Cruz: We Should Be Able To Impeach Supreme Court Justices

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In an appearance on FOX News' The Kelly File Tuesday night, Republican candidate for president Sen. Ted Cruz elaborated on his idea to impose the practice of judicial retention and the option of impeaching Supreme Court Justices through a supermajority vote in the Senate.

Cruz said the Framers of the constitution intended impeachment to be a check on the Supreme Court.

"It's pure politics," Cruz said. "The Framers wrote about judicial overreach quite a bit. They believed the check would be impeachment. Now, here is the sad reality. Within a few decades Thomas Jefferson said impeachment had been not even a scarecrow."

SEN. TED CRUZ: Last week's decisions were the latest in a long line and sadly were the nadir of the Supreme Court. It was majority of the Justices on Thursday, rewriting Obamacare, disregarding the law and forcing the failed law on millions of Americans, hurting millions of Americans. On then on Friday the marriage decision was utterly contrary to the constitution. They're simply making it up. And as Justice Scalia said in dissent that decision was an assault on our democracy. It was five unelected lawyers setting themselves -- and these are Scalia's words -- up as the rulers of all 320 million Americans. It was illegitimate and it was wrong.

MEGYN KELLY, HOST: I get that. But in response to a decision that you feel was politically motivated by the Justices who are in the majority. You want to make the Court more political?

CRUZ: It's pure politics. The Framers, when they wrote the constitution, they believed the check on judicial overreach. The Framers wrote about judicial overreach quite a bit. They believed the check would be impeachment. Now, here is the sad reality. Within a few decades Thomas Jefferson said impeachment had been not even a scarecrow. Even 200 years ago the Supreme Court wasn't afraid of it.

Today, we have a United States Senate we can't muster 50 votes to defeat Loretta Lynch, an Attorney General who tells us she is not going to follow the law or the constitution. There's no universe in which there are 67 votes to remove [Justice] Anthony Kennedy from the Supreme Court.

KELLY: How would an electorate that twice elected Barack Obama create a Court that you like better than the one we have now?

CRUZ: Let's be clear. What I am talking about is judicial retention elections which means you would have the same appointment, the same Senate confirmation but every eight years the people would have an up or down vote with an option to remove them.

KELLY: What if the people bounced out Scalia and Alito and Thomas and we had a President Obama in the White House?

CRUZ: Well, I can tell you that 20 states have put in place judicial retention elections and they have worked, the people have used them sparingly. But the alternative is who in their right mind would design a system where every major public policy issue of the day is decided not by the people, not by the constitution, not by elected representatives but by nine elite lawyers in Washington, D.C..

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