Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said Monday that while Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has been a friend for 20 years who he likes and admires, Roberts "put on an Obama jersey" in writing the majority opinion in the last two landmark court cases on Obamacare.
When asked directly by BuzzFeed News about whether Roberts should resign, Cruz said he thought that if "members of the court want to write legislation or rewrite it they should resign from the court and run for the Congress."
"The chief justice's decisions and opinions in the two Obamacare decision last week and three years ago, were profound disappointments, and they were disappointments because John Roberts is an incredibly talented lawyer," Cruz said in a sitdown interview on Monday.
"He knows full well that what he did in both of those decisions was not faithfully applied the law but it was to alter the law, to change the law in order to achieve a policy outcome."
Cruz noted that Roberts, at his confirmation hearing, "famously said, "'The role of judge is to be umpire, calling balls and strikes,'" but in his Obamacare decisions "he put on an Obama jersey."
"What the chief justice did that was wrong is he did not play the role of an umpire, he joined a team, he put an Obama jersey and rewrote the law in order to force Obamacare on millions of people who hurting because of it," said the Texas senator.
Cruz added that he himself "gave passionate speech on the Senate floor where I said 'Listen, if members of the Supreme Court want to write or rewrite federal legislation they should resign from the court and run for Congress because the Constitution gives Congress the authority to --."
Asked directly if he thought Roberts should resign he repeated, "As I said, if members of the court want to write legislation or rewrite it they should resign from the court and run for the Congress."
Cruz noted earlier that Robert was someone he'd known for 20 years and "he's been a friend and I liked and admired him." Cruz noted he and Roberts were both pallbearers at Chief Justice William Rehnquist's funeral and both had clerked for Rehnquist.
BuzzFeed News noted last week during Roberts' confirmation hearings in 2005, Cruz, as Texas solicitor general, spoke highly of Roberts, emailing his staff to say Roberts was a role model for how to "carry out our craft" and he was "the best Supreme Court litigator in the nation."
In 2005, Cruz said he had been one of those who helped recruit Roberts to help with the Bush v. Gore recount in Florida.
Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Andrew Kaczynski at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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