Hmm

But the nub of their argument came in one line: “There is no substantive due-process right to stimulate one’s genitals for non-medical purposes unrelated to procreation or outside of an interpersonal relationship.”

That’s not quite the same as the headline:

Ted Cruz’s doomed war on sex toys and masturbation

The State Attorney General is there to uphold whatever State law (or, law in that State, not quite the same thing) might be in the courts.

In 2004, according to Mother Jones, stores in Austin that sold sex toys challenged a law that banned the sale of adult devices. Offenders faced up to two years in prison.

Things had come to a head a year earlier, when a Texas mother was arrested during a party where she acted as sales rep for Passion Parties, selling vibrators and other goods.

The challenge failed when the state court decided that the constitution did not protect vendors of sex toys.

And however stupid the law was it was one that was valid at that time, even if later over turned.

Fun story and idiot law but oleaginous as Cruz is, still not quite a “Gotcha”

21 thoughts on “Hmm”

  1. From The Times: The Texan senator suffered a further insult when a college colleague talked about his old friend’s days at Princeton. Craig Mazin, who shared a room with Mr Cruz, said on Twitter: “Ted Cruz thinks people don’t have a right to ‘stimulate their genitals’. I was his college roommate. This would be a new belief of his.”

  2. This is becoming increasingly common, especially in the US: SJWs want “activist” judges to rule on what they think the law should be according to popular opinion, i.e. theirs, not rule on what the law says. A lot of them hated Scalia seemingly for making judgements based on what the law said and not what lefties thought it should say.

  3. Tim,

    I saw that endlessly, and not from SJWs, when I worked in banking.

    I’m perfectly happy with people who think the law is wrong, and may even campaign for the law to be changed. I’m not happy when people insist that I need to act as if the law has already been changed.

    But then that’s the way this blog’s least favourite accountant works, isn’t it?

  4. Tim Newman,

    Indeed. Some of the SCOTUS decisions, despite actually agreeing with them (abortion and gay marriage) have turned me against supreme courts and constitutions. In principle, I like the idea, but this is just activism.

    I mean, if abortion is legal because of *private life*, why isn’t possession of cannabis (and you can bet someone tried that) or sex toys?

    The problem I feel is that it’s illegitimate. Abortion is still a subject of presidential debates in the US because it didn’t get solved by the political process, of people making pro- and anti-arguments. Our gay laws changed because of people having a debate about it. People sitting in pubs in the 80s who said “we should birch these queers” had people like me saying “what have they done to hurt you?”. Maybe we didn’t convince those people, but some people listening perhaps had their minds changed and eventually, ideas about things changed, politicians who were pro-gay rights could win seats, and pass laws.

  5. I’m sure my teenagers will find this invaluable advice.
    Whatever the fuck due process means.

  6. Some of the SCOTUS decisions, despite actually agreeing with them (abortion and gay marriage) have turned me against supreme courts and constitutions.

    Indeed. As I wrote on my blog at the time, I found the SCOTUS decision on gay marriage to be the right outcome for the wrong reasons. Recently, and long after I’d written the post, I read the Scalia dissent and agreed with it: he was arguing from a strict point of law, not his own preferences. I liked that.

  7. Abortion is still a subject of presidential debates in the US because it didn’t get solved by the political process, of people making pro- and anti-arguments.

    Yes, I agree on that too.

  8. “There is no substantive due-process right to stimulate one’s genitals for non-medical purposes unrelated to procreation or outside of an interpersonal relationship.”

    Somebody needs to read the Ninth Amendment.

  9. Somebody needs to read the Ninth Amendment.

    You can imagine, in times of greater public propriety, that the Founding Fathers may not have wanted to enumerate the Constitutional right to be a wanker.

    No matter how much their miserable excuses for successors have demonstrated it.

  10. Scalia started with his preferences, then looked for some legal justification for them. He was happy to ignore the text of the constitution when it suited his views to do so. “we have understood the Eleventh Amendment to stand not so much for what it says, but for the presupposition of our constitutional structure which it confirms”

  11. @Social Justice Warrior: “Scalia started with his preferences, then looked for some legal justification for them. He was happy to ignore the text of the constitution when it suited his views to do so.”

    Really? So the reason he recognized a right to burn the flag was that he just loved hairy hippies? He argued endlessly for a defendant’s unqualified right to confront witnesses against him, because he just adored child molesters? He demanded that juries find all facts necessary for a criminal conviction because he loved cutting criminal defendants a break?

    These “preferences” would come as a surprise to those who knew him.

    “we have understood the Eleventh Amendment to stand not so much for what it says, but for the presupposition of our constitutional structure which it confirms”

    Yeah, Eleventh Amendment jurisprudence is a travesty. But is an ancient, non-ideological, not-terribly important–quick, non-lawyers (and 90% of lawyers), what is the 11th amendment all about?–travesty supported by a two centuries of precedent.

    That quote is just a plain acknowledgment that there are other, more important wind mills to tilt at right now, rather than a wholesale endorsement that this is the way to do con law.

  12. Yep, Cruz defended a law in court a state law that banned sex toys. In exactly the same sense, Hillary defended in court a child rapist she knew to be guilty. That is what lawyers do.

    To draw the conclusion from this that Cruz believes the government should ban wanking is about as reasonable as to conclude that Hillary wants to legalize child rape.

  13. Scalia started with his preferences, then looked for some legal justification for them. He was happy to ignore the text of the constitution when it suited his views to do so. “we have understood the Eleventh Amendment to stand not so much for what it says, but for the presupposition of our constitutional structure which it confirms”

    I was specifically referring to Scalia’s dissent of the gay marriage decision. The quote to which you refer is not from that dissent (which can be found here): it is from an entirely different case.

  14. @Social Justice Warrior

    Yes, that is why Scalia called himself a “faint-hearted orginalist.” One can fairly criticize his originalism and his faint-heartedness. But to do both smacks of opportunism.

  15. Seriously?

    I’m probably the biggest Cruz hater in these parts but even I know enough not to go after him for doing his job in this case. If he had been a legislator that supported the law I can see a valid complaint. At worst Cruz comes off as a foot soldier obeying orders here. With so many better faults to pick on why even bother with this?

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