Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Time Ted Cruz Defended a Ban on Dildos

Finding all of the examples of Republican politicians pandering  and selling their souls to Christofascists is an almost endless task and would be utterly exhausting.  I do my best, but as a part time blogger, my time is limited. Thankfully, sites like Mother Jones - Joe My God does a wonderful job as well - make the task more simple because they do such a great job in exposing GOP batshitery.  A case in point is the Mother Jones piece that looks at Ted Cruz's crusade against dildos.  Yes, dildos.  It would be hard to make up stuff this insane, but not when you are dealing with Christofascists and their political whores in the Republican Party. Here are article highlights (read the entire piece):

In one chapter of his campaign book, A Time for Truth, Sen. Ted Cruz proudly chronicles his days as a Texas solicitor general, a post he held from 2003 to 2008. Bolstering his conservative cred, the Republican presidential candidate notes that during his stint as the state's chief lawyer, in front of the Supreme Court and federal and state appellate courts . . . . Yet one case he does not mention is the time he helped defend a law criminalizing the sale of dildos.
The case was actually an important battle concerning privacy and free-speech rights. In 2004, companies that owned Austin stores selling sex toys and a retail distributor of such products challenged a Texas law outlawing the sale and promotion of supposedly obscene devices. Under the law, a person who violated the statute could go to jail for up to two years. At the time, only three states—Mississippi, Alabama, and Virginia—had similar laws. 
The plaintiffs in the sex device case contended the state law violated the right to privacy under the 14th Amendment. They argued that many people in Texas used sexual devices as an aspect of their sexual experiences. They claimed that in some instances one partner in a couple might be physically unable to engage in intercourse or have a contagious disease (such as HIV), and that in these cases such devices could allow a couple to engage in safe sex.
In 2007, Cruz's legal team, working on behalf of then-Attorney General Greg Abbott (who now is the governor), filed a 76-page brief calling on the US Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit to uphold the lower court's decision and permit the law to stand. The filing noted, "The Texas Penal Code prohibits the advertisement and sale of dildos, artificial vaginas, and other obscene devices" but does not "forbid the private use of such devices." The plaintiffs had argued that this case was similar to Lawrence v. Texas, the landmark 2003 Supreme Court decision that struck down Texas' law against sodomy. But Cruz's office countered that Lawrence "focused on interpersonal relationships and the privacy of the home" and that the law being challenged did not block the "private use of obscene devices." . . . . In other words, Texans were free to use sex toys at home, but they did not have the right to buy them.
The brief insisted that Texas, in order to protect "public morals," had  "police-power interests" in "discouraging prurient interests in sexual gratification, combating the commercial sale of sex, and protecting minors." There was a  "government" interest, it maintained, in "discouraging…autonomous sex." The brief compared the use of sex toys to "hiring a willing prostitute or engaging in consensual bigamy," and it equated advertising these products with the commercial promotion of prostitution. In perhaps the most noticeable line of the brief, Cruz's office declared, "There is no substantive-due-process right to stimulate one's genitals for non-medical purposes unrelated to procreation or outside of an interpersonal relationship." That is, the pursuit of such happiness had no constitutional standing.
In a 2-1 decision issued in February 2008, the court of appeals told Cruz's office to take a hike. The court, citing Lawrence, pointed to the "right to be free from governmental intrusion regarding 'the most private human contact, sexual behavior.'" The panel added, "An individual who wants to legally use a safe sexual device during private intimate moments alone or with another is unable to legally purchase a device in Texas, which heavily burdens a constitutional right." It rejected the argument from Cruz's team that the government had a legitimate role to play in "discouraging prurient interests in autonomous sex and the pursuit of sexual gratification unrelated to procreation." 
Summing up, the judges declared, "The case is not about public sex. It is not about controlling commerce in sex. It is about controlling what people do in the privacy of their own homes because the State is morally opposed to a certain type of consensual private intimate conduct. This is an insufficient justification for the statute after Lawrence...Whatever one might think or believe about the use of these devices, government interference with their personal and private use violates the Constitution."
The appeals court had rejected the arguments from Cruz's office and said no to Big Government policing the morals of citizens. But Abbott and Cruz wouldn't give up. Of course, they might have initially felt obligated to mount a defense of this state law. But after it had been shot down, they pressed ahead, relying on the same puritanical and excessive arguments to justify government intrusion. Abbott and Cruz quickly filed a brief asking the full court of appeals to hear the case, claiming the three-judge panel had extended the scope of Lawrence too far. This brief suggested that if the decision stood, some people would argue that "engaging in consensual adult incest or bigamy" ought to be legal because it could "enhance their sexual experiences." And Cruz's office filed another brief noting it was considering taking this case to the Supreme Court.
Cruz and Abbott lost the motion for a hearing from the full court of appeals. And the state soon dropped the case, opting not to appeal to the Supreme Court. This meant that the government could no longer outlaw the sale of dildos, vibrators, and other sex-related devices in the Lone Star State—and in Mississippi and Louisiana, the two other states within this appeals court's jurisdiction.
Imagine how his political career might have been affected had Cruz become the public face for the anti-dildos movement.

Given how physical repulsive Cruz is - he could raise a fortune by allowing people to pay to NOT have sex with him - I can only imagine how many dildos his wife must own.  

1 comment:

EdA said...

Abbot and Cruztello??? Except that nobody is laughing.