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Ted Cruz says US chief justice ‘violated his oath’ in Obamacare decision

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Chief justice John Roberts “violated his oath” when he backed Obamacare in a crucial supreme court decision last week, the Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz said on Tuesday.

The Texas senator, who has vowed to “repeal every word of Obamacare” if elected, said he was personally disappointed by the chief justice’s decision to uphold Barack Obama’s seminal healthcare law, during an interview with MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

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“He violated his oath,” Cruz said. “He’s a good enough lawyer. He knows he did that. It was deeply disappointing.”

Cruz said on MSNBC that he considers Roberts a friend, and called him one of the best supreme court litigators alive. The presidential contender and former Texas solicitor general added that he used to try to emulate Roberts when he litigated in front of the court. Both Cruz and Roberts clerked for the former chief justice William Rehnquist.

Related: Ted Cruz’s faux-filibuster over Obamacare: what you need to know

Last Thursday, the justices agreed in a 6-3 decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act in a case that turned on the meaning a vague four-word phrase.

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“Given that the text is ambiguous, we must turn to the broader structure of the act to determine the meaning,” wrote Roberts in the ruling, which enraged conservatives.

“Sadly, these will go down in his legacy as the most political decisions he’s ever made,” Cruz told Yahoo anchor Katie Couric on Monday, also referring to a 2012 decision in which Roberts and the supreme court upheld Obamacare. “And it is violating his oath of office. It was heartbreaking and depressing three years ago when he did it – and it was every bit as heartbreaking last week,” he said.

The decision all but guarantees that Obama’s healthcare reforms will survive intact until at least the 2016 election, and many supporters are hopeful that the measures will become impossible to reverse – even if a Republican is elected to the White House.

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Cruz has been among the most vocal opponents of the healthcare reforms, leading a 21-hour filibuster against the law in 2013. He also introduced legislation to repeal the law – a promise he has also campaigned on – and has proposed an alternative plan to the president’s model.

The following day, the court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry in all 50 US states in a 5-4 decision, with Roberts joining his conservative colleagues in dissent.

Cruz called Roberts’s dissent on the same-sex marriage case “spot on”, during interview on Monday on the conservative Hugh Hewitt show.

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guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2015


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Elections 2016

Betsy DeVos, Ben Carson send anti-trans signals to Trump’s evangelical base

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While Trump grabs headlines, his Cabinet members quietly use transphobia to shore up white evangelical support

The white evangelical vote is almost certainly a lock for Donald Trump in 2020, but it appears the president is taking no chances of losing this critical voting block. One major part of that strategy appears to be quietly deploying his Cabinet members, especially those associated with the Christian right, to generate stories highlighting the Trump administration's overt bigotry toward trans people, and its eagerness to deprive trans Americans of basic rights.

Just this week, both Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson snagged coverage by making community visits that were ostensibly for noble purposes, but were clearly meant to signal to Christian right voters their hostility to trans rights.

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Elections 2016

Intelligence official directly contradicts Trump administration’s excuses for suppressing whistleblower

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A top official in the intelligence community has disputed the factual basis for the Trump administration’s suppression of a whistleblower complaint believed to regard the potential misconduct of the president himself, a new letter released Thursday revealed.

The letter was made public by House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA). He is locked into a fierce and potentially explosive dispute with an array of forces within the administration to obtain the complaint, which was made through proper channels by an intelligence official last month to the community’s inspector general. Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson determined that the complaint was “credible” and “urgent,” and subsequent reporting from the Washington Post found that it concerns a “promise” made by Trump in communication with a foreign leader.

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Longtime GOP strategist explains why his party is getting crushed in the war of ideas

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Republican strategist Stuart Stevens on Wednesday warned the GOP that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) might not be a pushover candidate against President Donald Trump in 2020.

Writing on Twitter, Stevens admitted that he had "no idea" if Warren would beat Trump next year, but he did say that "Trump and supporters are destroying [the] credibility of any center-right argument" thanks to Trump's "corrupt and unstable" governance.

When one of Stevens' followers said that Warren would not be able to fulfill her promises just by taxing the wealthy, he countered that this idea is still more popular than anything Republicans are championing.

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