Big Republican Government

Things You Didn’t Want to Know About Ted Cruz

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Back in the day of 2007 when GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz was the solicitor general of Texas, his office prepared a legal brief to defend the state in court against plaintiffs who argued the state's ban on sex toys is unconstitutional.

Mother Jones has the details on Cruz's legal brief which, in so many words, argued that it's the duty of government to discourage the use of sex toys and that banning the sale of toys is not a breach of personal liberty.

Warning: what you read next may be disturbing.

The brief insisted that Texas in order to protect "public morals" had "police-power interests" in "discouraging prurient interests in sexual gratification, combating the commercial sale of sex, and protecting minors." There was a "government" interest, it maintained, in "discouraging...autonomous sex." The brief compared the use of sex toys with "hiring a willing prostitute or engaging in consensual bigamy," and it equated advertising these products with the commercial promotion of prostitution. In perhaps the most noticeable line of the brief, Cruz's office declared, "There is no substantive-due-process right to stimulate one's genitals for non-medical purposes unrelated to procreation or outside of an interpersonal relationship." That is, the pursuit of such happiness had no constitutional standing. And the brief argued there was no "right to promote dildos, vibrators, and other obscene devices." The plaintiffs, it noted, were "free to engage in unfettered noncommercial speech touting the uses of obscene devices" but not speech designed to generate the sale of these items.

Which brings us to our next point:

Think the GOP race couldn't be more embarrassing? Think again. I can't even imagine what will happen next.

As the saying goes, Republicans want government small enough to 'fit in your bedroom,' but Ted Cruz's government would be small enough to fit in your dresser drawer.

  • Badgerite

    Things I didn’t want to know about Ted Cruz? How about……anything.

  • muselet

    I’ll cut Ted Cruz this much slack *holds thumb and index finger 3Å apart*: as an employee of then-Attorney General Greg Abbott, it was his job to follow Abbott’s orders and defend a ridiculous law.

    That said, aren’t Righties like Ted Cruz always moaning about how big bad gummint shouldn’t be telling us how to live our lives?


    • Victor the Crab

      Maybe. But wouldn’t Abbott and Cruz be in complete simpatico about issues such as what consenting adults do in their own bedrooms? I.E., anything that might make the Baby Jesus weep is strictly verboten?

      • muselet

        Oh, no doubt Ted Cruz was more than happy to misrepresent what the industry used to call marital aids to the circuit court. Cruz is yet another of those anhedonic scolds the Right coughs up every few years, so writing—or at least reviewing—this brief was a pleasure for him.

        On second thought, maybe that slack should be 2Å, not three.


  • Aynwrong

    I hope Colbert reads the whole thing live on the air tonight.

  • He was the solicitor general. I’m pretty sure he saw this. And if he saw it and didn’t shut it down, then he’s responsible. That was his job.

  • Dread_Pirate_Mathius

    Don’t get me wrong – I think this is absurd, but just because “his office” prepared this, doesn’t mean he prepared it and, further, even if he did, that doesn’t mean he believes it rather than, say, was doing his job.

    I get it, I love mocking him and “small govment” types like this, but it weakens our (real) arguments against dangerous lunatics like Ted and The Donald when we attack strawmen like this.

    • Toolymegapoopoo

      I would agree if the man didn’t have a long history of speaking just like this. I doubt the solicitor general is going to allow a brief with such bizarrely sexual imagery to be distributed if he didn’t fully believe it or even have written it himself.

    • JMAshby

      I completely disagree. Ted Cruz is responsible for the language of a legal brief from his office with his name on it argued in his name. And this was not merely his duty as solicitor general. This goes far beyond the scope of where others in the same position would go. If you can name another SO, or anyone, really, who argued in court that there’s no constitutional right to masturbation, I’ll eat my hat.

      Ted Cruz’s politics tell me he believed every word of it.