As a Lawyer, Ted Cruz Defended Huge Jury Awards. As a Politician, He Opposed Them

The Jeb Bush media team will use stories like this for their attack ads if they become too worried about Senator Cruz.

Click here to read what the liberals at Mother Jones News wrote about Ted Cruz on February 11, 2014.

As a politician, Ted Cruz, the junior Republican senator from Texas, has championed tort reform—the nationwide effort pushed by conservatives and business interests to restrict malpractice and other wrongful injury and death lawsuits, limiting how much a jury can award a harmed individual for pain and suffering and in punitive damages. When Cruz ran for Senate in 2012, his website declared he had defended a landmark pro-business tort reform law passed in Texas in 2003 that severely constrained the ability of consumers to sue medical professionals and nursing homes and to collect punitive damages in other cases. Cruz also boasted that when he had been a policy adviser on George W. Bush’s first presidential campaign he developed Bush’s pro-tort reform proposals. During the Senate race, the Texas Civil Justice League, a supporter of tort reform, enthusiastically endorsed Cruz. After becoming a senator, Cruz told the Austin Chamber of Commerce that Texas-style tort reform—which places a cap of $750,000 on punitive damages—ought to be a national law.

Yet, as a lawyer in private practice, Cruz—at least twice, in 2010 and 2011—worked on cases in New Mexico to secure $50 million-plus jury awards in tort cases prompted by corporate malfeasance. These are precisely the kind of jury awards that the tort reform Cruz has promoted would abolish. That is, Cruz the attorney, who sometimes billed clients $695 an hour, made money defending jury awards that Cruz the politician wanted to eliminate—and he did so at the same time he was running for Senate as a pro-tort-reform candidate.

Ted Cruz smoked pot as a teen

The full story from The Hill dated February 3, 2015 is just a click away.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) smoked pot when he was a teenager, Cruz’s campaign has confirmed with The Hill.


“Teenagers are often known for their lack of judgment, and Sen. Cruz was no exception,” a Cruz spokesman told the British paper. “When he was a teenager, he foolishly experimented with marijuana. It was a mistake, and he’s never tried it since.”

The admission makes Cruz the latest presidential candidate to own up to trying the drug. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) recently copped to smoking pot while in high school as well.

Ted Cruz biography

Click this link to the full 2012 Washington Post article that provides a succinct biography of Ted Cruz.

Cruz was born Rafael Cruz in Canada, where his Cuban father and Irish-American mother had moved for the 1960s oil boom. They had met at an oil exploration business in Texas.

As a teenager, his father fought for Fidel Castro against Fulgencio Batista. “They didn’t know Castro was a Communist, what they knew was that Batista was a cruel and oppressive dictator,” Cruz said earlier this year.

After being imprisoned and tortured by the Batista regime, the elder Rafael Cruz came to America on a student visa with nothing but $100 sewn into his underwear. He made his way through the University of Texas by washing dishes.

Eleanor Darragh, Cruz’s mother, was a working-class Delaware native who studied math at Rice University. Cruz once told a tea party group that his mother refused to learn how to type, so that when men asked her to type things up for her she could say, “I would love to help you out, but I don’t know how to type. I guess you’re going to have to use me as a computer programmer instead.”

Cruz was raised in Houston (all he remembers about Canada: “It was cold.”) In high school he was part of a group sponsored by the Free Enterprise Institute that learned the Constitution by heart and traveled the state giving speeches on conservative ideas.

At Princeton he was a champion debater. From there he went to Harvard Law School. “Cruz was off-the-charts brilliant,” Prof. Alan Dershowitz told the National Review. Cruz was a founding editor of the Harvard Latino Law Review.

After law school, Cruz clerked for Judge J. Michael Luttig on the Fourth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals. In 1996, he became Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist’s first Hispanic clerk.

After a few years in private practice, Cruz met Josh Bolten, George W. Bush’s campaign policy director and another Princeton alum. He became a domestic policy adviser to Bush during the 2000 Bush-Cheney campaign. There he met his wife, Heidi Nelson Cruz, another policy adviser. She now works for Goldman Sachs.

When the election ended in a recount, they both went to Florida to work for Bush’s team, and the experience helped them both get jobs in government. Cruz served as assistant attorney general in the Justice Department and director of policy planning at the Federal Trade Commission.

In 2003, Cruz was appointed solicitor general and returned to Texas. In his five years in the post, he wrote 70 briefs to the Supreme Court and argued before the court nine times. He was involved in numerous high-profile cases, including defending the Ten Commandments monument on the Texas State Capitol grounds, the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools and the 2003 Texas redistricting plan.

He says he’s proudest of his work in Medillin v. Texas, in which the state fought the Bush administration over the execution of a Mexican citizen.

From there he worked in private practice for Morgan Lewis, where he defended some corporate interests that Dewhurst used (unsuccessfully) in attack ads.