Hello friends. This post is a collection of quotes from One Vote Away book by Ted Cruz. In One Vote Away, you will discover how often the high court decisions that affect your life have been decided by just one vote.
Today, the Supreme Court has become the preeminent arbiter of our constitutional rights. And the type of justice who serves has a profound impact on public policy and our fundamental liberties.
Americans have sharply different views on many policy issues, from abortion, to marriage, to religious faith, to the death penalty, to immigration, to the fundamental divide between socialism and free enterprise. In a democracy, those decisions should be made by the voters, not by unelected judges with life tenure.
Every single vote on the Court matters in every major case the Court hears. There is no room for error. On too many issues, we are one vote away.
It is a damning stain on America's conscience that a child's chances of life success are so heavily influenced by - perhaps dictated by - the zip code in which he or she is raised. It is a profound civil-rights crisis, about which every single American of every political or partisan stripe should be on the same page. Whether one is a conservative or a liberal, or a Republican or a Democrat ought not matter in the slightest when it comes to the urgent need to secure access to a quality education - and access to educational choice, in particular - for every young American.
Much that can be said about the natural right to religious liberty can also be said about the natural right to self-defense. Just as there can be no true political liberty without a robust protection of religious liberty under the rule of law, so too can there be no true political liberty without a robust protection of the right to self-defense under the rule of law. Social stability and human flourishing require the right to bear arms just as they require the right to worship.
The Second Amendment is not about hunting. Nor is it about skeet shooting, target shooting, or other leisure activities. Rather, the Framers of the Second Amendment put that provision in the Bill of Rights to protect our lives, to protect our homes, and to protect our families. It is about the right we have, if somebody comes into our home at night to harm our children, to defend our children and to defend our lives. It is about the right we have, as God-fearing, law-abiding, conscientious, armed citizens, to hold government accountable to "We the People of the United States" - who, in our system of governance, are the ultimate sovereigns.
A nation is sovereign if it is able to define and control the people that constitute it, is able to make all the relevant decisions that come with day-to-day governance, and is able to hold accountable its own elected and appointed rulers. A nation is not sovereign if it lacks any of these features - especially if the nation cannot control its own borders, cannot define who constitutes its own people, or is unable to make its own governing decisions due to interference or control from either another country or a transnational institution.
Perhaps the single most iconic sovereignty-undermining transnational institution operating in the world today is the European Union. The once mighty and distinct peoples of Europe - with rich and varied languages, culture, history, currency, and governance - all subjugated their unique diversity and the democratic authority of their citizens to a supra-national, bureaucratic central authority. And with their thunderous "Brexit" vote of 2016 and delayed successful independence earlier this year, the United Kingdom restored its own sovereignty from the European Union's bureaucrats and mandarins.
Against bullies and tyrants, weakness does not work. Only clarity and strength have any demonstrable record of success. History teaches repeatedly that appeasement is provocative, ironically increasing the chances of military conflict. As I have joked, there is a reason nobody studies at the Neville Chamberlain school of foreign policy.
A robust commitment to free speech is not a means to merely protect favored, or popular, speech. It is not a means to elevate and single out speech that might be deemed "reasonable." It is not a means to prioritize only the speech that is deemed socially acceptable and inoffensive by an elite ruling class. Rather, a society protects free speech under the rule of law precisely to protect unreasonable speech. It protects free speech under the rule of law precisely to protect offensive speech.
Free speech is not just an instrumental good. It is not just an expedient. It is not just a means toward an end. It is an intrinsic good - an end unto itself.
I believe in capital punishment. I believe in carrying out justice for those who commit unspeakable crimes, retribution for those who have been horribly victimized, and strong deterrence for the community to prevent the horrific crime from happening again. But under our constitutional system, you need not agree with me. You are free to arrive at a different judgment that suits your own preferences and your own set of morals.
Justices far too often have believed that they have the arbitrary power to resolve contested policy issues concerning criminal law and the death penalty. But that is not the role of judges under the Constitution. For those who wish to change the substantive standards, that responsibility is left to elected legislatures. And yet, in case after case, involving the very worst criminals committing the most unspeakable crimes, a host of lawyers, advocates, and activist judges continue to frustrate the carrying out of the laws.
Elected legislatures exist to consider and to weigh policy arguments and to reflect the wishes and values of the voters who elected them. When unelected judges seize issues of the criminal law and mandate that violent criminals receive lesser punishments, they are going against both the constitutional structure and their responsibility as judges.
Republicans have, historically speaking, been absolutely terrible at judicial nominations - especially nominations for Supreme Court justices. To borrow from baseball, Republicans at best bat .500. Once confirmed as justices, at most, half of Republicans' Supreme Court nominations actually behave as we hoped they might behave in terms of remaining faithful to their oath of office and the Constitution. Democrats, on the other hand, bat nearly 1.000. They are almost perfect in that almost every single Democratic Supreme Court nominee, on virtually every major case that is a hotly contested, votes exactly as the Democrats who appointed them would have wanted them to vote.
Let me suggest something: If you have lived fifty years of your life and there is nothing whatsoever in anything you have said, written, or done to demonstrate you're a conservative ... then you're not. And if by some bizarre miracle, you happen to be, perhaps the Supreme Court of the United States is not the best place for the world to find out.
Oftentimes, Republicans, as a political matter, are slow to make the decision that needs to be made, and we end up getting battered in the press and public opinion for days or weeks, only to reluctantly do what should have been done in the first place.
In the world of Washington, there are always trusted insiders, graybeards who will tell a president, "I know so and so," and even though their record doesn't demonstrate it, "trust me," deep down in their heart, they're going to be conservative. History teaches us that those siren promises are always, always, always wrong. If a judicial nominee does not have a demonstrated proven record, if we cannot be confident he or she will withstand the praise and punishment, the carrot and stick of the press and the academy, then they should not be named to the Supreme Court. The stakes are simply too high. After all, we're just one vote away.