify, “When a court is deciding, is considering, whether to overturn a precedent, one of the factors that the court looks to is reliance interests — have people relied on the previous precedent and acted accordingly.”
“And in the context of marriage, you’ve got a ton of people who have entered into gay marriages and it would be more than a little chaotic for the Court to do something that somehow disrupted those marriages that have been entered into in accordance with the law,” he explained. “I think that would be a factor that would … counsel restraint, that the Court would be concerned about.”
Cruz also told Wheeler that while Justice Clarence Thomas might have noted the Court should review certain cases, including Obergefell, he didn’t believe the Court actually would.
“But to be honest, I don’t think this Court has any appetite for overturning any of these decisions,” he added.