|Cruz in 2013|
|United States Senator
January 3, 2013
Serving with John Cornyn
|Preceded by||Kay Bailey Hutchison|
|Solicitor General of Texas|
January 9, 2003 – May 12, 2008
|Preceded by||Julie Parsley|
|Succeeded by||James Ho|
|Born||Rafael Edward Cruz
December 22, 1970
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
|Spouse(s)||Heidi Suzanne (Nelson) Cruz|
|Residence||Houston, Texas, U.S.|
|Alma mater||Princeton University (A.B.) (1992) (cum laude)
Harvard Law School (J.D.) (1995) (magna cum laude)
|Website||Ted Cruz for Senate
Senator Ted Cruz
Rafael Edward "Ted" Cruz (born December 22, 1970) is the junior United States Senator from Texas. Elected in 2012, he is the first Cuban American or Latino to hold the office. Cruz is a member of the Republican Party. He served as Solicitor General of Texas from 2003 to May 2008, after being appointed by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. Between 1999 and 2003, Cruz served as the director of the Office of Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission, an Associate Deputy Attorney General at the United States Department of Justice, and as Domestic Policy Advisor to U.S. President George W. Bush on the 2000 Bush-Cheney campaign. Cruz was also an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Texas School of Law in Austin, where he taught U.S. Supreme Court litigation, from 2004 to 2009.
Cruz was the Republican nominee for the Senate seat vacated by fellow Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison. On July 31, 2012, he defeated Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst in the Republican primary runoff, 57–43. Cruz defeated the Democrat, former state Representative Paul Sadler, in the general election held on November 6, 2012; he prevailed with 56–41 over Sadler. Cruz openly identifies with the Tea Party movement, and has been endorsed by the Republican Liberty Caucus. On November 14, 2012, Cruz was appointed vice-chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the committee that seeks to elect more Republicans to the Senate.
He was the first Hispanic Solicitor General in Texas, the youngest Solicitor General in the United States, and the longest-serving Solicitor General in Texas' history. Cruz is one of three Latinos in the Senate; the others — also Americans of Cuban ancestry — are fellow Republican Marco Rubio of Florida and Democrat Bob Menendez of New Jersey.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Education
- 3 Legal career
- 4 U.S. Senate
- 5 Speculation on a possible run for higher office
- 6 Awards
- 7 Personal life
- 8 Electoral history
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Cruz was born on December 22, 1970 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada where his parents, Eleanor Elizabeth Darragh Wilson and Rafael Bienvenido Cruz, were working in the oil business. His parents owned a seismic-data processing firm for oil drillers. Cruz's father, who was born in 1939 in Matanzas, Cuba, as Robert T. Garrett of the Dallas Morning News has described, "suffered beatings and imprisonment for protesting the oppressive regime" of dictator Fulgencio Batista. He fought for Fidel Castro in the Cuban Revolution when he was 14 years old, but "didn't know Castro was a Communist." A few years later he became a staunch critic of Castro when "the rebel leader took control and began seizing private property and suppressing dissent." The elder Cruz fled Cuba in 1957, two years before the revolution, at the age of 18, landing in Austin, becoming a Cuban émigré, to study at the University of Texas, knowing no English and with $100 sewn into his underwear. His younger sister fought in the counter-revolution and was tortured by the new regime. He remained regretful for his early support of Castro, and emphatically conveyed this remorse to his young son over the following years. The elder Cruz worked his way through college as a dishwasher, making 50 cents an hour, earning a degree in mathematics. Cruz's father today is a pastor in Carrollton, Texas, a Dallas suburb, and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2005.
Cruz's mother was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware, in a family of Irish and Italian descent. She was the first person in her family to attend college. She earned an undergraduate degree in mathematics from Rice University in Houston in the 1950s, working summers at Foley's and Shell Oil. She later worked in Houston as a computer programmer at Shell. Cruz has said, "I'm Cuban, Irish, and Italian, and yet somehow I ended up Southern Baptist."
Cruz's parents returned to Houston in 1974, after working in the Alberta oil fields, when a slump hit the price of oil and they sold their first seismic data company. They divorced while Cruz was in law school.
Cruz attended high school at Faith West Academy in Katy, Texas, and later graduated from Second Baptist High School in Houston as valedictorian in 1988. During high school, Cruz participated in a Houston-based group called the Free Market Education Foundation where Cruz learned about free-market economic philosophers such as Milton Friedman, Friedrich Hayek, Frédéric Bastiat and Ludwig von Mises. The program was run by Rolland Storey and Cruz entered the program at the age of 13.
Cruz graduated cum laude from Princeton University with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs in 1992. While at Princeton, he competed for the American Whig-Cliosophic Society's Debate Panel and won the top speaker award at both the 1992 U.S. National Debating Championship and the 1992 North American Debating Championship. In 1992, he was named U.S. National Speaker of the Year and Team of the Year (with his debate partner, David Panton). Cruz was also a semi-finalist at the 1995 World Universities Debating Championship, making him Princeton’s highest-ranked debater at the championship. Princeton's debate team later named their annual novice championship after Cruz.
Cruz's senior thesis on the separation of powers, titled "Clipping the Wings of Angels," draws its inspiration from a passage attributed to President James Madison: "If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary." Cruz argued that the drafters of the Constitution intended to protect the rights of their constituents, and the last two items in the Bill of Rights offered an explicit stop against an all-powerful state. Cruz wrote: "They simply do so from different directions. The Tenth stops new powers, and the Ninth fortifies all other rights, or non-powers."
After graduating from Princeton, Cruz attended Harvard Law School, graduating magna cum laude in 1995 with a Juris Doctor degree. While at Harvard Law, Cruz was a primary editor of the Harvard Law Review, and executive editor of the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, and a founding editor of the Harvard Latino Law Review. Referring to Cruz's time as a student at Harvard Law, Professor Alan Dershowitz said, "Cruz was off-the-charts brilliant." At Harvard Law, Cruz was a John M. Olin Fellow in Law and Economics.
Cruz served as a law clerk to J. Michael Luttig of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in 1995 and William Rehnquist, Chief Justice of the United States in 1996. Cruz was the first Hispanic to clerk for a Chief Justice of the United States.
After Cruz finished his clerkships, he took a position with Cooper, Carvin & Rosenthal, which is now known as Cooper & Kirk, LLC, from 1997 to 1998. While with the firm, Cruz worked on matters relating to the National Rifle Association, and helped prepare testimony for the impeachment proceedings against President Clinton. Cruz also served as private counsel for Congressman John Boehner during Boehner's lawsuit against Congressman Jim McDermott for releasing a tape recording of a Boehner telephone conversation.
Cruz joined the George W. Bush presidential campaign in 1999 as a domestic policy adviser, advising then-Governor George W. Bush on a wide range of policy and legal matters, including civil justice, criminal justice, constitutional law, immigration, and government reform.
Cruz assisted in assembling the Bush legal team, devise strategy, and draft pleadings for filing with the Supreme Court of Florida and U.S. Supreme Court, the specific case being Bush v. Gore, during the 2000 Florida presidential recounts, leading to two successful decisions for the Bush team. Cruz recruited future Chief Justice John Roberts and noted attorney Mike Carvin to the Bush legal team.
After President Bush took office, Cruz served as an associate deputy attorney general in the U.S. Justice Department and as the director of policy planning at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.
Texas Solicitor General
Appointed to the office of Solicitor General of Texas by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, Cruz served in that position from 2003 to 2008. The office had been established in 1999 under to handle appeals involving the state, but Abbott hired Cruz with the idea that Cruz would take a "leadership role in the United States in articulating a vision of strict construction." As Solicitor General, Cruz would argue before the Supreme Court nine times, winning five cases and losing four.
Cruz has authored 70 United States Supreme Court briefs and presented 43 oral arguments, including nine before the United States Supreme Court. Cruz's record of having argued before the Supreme Court nine times is more than any practicing lawyer in Texas or any current member of Congress. Cruz has commented on his nine cases in front of the U.S. Supreme Court: "We ended up year after year arguing some of the biggest cases in the country. There was a degree of serendipity in that, but there was also a concerted effort to seek out and lead conservative fights."
In the landmark case of District of Columbia v. Heller, Cruz drafted the amicus brief signed by attorneys general of 31 states, which said that the D.C. handgun ban should be struck down as infringing upon the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. Cruz also presented oral argument for the amici states in the companion case to Heller before the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
In addition to his success in Heller, Cruz has successfully defended the constitutionality of Ten Commandments monument on the Texas State Capitol grounds before the Fifth Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court, winning 5-4 in Van Orden v. Perry.
In 2004, Cruz was involved in the high-profile case, Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow, in which Cruz wrote a U.S. Supreme Court brief on behalf of all 50 states which argued that voluntary recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance does not violate the Constitution. The Supreme Court upheld the position of Cruz’s brief in a 9-0 decision.
Cruz served as lead counsel for the state and successfully defended the multiple litigation challenges to the 2003 Texas congressional redistricting plan in state and federal district courts and before the U.S. Supreme Court, which was decided 5-4 in his favor in League of United Latin American Citizens v. Perry.
Cruz also successfully defended, in Medellin v. Texas, the State of Texas against an attempt by the International Court of Justice to re-open the cases of 51 Mexican nationals, all of whom were convicted of murder in the United States and were on death row. With the support of the George W. Bush Administration, the International Court of Justice argued that the United States had violated a treaty by failing to notify the convicted nationals of their opportunity to receive legal aid from the Mexican consulate. Texas won the case in a 6-3 decision.
Cruz has been named by American Lawyer magazine as one of the 50 Best Litigators under 45 in America, by The National Law Journal as one of the 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America, and by Texas Lawyer as one of the 25 Greatest Texas Lawyers of the Past Quarter Century.
After leaving the Solicitor General position in 2008, he worked in a private law firm in Houston, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, often representing corporate clients, until he was sworn in a U.S. Senator from Texas in 2013. At Morgan, Lewis, he led the firm’s U.S. Supreme Court and national appellate litigation practice.
In 2009, while working for Morgan, Lewis, Cruz formed and then abandoned a bid for state attorney general when the incumbent Attorney General Greg Abbott, who hired Cruz as Solicitor General, decided to run for re-election.
Cruz's election has been described by the Washington Post as “the biggest upset of 2012 . . . a true grassroots victory against very long odds.” On January 19, 2011, after U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison said she would not seek reelection, Cruz announced his candidacy via a blogger conference call. In the Republican senatorial primary, Cruz ran against sitting Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst. Cruz was endorsed by the Club for Growth, a fiscally conservative political action committee; Erick Erickson, editor of prominent conservative blog RedState; the FreedomWorks for America super PAC; nationally syndicated radio host Mark Levin; former Attorney General Edwin Meese; Tea Party Express; Young Conservatives of Texas; and U.S. Senators Tom Coburn, Jim DeMint, Mike Lee, Rand Paul and Pat Toomey. He was also endorsed by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, George P. Bush, and former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania Rick Santorum.
Cruz won the runoff for the Republican nomination with a 14-point margin over Dewhurst. In the November 6 general election, Cruz faced Democrat Paul Sadler, an attorney and a former state representative from Henderson, in east Texas. Cruz won with 4.5 million votes (56.4%) to Sadler's 3.2 million (40.6%). Two minor candidates garnered the remaining 3% of the vote. According to a poll by the Washington Examiner taken six weeks after the 2012 general election, Cruz received 40% of the Hispanic vote, vs. 60% for Sandler, outperforming Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney with the Hispanic vote by 27 points.
Cruz has called his failure to disclose his connections with Caribbean Equity Partners Investment Holdings LTD before the election, an inadvertent omission.
Cruz is pro-life, with an exception only when a pregnancy endangers the mother's life. Cruz opposes same-sex marriage, stating that he instead supports marriage "between one man and one woman," but believes that the legality of same-sex marriage should be left to each state to decide.
Cruz is a gun-rights supporter. On March 25, 2013, an announcement was made by Cruz and U.S. Senators Rand Paul and Mike Lee threatening that they would filibuster any legislation that would entail gun control, such as the Manchin-Toomey Amendment, which would require additional background checks on sales at gun shows. On April 17, 2013, Cruz voted against the Manchin-Toomey Amendment. Republicans successfully filibustered the amendment by a vote of 54–46, as 60 votes were needed for cloture.
Since being elected, Cruz has spent a great deal of time speaking about what he characterizes as the misguided economic policies of the Obama Administration. Chiding the GOP over its 2012 electoral losses, he stated that "Republicans are and should be the party of the 47 percent"  and has also often noted that the words "growth and opportunity" ought to be tattooed on every Republican's hand.
Regarding foreign policy, in 2004, he criticized Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry for being "against defending American values, against standing up to our enemies, and, in effect, for appeasing totalitarian despots."  Cruz helped defeat efforts to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, arguing that the treaty infringed on US sovereignty.
In 2013, Cruz stated that America had no “dog in the fight” during the Syrian civil war and stated that America's armed forces should not serve as "al-Qaeda's air force". In 2014, Cruz criticized the Obama administration: "The president’s foreign policy team utterly missed the threat of ISIS, indeed, was working to arm Syrian rebels that were fighting side by side with ISIS." He also called ISIS "the face of evil".
Affordable Care Act and U.S. government shutdown of 2013
In the summer of 2013, Cruz started "nationwide tour" sponsored by The Heritage Foundation to promote a congressional effort to defund the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, arguing that a shutdown of the government would not be a disaster for America or the Republican Party (GOP).
On September 24, 2013, Cruz began a speech on the floor of the Senate regarding the Affordable Care Act relative to a continuing resolution designed to fund the government and avert a government shutdown. Cruz promised to keep speaking until he was "no longer able to stand". Cruz yielded the floor at noon the following day for the start of the proceeding legislative session after twenty-one hours nineteen minutes. His speech was the fourth-longest in United States Senate history. Following Cruz's speech, the Senate voted 100–0 regarding a "procedural hurdle toward passing a stopgap funding bill to avert a government shutdown". Cruz was joined by 18 Republican senators in his effort to prevent stripping out a clause that would have defunded the Affordable Care by voting against the cloture motion, leaving the effort 21 votes short of the required number to deny cloture.
Cruz is believed to a major force behind the U.S. government shutdown in 2013. Cruz delivered a message on October 11, 2013 to fellow Republicans against accepting Obamacare and, describing it as a "train wreck", claimed the American people remain "energized" around the goal of gutting the law. Cruz stated Obamacare is causing "enormous harm" to the economy. Republican strategist Mike Murphy stated: "Cruz is trying to start a wave of Salem witch trials in the G.O.P. on the shutdown and Obamacare, and that fear is impacting some people’s calculations on 2016." Cruz said that he "didn't threaten to shut down the government" and blamed the shutdown on President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid.
The Houston Chronicle which had endorsed Cruz in the general election, regretted that he had not lived up to the standard set by the previous U.S. Senator from Texas, Kay Bailey Hutchison. After a deal was made to end the shutdown and to extend the debt-ceiling deadline, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell called Cruz's actions "not a smart play" and a "tactical error", and Cruz stated: "I would do anything, and I will continue to do anything I can, to stop the train wreck that is Obamacare. The test that matters. . . is are we doing anything for all the people that are getting hurt from Obamacare?"
After the launch of the HealthCare.gov website, with which there were significant implementation problems, Cruz stated, "Obamacare is a disaster. You have the well-publicized problems with the website. It just isn't working." He called for Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to resign.
In February 2014, Cruz opposed an unconditional increase in the debt limit. He said that Republican politicians feared the truth and "they wanted to be able to tell what they view as their foolish, gullible constituents back home they didn’t do it."
On March 24, Cruz posted an informal survey on his senatorial Facebook page, which read: "Quick poll: Obamacare was signed into law four years ago yesterday. Are you better off now than you were then? Comment with YES or NO!" Many of the more than 47,000 comments were supportive of Obamacare, but the Dallas Morning-News stated that: "Anti-Obamacare comments still seem to outnumber those tweaking Cruz or lauding the Affordable Care Act." His spokeswoman stated that the results were "a manufactured, concerted effort from people on the left making comments days after the original post was put up. Maybe a better use of their time would be advocating for an Obamacare website that actually works before the last day of enrollment."
Cruz sponsored sixty-seven bills, including:
- S.177, a bill named “ObamaCare Repeal Act”, introduced January 29, 2013
- S.505, a bill to prohibit the use of drones to kill citizens of the United States within the United States, introduced March 7, 2013
- S.729, a bill named “Disarm Criminals and Protect Communities Act”, introduced March 15, 2013
- S.730, a bill named “Firearm Straw Purchasing and Trafficking Prevention Act”, introduced March 15, 2013
- S.1336, a bill to amend the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 to permit States to require proof of citizenship, introduced July 17, 2013
Senate bill 2195
On April 1, 2014, Cruz introduced Senate bill 2195, a bill that would allow the President of the United States to deny visas to any ambassador to the United Nations who has been found to have been engaged in espionage activities or a terrorist activity against the United States or its allies and may pose a threat to U.S. national security interests. The bill was written in response to Iran's choice of Hamid Aboutalebi as their ambassador. Aboutalebi was involved in the Iran hostage crisis, in which of a number of American diplomats from the US embassy in Tehran were held captive in 1979.
Under the headline "A bipartisan message to Iran", Cruz thanked President Barack Obama for signing his bill S 2915 into law. The letter published in the magazine Politico on April 18, 2014 starts with “Thanks to President Obama for joining a unanimous Congress and signing S 2195 into law”. Cruz also thanked senators from both political parties for “swiftly passing this legislation and sending it to the White House.”
- Committee on Armed Services
- Committee on the Judiciary
- Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation
- Committee on Rules and Administration
- Special Committee on Aging
Speculation on a possible run for higher office
Commentators have expressed their opinion that Cruz will run for President in 2016. On March 14, 2013, Cruz gave the keynote speech at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington DC. He came in tied for 7th place in the 2013 CPAC straw poll on March 16, winning 4% of the votes cast. In October 2013, Cruz won the Values Voter Summit Presidential straw poll with 42% of the vote. Cruz came in first place in the two most recent Presidential straw polls conducted in 2014 with 30.33% of the vote at the Republican Leadership Conference and 43% of the vote at the Republican Party of Texas state convention. Cruz did speaking events in the summer of 2013 across Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, early primary states, leading to speculation that he was laying the groundwork for a run for President in 2016.
Since Cruz was born in Canada, commentators for the Austin American-Statesman and the Los Angeles Times, have speculated about Cruz's legal status as a natural-born citizen. Because he was a U.S. citizen at birth (since his mother was a U.S. citizen who lived in the U.S. for more than 10 years as required by the Nationality Act of 1940), most commentators believe Cruz is eligible to serve as President of the United States.
On April 12, 2014, Cruz spoke at the Freedom Summit, an event organized by Americans for Prosperity, and Citizens United. The event was attended by several potential presidential candidates. In his speech, Cruz mentioned that Latinos, young people and single mothers, are the people most affected by the recession, and that the Republican Party should make outreach efforts to these constituents. He also said that the words "growth and opportunity” should be tattooed on every Republican politician.
The Hill, a Washington, D.C. newspaper covering Capitol Hill, on December 27, 2013, named Cruz "2013 Person of the Year." The Hill stated that "Of course, Cruz made his biggest mark when he and fellow freshman Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) led a last-ditch national grassroots effort to defund ObamaCare before the law went into effect fully. Imagine how many Senate Democrats wish right now that they had heeded Cruz's entreaties and agreed to delaying or defunding it for one year. Now, they are stuck with the law and all its consequences."
Cruz was also named "2013 Man of the Year" by TheBlaze, FrontPage Magazine and The American Spectator, "2013 Conservative of the Year" by Townhall.com, "2013 Statesman of the Year" by the Republican Party of Sarasota County, Florida and was a finalist in both "2013 Texan of the Year" by The Dallas Morning News and a "2013 Person of the Year" finalist by Time.
Cruz and his wife, Heidi Cruz (née Nelson), have two daughters. Cruz met his wife while working on the George W. Bush presidential campaign of 2000. Cruz's wife is currently head of the Southwest Region in the Investment Management Division of Goldman, Sachs & Co. and previously worked in the White House for Condoleezza Rice and in New York as an investment banker.
When he was a child, his mother had told Cruz that she would have had to make an affirmative act to claim Canadian citizenship. In August 2013, after the Dallas Morning News pointed out that Cruz had dual Canadian-American citizenship, he applied to formally renounce his Canadian citizenship, and ceased to be a citizen of Canada on May 14, 2014.
- 2012 Republican primary
|Republican primary results, May 29, 2012|
- 2012 Republican primary runoff
|Republican runoff results, July 31, 2012|
- 2012 General Election
|General Election, November 6, 2012|
|Libertarian||John Jay Myers||162,354||2.06%|
- List of Harvard University people
- List of Hispanic and Latino Americans in the United States Congress
- List of law clerks of the Supreme Court of the United States
- List of politicians affiliated with the Tea Party movement
- List of foreign-born United States politicians
- Texas Solicitor General R. Ted Cruz to Join Morgan Lewis to Help Lead U.S. Supreme Court and National Appellate Practice, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ted Cruz.|
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Ted Cruz|
- U.S. Senator Ted Cruz official U.S. Senate website
- Ted Cruz for U.S. Senate campaign website
- Ted Cruz at DMOZ
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Project Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at The Library of Congress
- Collected news and commentary at Texas Monthly
- Collected news and commentary at The Houston Chronicle
- Collected news and commentary at The Texas Tribune
- Attorney profile at Morgan Lewis law firm (archived)
- "Ted Cruz, hatching a site, expects Abbott to run for a different office," Austin American-Statesman, W. Gardner Selby, March 4, 2009
- "Justices listen to a key voice," The National Law Journal (cover story), Marcia Coyle, April 7, 2008
- Announcement of Ted Cruz's departure as Solicitor General
- Debating the Supreme Court's Heller decision with the DC Attorney General on News Hour with Jim Lehrer (video)
- "A Day in the life of... Ted Cruz," Texas Bar Journal, Kim Davey, Vol. 69, No. 7
|Party political offices|
Kay Bailey Hutchison
|Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Texas
|United States Senate|
Kay Bailey Hutchison
|U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Texas
Served alongside: John Cornyn
|United States order of precedence (ceremonial)|
|United States Senators by seniority