Paul Ryan isn’t the only false intellectual the right has coughed up in recent years. Ted Cruz, a Harvard-educated son of a Cuban revolutionary and former solicitor general of Texas, is gunning to make a “thinking man’s” defense of economic austerity from the U.S. Senate.

Conservative praise for Cruz is plentiful. Columnist George Will called him “as good as it gets”; the National Review marked him as “the next conservative great hope”; political strategist Mark McKinnon dubbed him “the Republican Barack Obama.”

Tim Murphy of Mother Jones is less enthused. He recognizes a Ron “Paulian distaste for international law; a Huckabee-esque strain of Christian conservatism; and a Perry-like reverence for the 10th Amendment.” If he wins a place in the Senate this November, come January, Cruz will have enormous influence over the chamber’s Republican delegation. He and his colleagues will command enough votes to affect every piece of legislation that comes through the Senate. And they’ll use it to limit government’s ability to create jobs, bolster health care and provide necessary social services.

Below, read some of Cruz’s views as they were expressed during his tenure as solicitor general of Texas.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

Tim Murphy at Mother Jones:

Of Cruz’s eight oral arguments before the Supreme Court on behalf of Texas, five involved the death penalty, with Cruz arguing, at various points, that Texas should be allowed to execute the mentally ill, a Mexican national who hadn’t been informed of his Vienna Convention right to speak to his consulate, and a man who raped his stepdaughter.

Other cases he took on reflected his conservative Christian ideology. On his campaign website, he touts successfully defending the inclusion of the term “under God” in the Texas Pledge of Allegiance and a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the state Capitol. He notes that he fought in the courts to protect a Bible display installed on public property and to have the divorce of a same-sex couple’s civil union invalidated because they’d gotten hitched in Vermont.

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