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OK, so people had their fun the other day with Ted Cruz blaming the porn “like” at his Twitter account on a nameless staffer who of course, if you believe Ted, didn’t mean to hit the button any more than Ted himself would have if it had actually been him. Heck, I had my own fun with it. But if anything, that incident (including what we all assume are Ted’s lies about it) are humanizing. They make Ted Cruz more likable, not less. Which, considering that he is widely regarded as the most hated man in the Senate, can only be a good thing, right?

This post, on the other hand, digs right into why he’s so thoroughly hated. By senators — which is to say, by lawyers. (55% of current senators have law degrees.)

Let me digress. The first AIDS joke I ever heard in the 1980s was actually a lawyer joke. It went right over my head because (a) I was from a town so small I’d never seen a lawyer; and (b) the cute girl who told me the joke was too proper to allude to anal sex except by using “BF” as an acronym for “buttfuck” as a verb, which was too obscure for me. So the joke went like this:

Her: “Did you hear that why they had to start using lawyers instead of lab rats to research an AIDs cure?”

Me: “No.”

Her: “They couldn’t get the lab rats to BF.”

Me: [Blank look.]

Lawyers. The butt of AIDS jokes since the 1980s. And they hate Ted Cruz more then you do. Why?

The answer, it turns out, is that Ted Cruz is not just an ordinary liar in the weaselly way of all politicians that too many lawyers actaully respect and expect. Instead he’s that special kind of liar and oathbreaker that a lot of lawyers actually despise and abhor. If he wasn’t telling whoppers on CNN yesterday, then his famous brief against masturbation was a breach of his fundamental oaths as an officer of the court and of his legal ethics obligations. This has become a three-part version of that famous question: Were you lying yesterday? Or were you lying to the court? Or were you lying when you swore to support and defend the Constitution of the United States?

Let’s go to the transcript. This is Ted Cruz, yesterday, on CNN, talking to Dana Bash:

BASH: Do you appreciate the irony that you once defended a Texas law banning sales of sex books — sex toys?
CRUZ: No, actually. Actually, I don’t — that’s a good example, Dana, of where the media runs with things that are just totally false.
BASH: What’s false about that?
CRUZ: So what is false about that, so I’ve read online, you know, Cruz supports banning sex books.
BASH: No, no, no.
CRUZ: But that’s complete nonsense.
BASH: The sale. I just — I reread the brief this morning.
BASH: The sale of it.
CRUZ: All right. I spent five and a half years as the solicitor-general of Texas. I worked for the attorney general. The attorney general’s law, job, is to defend the laws passed by the Texas legislature.
BASH: I get it. Yes.
CRUZ: One of those laws was a law restricting the sale of sex toys. A stupid law. Listen, I am one of those libertarian members of the Senate. I think it’s idiotic.
BASH: So you did it because it was your job, not because it–
CRUZ: It was the job of the office to defend the legislature’s laws.
BASH: Was it–
CRUZ: I can tell you, the lawyers in my office, nobody wanted to do the case. I didn’t handle the case personally. I had a lawyer on the staff handle it. But my name was on every brief that was filed. It was an idiotic law. But it is an opportunity for knuckleheads in the media to claim, oh, isn’t this ironic that Cruz–
BASH: Yes.
CRUZ: — wants to ban these things.
BASH: OK. I can’t stop —
CRUZ: People ought to be able to do what they want.
BASH: I can’t believe I’m going to ask you this, but so you’re officially saying Ted Cruz is OK with people buying sex toys?
CRUZ: I am saying that consenting adults should be able to do whatever they want in their bedrooms.

First of all, let’s note and call out the common garden-variety weasels that nobody likes. The case was about the sale of sex toys, and he didn’t answer the question; that’s commerce, not usually a bedroom activity. He didn’t answer the question.

But let’s take him at his word that media reports that he opposes masturbation are complete nonsense. Here’s what the brief in question said:

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.

Substantive due process rights, for those of you who slept through constitutional law, are fundamental liberties placed beyond the reach of governmental interference by the due process clauses of the Constitution. Ted Cruz signed his name to a brief that says masturbation is not among them. Now he says he was just doing his job, signing his name to the work of a minion, defending a stupid law.

Here’s the problem with that. (Well, once you get past the fact that we used to hang people for “just doing their job” while following illegal orders, and if you can ignore the sleaze of throwing a nameless legal minion under the bus in a “buck stops here” job.)

No, the problem with that is twofold:

1) The Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct, section 3.03 (Candor Toward the Tribunal) states that “a lawyer shall not knowingly make a false statement of material fact or law to a tribunal.” If Ted Cruz believes you have a constitutional right to masturbate in the privacy of your bedroom, he violated his professional ethics by arguing otherwise to a court, and he’s a slime for claiming he was just doing his job when he signed his name to some other lawyer’s brief arguing something he now claims he didn’t believe.

2) More fundamentally, every member of the Texas bar swears an oath to support the Constitution of the United States. If Ted Cruz thinks that the Constitution allows people to masturbate in the privacy of their bedrooms, he broke that oath when he signed a contrary brief. If he does not so think, he lied to Dana Bash on CNN yesterday when bitching about the “totally false” media reports.

You can’t have it three ways, Ted. You don’t get to claim to be libertarian while your name is on a brief that argues that an adult doesn’t have the fundamental liberty right to retire to their fapping bunk. You don’t get to blame someone else for writing that brief while claiming that you were just “doing your job” defending a “stupid law”. You don’t get to claim that reports you did all these things are “totally false.” And finally, you’re in breach of your oath and your professional ethics, if you actually did believe (at all times pertinent) what you now claim to believe about the constitution.

For shame.

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