A Conversation on the Future of the Conservative Movement and the Republican Party
Annual Princeton University Reunions Event
Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and director of the James Madison Program; and Ted Cruz ‘92, United States Senate (R-TX)
Ted Cruz ‘92 was elected as the 34th U.S. Senator from Texas in 2012. In the Senate, he 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, he served as the Solicitor General of Texas, the State’s chief lawyer before the U.S. Supreme Court. Serving under Attorney General Greg Abbott, he 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, he 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. He has authored more than 80 U.S. Supreme Court briefs and argued 43 oral arguments, including nine before the U.S. Supreme Court. During his 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. 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. Senator Cruz’s calling to public service is inspired largely by his first-hand observation of the pursuit of freedom and opportunity in America. His 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. His 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, his father is a pastor in Dallas. Senator Cruz 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 a Chief Justice of the United States.
Robert P. George is McCormick Chair in Jurisprudence at Princeton University and is the director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions. He is currently a 2012-13 Visiting Professor of Law and Harvard Law School. He has served on the President's Council on Bioethics and as a presidential appointee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights. He has also served on UNESCO’s World Commission on the Ethics of Science and Technology, of which he continues to be a corresponding member. He is a former Judicial Fellow at the Supreme Court of the United States, where he received the Justice Tom C. Clark Award. He is the author of In Defense of Natural Law, Making Men Moral: Civil Liberties and Public Morality, The Clash of Orthodoxies: Law, Religion and Morality in Crisis, and Conscience and Its Enemies: Confronting the Dogmas of Liberal Secularism, and co-author of Embryo: A Defense of Human Life, Body-Self Dualism in Contemporary Ethics and Politics, and What is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense. His scholarly articles and reviews have appeared in such journals as the Harvard Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, the Columbia Law Review, the American Journal of Jurisprudence, and the Review of Politics. He is a recipient of many honors and awards, including the Presidential Citizens Medal, the Honorific Medal for the Defense of Human Rights of the Republic of Poland, the Canterbury Medal of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the Sidney Hook Memorial Award of the National Association of Scholars, the Philip Merrill Award of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, the Bradley Prize for Intellectual and Civic Achievement and the Stanley Kelley, Jr. Teaching Award from Princeton's Department of Politics. He was the 2007 John Dewey Lecturer in the Philosophy of Law at Harvard, the 2008 Judge Guido Calabresi Lecturer in Law and Religion at Yale, the 2008 Sir Malcolm Knox Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of St. Andrews, and the 2010 Frank Irvine Lecturer in Law at Cornell University. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and holds honorary doctorates of law, ethics, science, letters, civil law, humane letters, and juridical science. A graduate of Swarthmore College and Harvard Law School, he also received a master’s degree in Theology from Harvard and a doctorate in Philosophy of Law from Oxford University.