No single issue is more important to the future of the United States than the makeup of the Supreme Court. There has been an open seat on the Court since Justice Antonin Scalia passed away on February 13, 2016, and it is now up to President-elect Trump to select someone to fill it. This will likely be the most important appointment that he will make over the course of his presidency, as it will determine the philosophical leaning of the Court for a generation or more. 

Who should President-elect Trump pick to fill the open seat? First and foremost, the next Supreme Court justice must support the concept of originalism, the idea that the Constitution should be interpreted as it was originally intended to be by the Founders. He or she must understand that the Constitution is a dead document that proscribes a federal government very limited in both size and scope. He or she must respect the fact that the Tenth Amendment grants individual states an enormous amount of power to run themselves.

Justice Scalia was a judicial heavyweight, and there is only one person who has the ability to fill the enormous shoes that he left behind: U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.

Senator Cruz has spent a lifetime defending the Constitution and America’s founding principles. During high school, he traveled around the State of Texas and spoke about the Constitution as a member of a group called the “Constitutional Corroborators.” After attending Princeton University and Harvard Law School, he clerked at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit for Judge J. Michael Luttig in 1995 and at the U.S. Supreme Court for Chief Justice William Rehnquist in 1996. From 2003 to 2008, Senator Cruz served as the Solicitor General of Texas under Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is now the state’s governor.

As the Solicitor General of Texas, Cruz defended the Second Amendment’s individual right to keep and bear arms in District of Columbia v. Heller. He defended the sovereignty of the United States against the World Court in Medellin v. Texas. He defended a monument displaying the Ten Commandments on the grounds of the Texas State Capitol in Van Orden v. Perry.

Those are just a few of the major cases that Senator Cruz played a role in while he was the Solicitor General of Texas. Altogether, he wrote amicus briefs for over 70 Supreme Court cases, and he personally argued nine of them (five wins, four losses).

In June 2015, Senator Cruz wrote an op-ed for National Review in which he lambasted judicial activism. He wrote,

“During the past 50 years, the Court has condemned millions of innocent unborn children to death, banished God from our schools and public squares, extended constitutional protections to prisoners of war on foreign soil, authorized the confiscation of property from one private owner to transfer it to another, and has now required all Americans to purchase a specific product, and to accept the redefinition of an institution ordained by God and long predating the formation of the Court. Enough is enough.”

Senator Cruz’s best-selling book, A Time for Truth: Reigniting the Promise of America, serves as further proof that he is committed to protecting our constitutional rights. On page 326, he wrote,

“We need to vigorously protect free speech and religious liberty, and make clear that the federal government has no authority to undermine the Second Amendment. Likewise, we need to protect the Fourth and Fifth Amendment privacy rights of every American. We need to defend life, from conception to natural death. And we need to respect the Tenth Amendment, the fundamental limitation on the authority of the federal government.” 

There is no one more qualified or able to replace Justice Scalia on the Supreme Court than Senator Cruz. As Steve Deace of Conservative Review put it, “Replacing Scalia with Cruz is like replacing Brett Favre with Aaron Rodgers…And he’s young enough to be a conservative cornerstone for a generation, just like Scalia once was.” He has spent a lifetime fighting to protect the Constitution and America’s founding principles, and his passion for the law is unquestionable. Senator Cruz would be a brilliant Supreme Court justice, and I strongly urge President-elect Trump to nominate him.