Ted Cruz has Anti-Dildo Vote Locked Up

Ted Cruz (TP-Texas) formerly served as the Solicitor General of Texas under then Attorney General and Greg Abbott.  As SG, part of Cruz’s job was to defend Texas laws when they were attacked in court.  So Red is a bit sympathetic with the Junior Senator (words you won’t read very often), as the attorney’s job is to advocate for his client.  But the time Cruz worked to defend the so-called “Anti-Dildo” law provides some insight into the workings of the brilliant legal mind of Cruz.  In 2004, several Austin sex-toy stores and a retail distributor of such products challenged the Anti-Dildo law which prohibited the sale and promotion of supposedly obscene devices.  A violation of the law was punishable by a prison term of up to two years.  Since the suit attacked the constitutionality of the law, the Attorney General’s office weighed in and Cruz presented a forceful defense of Texas’ right to keep it citizens free from the pernicious influence of the dastardly dildo peddlers.  David Corn at Mother Jones has the full story.

 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. And the brief argued there was no “right to promote dildos, vibrators, and other obscene devices.” The plaintiffs, it noted, were “free to engage in unfettered noncommercial speech touting the uses of obscene devices,” but not speech designed to generate the sale of these items.

Fortunately, Cruz lost this legal battle and Texas was spared from the horrors of a thriving dildo black market.  But if you are a squarely in the anti-dildo column, you have found your candidate.

 

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