At a townhall this week, Ted Cruz made a comment that can either be explained as complete pandering to the masses or a total disregard for the Constitution (or both):
Cruz also revealed other types of decisions he would make as president, promising that he would, if elected, pardon David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, the two anti-choice activists who were indicted by a grand jury in Cruz’s home state of Texas. The two are facing felony charges for their roles in creating the fraudulent videos that falsely claim to expose the women’s health care provider of “selling aborted baby parts.”
The big problem that the Ted Cruz, esquire seems to miss here is that Merritt and Daleiden are charged with crimes under Texas state law. This matters because of that document Cruz claims to hold so dear, particularly Article 2, Section 2:
The President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States; he may require the opinion, in writing, of the principal officer in each of the executive departments, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices, and he shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.
“Offenses against the United States”, which has been interpreted throughout our nation’s history as meaning federal crimes. Merritt and Daleiden are not eligible for a Presidential pardon under our Constitution. This is the same reason that Steven Avery of Making a Murder fame can not be pardoned by President Obama, despite the massive amounts of signatures on varying online petitions. Simple put, it’s against the Constitution.
But what if Cruz decides to ignore that part of the Constitution and go ahead with his plans? Then he would also be ignoring what is probably the second most important amendment to conservatives, the tenth:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people
Yes, the power to prosecute Merritt and Daleiden are powers delegated to the state, and not in violation of the U.S. Constitution, so lawyer Cruz would also be throwing that part of our most sacred document out the window.
So was Ted Cruz pandering to the base, figuring they are just dumb conservatives that have no idea what the Constitution actually says, or was he admitting that he would violate the document he must put hand to Bible and swear to uphold on day one in office? Either reason should be enough to disqualify him from the Presidency and the Senate.