January 7, 2013 - On PBS News Hour, Ted Cruz tells Judy Woodruff that proposed gun control legislation is unconstitutional. He has also made this charge on several other shows.
It’s not unconstitutional and he knows it. He’s lying.
In District of Columbia v. Heller, Scalia’s opinion clearly states that an assault weapons ban would be constitutional:
It may be objected that if weapons that are most useful in military service—M-16 rifles and the like—may be banned, then the Second Amendment right is completely detached from the prefatory clause. But as we have said, the conception of the militia at the time of the Second Amendment’s ratification was the body of all citizens capable of military service, who would bring the sorts of lawful weapons that they possessed at home to militia duty. It may well be true today that a militia, to be as effective as militias in the 18th century, would require sophisticated arms that are highly unusual in society at large. Indeed, it may be true that no amount of small arms could be useful against modern-day bombers and tanks. But the fact that modern developments have limited the degree of fit between the prefatory clause and the protected right cannot change our interpretation of the right.
You might think it would be possible that Ted Cruz didn’t know about the opinion in D.C. v Heller.
It is not possible.
Ted Cruz was the Council of Record for an Amicus Brief filed in the Heller case by Texas and other states.
In this brief Cruz argues:
Amici States likewise have a strong interest in maintaining the many state laws prohibiting felons in possession, restricting machine guns and sawed-off shotguns, and the like.
striking down the District of Columbia’s categorical ban on all operative firearms would pose no threat to these reasonable regulations.
Ted Cruz also refers to these limitations on the type of firearms that citizens can possess as “reasonable regulations” during an interview with Melissa Block on NPR’s All Things Considered, March 14, 2008.
Obviously Ted Cruz has a deep understanding of the issues in this case. He has previously argued, in court, that bans on “assault weapons” are “reasonable regulations.”
When Ted Cruz calls these restrictions unconstitutional now, he is lying, and he is doing it intentionally.