Years before the government shutdown he helped engineer, and way before he became the most unpopular man in the Senate, Ted Cruz stood among friends during a visit to Harvard Law School.
It was 2007 and Cruz was the solicitor general of Texas. He returned to his alma mater in a suit and cowboy boots to participate in a moot-court session sponsored by the law school’s Federalist Society, an intellectual touchstone and source of ideological support for conservative students and Harvard Law alumni such as Cruz.
The audience that day included fans who reveled in his brand of constitutional conservatism and threw him a barbecue in appreciation.
“Ted was the person every Harvard Federalist Society member aspired to be,” said Sarah Isgur Flores, a Republican strategist who, as Federalist Society president, had invited Cruz to campus.
The Federalist Society and its network of influential members have nourished Cruz’s legal ideology for years and directly contributed to his success as a politician. Connections made through the society opened doors at crucial career moments, and more recently society members have been a fount of political and financial sustenance during his rise to national prominence.
The society’s libertarian ideals of limited government and judicial restraint are baked into Cruz’s political philosophy, which the Republican presidential candidate wants to take all the way to the White House.
That Sunday, inside the staged courtroom with an arched wood-beamed ceiling in Austin Hall, Cruz honed in on the separation of governmental powers, a key Federalist Society principle, one that he would put forward three days later on behalf of the State of Texas in a Supreme Court case challenging federal and United Nations authority. Afterwards, Cruz lingered for hours, fielding questions and dispensing career advice over burgers and beer off Harvard Yard.Read the rest of the story HERE.
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