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Ted Cruz: The Media Is Obsessing Over My Cancun Trip Because of ‘Trump Withdrawal’

Fox News

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) attempted to brush off the controversy over his Cancun trip on Monday night, claiming he got bad press for leaving Texas high and dry because the media is “suffering from Trump withdrawal.”

Over the past few days, the Texas senator has found himself the target of a firestorm of criticism for his tone-deaf decision to flee to a tropical getaway as his home state struggled through a deadly winter storm that left millions without power, water, and heat. After quickly hustling back home on Thursday, Cruz proceeded to repeatedly blame the trip on his young daughters, claiming he was just trying to be a “good dad.”

While Cruz is still facing a widespread backlash, he has found a champion in Fox News host Sean Hannity, who has falsely framed the senator’s trip as nothing more than a “quick dropoff” and “escort” of his daughters. (Cruz was forced to admit that he was scheduled to stay through Sunday and only headed back earlier due to the controversy.)

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention only explicitly strikes down the CDC’s moratorium, Barker’s opinion is fairly broad and suggests that congressional regulation of evictions may also be unconstitutional. His opinion, if embraced by higher courts, could endanger any federal regulation of the housing market, including bans on discrimination in housing. The implications of Barker’s opinion, explained The opinion is a mélange of libertarian tropes, long-discarded constitutional theory, and statements that are entirely at odds with binding Supreme Court decisions. The thrust of Barker’s Terkel opinion is that the Constitution’s commerce clause, which provides that Congress may “regulate commerce ... among the several states,” is not broad enough to permit federal regulation of evictions. But, as the Supreme Court explained in United States v. Lopez (1995), the commerce clause gives Congress broad authority to regulate the national economy — including any activity that “‘substantially affects’ interstate commerce.” Though Lopez struck down a federal law prohibiting individuals from bringing guns near school zones, the Lopez opinion emphasizes the breadth of Congress’s power to regulate the economy. “Where economic activity substantially affects interstate commerce,” Chief Justice William Rehnquist wrote for the Court, “legislation regulating that activity will be sustained.” To get around decisions like Lopez, Barker argues that evicting someone from a home that they pay thousands of dollars a year to rent is not an “economic activity.” “The law at issue in Lopez criminalized the possession of one’s handgun when in a covered area,” Barker wrote. “The order at issue here criminalizes the possession of one’s property when inhabited by a covered person. Neither regulated activity is economic in material respect.” Merely quoting this argument is enough to refute it. Again, Barker claims that removing someone from a home that they rent, for money, because that individual failed to pay the agreed-upon sum of money, is not an economic activity. But just in case it isn’t obvious that Barker is wrong, the Supreme Court’s decision in Russell v. United States (1985) directly contradicts him. Russell held that “the congressional power to regulate the class of activities that constitute the rental market for real estate includes the power to regulate individual activity within that class.” Barker’s opinion is still wrong even if you accept his claim that evicting someone from a rental home is not an economic activity. In Wickard v. Filburn (1942), the Supreme Court held that Congress’s power to regulate commerce extends to a farmer’s decision to grow wheat for personal use. Although this wheat was not sold on the commercial market, the Supreme Court explained in Wickard, “home-grown wheat ... competes with wheat in commerce,” and thus can affect the price of wheat in the national market. As the Court later summarized the Wickard opinion in Gonzales v. Raich (2005), Wickard stands for the proposition that Congress may regulate non-economic activity when that activity, “when viewed in the aggregate,” has a “substantial influence on price and market conditions.” Thus, in order to affirm Barker’s opinion, an appeals court would need to conclude that all the evictions that take place in the United States do not have a substantial impact on the American housing market. Again, to describe Barker’s opinion is to refute it. Barker’s decision is the second opinion this week from a Texas-based, Trump-appointed judge that blocks a federal policy while relying on dubious legal reasoning. On Tuesday, Judge Drew Tipton handed down an order blocking a 100-day pause on deportations announced on the first day of the Biden administration. Tipton’s order is at odds with a long line of Supreme Court decisions holding that courts should be extremely reluctant to force the government to bring immigration enforcement actions against individual immigrants. Both Tipton and Barker’s orders will appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, one of the most conservative courts in the country, and then potentially to a Supreme Court where Republicans hold a 6-3 majority. So there is no guarantee that either decision will be reversed by a higher court. It’s unclear whether Barker would have reached the same conclusion if Donald Trump were still president — both the statutory and CDC moratoriums originally took effect under Trump. 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