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Truly Right View » From the Bench, Overstepping Legislation, Politics, To Many Laws » Senator Cruz’s Point of Order

Senator Cruz’s Point of Order

There has been some confusion about the point of order that Senator Ted Cruz raised against the omnibus spending bill on Saturday. For example, Michael Gerson, in his Washington Post column today that is critical of Cruz, says that Cruz “demanded a ‘point of order’ vote on whether Obama’s executive order [on immigration] was constitutional.” But, as Cruz himself explained, his point of order was “targeted … specifically to the DHS funding that the President has announced will be spent unconstitutionally.”

In other words, Cruz couldn’t raise a point of order directly against Obama’s actions on immigration. He instead raised it against that portion of the pending legislation that provided “DHS funding that the President has announced will be spent unconstitutionally.” His point of order thus depended on the theory that it’s unconstitutional for the Senate to enact legislation that is constitutionally permissible on its face but that the Senate has reason to believe (or, if you prefer, “knows”) that the president will implement in an unconstitutional manner. That’s an interesting theory, but a refusal to embrace it is not tantamount to a judgment that Obama’s actions on immigration are constitutional.

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Senator Cruz’s Point of Order

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