Culture

Ted Cruz’s Weird, Disturbing Obsession With The Death Penalty Has Quite A History

GOP Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz Campaigns In Iowa
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You may want to sit down for this news, but the GOP candidate who wants to “carpet bomb” swaths of Syria is also a huge fan of the death penalty. A new investigative piece takes readers back to the days when a wee Ted Cruz clerked for Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist. The lad wasn’t exactly a shrinking flower. Just like folks from Cruz’s past are popping up to express their hate for the GOP candidate, a number of Cruz’s former colleagues grind axes, too. The New York Times dug their heels into the Texan senator’s record, and what they found is disturbing.

Cruz is said to have fixated upon “lurid details” in death penalty cases, which were a “special interest” of his. Other clerks also grew “really angry” at Cruz’s writing style, which limited death penalty memos to shutdowns like “frivolous, meritless, deny.” This is a guy who was advising a chief justice to deny emergency postponements of executions, which is scary. Cruz also kissed up to the tennis-loving Rehnquist by taking lessons on the sly. So, it’s no surprise to learn that the other clerks found Cruz to be completely obnoxious in the workplace. Yes, Ted Cruz was that coworker:

In Mr. Cruz’s time as a Supreme Court clerk, a coveted step in a legal career that he had meticulously plotted out, he showed his now familiar capacity to infuriate colleagues. He also worked hard to please his boss, delved into the nuances of constitutional law for long, grueling hours and sought to smooth over harsh feelings at clerk happy hours.

Several clerks “expressed the strongest distaste” for Cruz’s memos on the death penalty, and they also note his fixation on a case about regulating Internet pornography, for which he “watched X-rated sex scenes on a computer with Chief Justice Rehnquist and Justice O’Connor.” That’s more information than most people want to know, but Cruz seems to lack a filter.

Cruz later used his status as former Supreme Court clerk to push into politics, where he expresses relish for the death penalty. His legend as a nightmare coworker lives on, thanks to the full Cruz clerking profile, which reveals how Cruz tried to coax coworkers into playing poker. But they didn’t like him after he shouted “my bad!” as he “elbowed wildly” during a basketball game.

Sigh.

(Via New York Times)

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