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Hon. R. Ted Cruz

United States Senator, Texas

In 2012, Ted Cruz was elected as the 34th U.S. Senator from Texas.  A passionate fighter for limited government, economic growth, and the Constitution, Ted won a decisive victory in both the Republican primary and the general election, despite having never before been elected to office.

Propelled by tens of thousands of grassroots activists across Texas, Ted’s election has been described by the Washington Post as “the biggest upset of 2012 . . . a true grassroots victory against very long odds.”

National Review has described Ted as “a great Reaganite hope,” columnist George Will has described him as “as good as it gets,” and the National Federation of Independent Business characterized his election as “critical to the small-business owners in [Texas, and], also to protecting free enterprise across America,”

Ted’s calling to public service is inspired largely by his first-hand observation of the pursuit of freedom and opportunity in America.  Ted’s mother was born in Delaware to an Irish and Italian working-class family; she became the first in her family to go to college, graduated from Rice University with a degree in mathematics, and became a pioneering computer programmer in the 1950s.

Ted’s father was born in Cuba, fought in the revolution, and was imprisoned and tortured.  He fled to Texas in 1957, penniless and not speaking a word of English.  He washed dishes for 50 cents an hour, paid his way through the University of Texas, and started a small business in the oil and gas industry.  Today, Ted’s father is a pastor in Dallas.

In the Senate, Ted serves on the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation; the Committee on Armed Services; the Committee on the Judiciary; the Special Committee on Aging; and the Committee on Rules and Administration.

Before being elected, Ted received national acclaim as the Solicitor General of Texas, the State's chief lawyer before the U.S. Supreme Court.  Serving under Attorney General Greg Abbott, Ted was the nation’s youngest Solicitor General, the longest serving Solicitor General in Texas, and the first Hispanic Solicitor General of Texas.

In private practice in Houston, Ted spent five years as a partner at one of the nation’s largest law firms, where he led the firm’s U.S. Supreme Court and national Appellate Litigation practice.

Ted has authored more than 80 U.S. Supreme Court briefs and argued 43 oral arguments, including nine before the U.S. Supreme Court.  During Ted’s service as Solicitor General, Texas achieved an unprecedented series of landmark national victories, including successfully defending:

  • U.S. sovereignty against the UN and the World Court in Medellin v. Texas;
  • The Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms;
  • The constitutionality of the Texas Ten Commandments monument;
  • The constitutionality of the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance;
  • The constitutionality of the Texas Sexually Violent Predator Civil Commitment law; and
  • The Texas congressional redistricting plan.

The National Law Journal has called Ted “a key voice” to whom “the [U.S. Supreme Court] Justices listen.”  Ted has been named by American Lawyer magazine as one of the 50 Best Litigators under 45 in America, by the National Law Journal as one of the 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America, and by Texas Lawyer as one of the 25 Greatest Texas Lawyers of the Past Quarter Century.

From 2004-09, he taught U.S. Supreme Court Litigation as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Texas School of Law. 

Prior to becoming Solicitor General, he served as the Director of the Office of Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission, as Associate Deputy Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice, and as Domestic Policy Advisor on the 2000 Bush-Cheney campaign. 

Ted graduated with honors from Princeton University and with high honors from Harvard Law School.  He served as a law clerk to Chief Justice William Rehnquist on the U.S. Supreme Court.  He was the first Hispanic ever to clerk for the Chief Justice of the United States. 

Ted and his wife Heidi live in his hometown of Houston, Texas, with their two young daughters Caroline and Catherine.

Education
  • Harvard Law School, 1995, J.D., Magna Cum Laude
  • Princeton University, 1992, A.B., Cum Laude

The Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues. The people listed as Experts have spoken or otherwise participated in Federalist Society events, publications, or multimedia presentations. A person's appearance on this list does not imply any other endorsement or relationship between the person and the Federalist Society. All expressions of opinion by an expert are those of the expert.

Publications and Multimedia
Keynote Address by Ted Cruz - Event Audio/Video
Second Annual Executive Branch Review Conference
May 14, 2014
Address by Ted Cruz - Event Audio/Video
2013 National Lawyers Convention
November 20, 2013
Is the Administrative State on the Rise? - Event Audio/Video
First Annual Executive Branch Review Conference
June 13, 2013
Address by Senator-Elect Ted Cruz - Event Audio/Video
2012 National Lawyers Convention
November 20, 2012
The Role of the State Attorney General - Podcast
Federalism & Separation of Powers Practice Group
May 20, 2010
Salazar v. Buono and the Establishment Clause - Podcast
Religious Liberties Practice Group
April 06, 2010
District of Columbia v. Heller
Online Debate
June 26, 2008
Medellin v. Texas - Part I: Self-Execution
Online Debate
March 28, 2008
SCOTUScast 10-11-07 featuring Ted Cruz
Medellin v. Texas
October 11, 2007
Medellin v. Texas: Presidential Power and International Tribunals - Event Audio/Video
Co-Sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute
September 27, 2007
Government--Friend or Foe of E-Commerce? - Transcript
Fight The Future? Government Regulation and Technological Progress
October 18, 2001