Lawyers, Cruz and Lee vs. Obama
November 14th, 2013
06:01 PM ET
11 months ago

Lawyers, Cruz and Lee vs. Obama

Washington (CNN) - Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah were in full legal mode in separate speaking appearances at the conservative Federalist Society Thursday, blasting the Obama administration for what they call unconstitutional moves.

Cruz, the tea party darling of the Defund Obamacare movement and partial government shutdown, blasted President Barack Obama for picking and choosing which laws to enforce, namely through new directives to government lawyers in the implementation of drug and immigration policy.

“This administration simply says, ‘We don’t like these laws so we’re not going to enforce them,’” Cruz told the conservative and libertarian lawyers who comprise the Federalist Society’s membership. “That’s profoundly dangerous.”

Particularly troubling for the Harvard Law graduate and former Texas solicitor general is “the radical advocacy of the U.S. Department of Justice under President Obama for unchecked federal authority,” Cruz said.

Cruz blasted DOJ attorneys for the arguments made on cases including tracking a suspect’s vehicle without a warrant and the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to curb the actions of private citizens on their own property.

“These positions are not reasonable litigating positions within the bounds of ordinary disagreements. These positions are extreme,” Cruz said.

Lee, in turn, decided to blast Obama - a fellow lawyer and Harvard Law grad like Cruz - for attempting to circumvent Senate review of nominations through “recess” nominations while the chamber was still in pro forma session. Those nominations were eventually thrown out.

“The current presidential administration has I believe violated the Constitution’s separation of powers in numerous and some cases, completely unprecedented ways,” Lee said, also noting White House resistance to Congressional investigations, especially by invoking executive privilege and refusing to cooperate fully over the “Fast and Furious” gunrunning program.

Congress should have done far more to fight back against the recess nominations, the tea party freshman said. Instead, “we did absolutely nothing. We have to do something when that happens.”

Lee blasted his own party for not following up on a threat to block nominations after pledging to do so, with several Republicans voting to approve nomination of Richard Cordray for consumer protection chief.

“Had we been unified, we could have taken a number of actions to make clear to President Obama that his flagrantly unconstitutional recess appointments would not be tolerated,” said the former assistant U.S. attorney in Salt Lake City and graduate of Brigham Young law school.

Those actions could have included blocking nominees and opposing any Obama-backed legislation, action that didn’t happen, Lee said.

“It wouldn’t really matter the specifics so long as we sent the unequivocal message to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and made the President face real consequences for his unconstitutional actions.”


Filed under: Mike Lee • President Obama • Ted Cruz
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Bill from GA

    I'd point out how Cheney and bush picked and chose which environmental laws to enforce,but I don't think they enforced any of them.

    November 14, 2013 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  2. Thomas

    Ted Cruz / Spike Lee 2016
    "The Defiant Ones"

    November 14, 2013 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  3. danicalifornia

    so how come the Congress isn't doing anything about this?

    November 14, 2013 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  4. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    You two idiots should enjoy your time in front of the cameras; you will be gone soon enough.

    November 14, 2013 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  5. Ron L

    THIS IS A WASTE OF TIME!!! Senator Cruz LOVES attention and Senator Lee seems to want to ignore the Republican ABUSE of the filibuster rules in the Senate. The constant posturing and bickering going on in the House and Senate is so counterproductive and sickening the nation as a whole is FED UP!!!

    November 14, 2013 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  6. Winston Smith

    The press is hell bent on ramming this creep down everyone's throat. He's a creep and they are using his creepness to sell advertising space.

    November 14, 2013 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  7. Mike in Texas

    Bring him up for impeachment then if you think so. All talk. That is all Ted Cruz is. Has Ted Cruz actually proposed any fresh ideas or any ideas at all? I guess his job and Issa's job is to find all this bad stuff on the President and waste taxpayer's money in doing so. CNN, why don't you report on congress people who are actually trying to work and quit giving shills like Cruz and Palin face time. CNN is become more like "Reality" TV. Sad.

    November 14, 2013 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  8. S. B. Stein

    Cruz and Lee would have all the rules rolled back because they hurt business. They show a lack of understanding of consequences. I would hope that they learn about science.

    November 14, 2013 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  9. Dianne

    They both need to get their money back. They are both idiots. They know nothing about life in the Real world and the only back they have is their own.

    November 14, 2013 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  10. king

    i didn't know that the world stopped already, so why is the stock markets, employments, GDP, keep acting like obamacare is not 1/6 of our economy by going the opposite way, the repubs have been predicting for the past 5 years. is obamacare slow to take root, yes its obvious. where is the patience, Romneycare was even worst than obamacare coming out of the gate. where is the patience America. every thing seems to be on track as far as i am concerned, even Mitchel baukman say she was waiting to jump on the obamacare exchanges. dont kill the program before it comes out of the block. obamacae have been boasting this economy ever since its inception, and to kill it now means that we would fall back into the abyss this law just took us out of.

    November 15, 2013 07:04 am at 7:04 am |