Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Politics
  3. Republican

Ted Cruz causes media uproar with scholarly Harvard Law Review essay

See also

It is a rare occurrence that an essay in The Harvard Law Review can cause political controversy. But Ted Cruz, the junior senator from Texas and a Harvard Law Graduate himself, seems to have managed it. The essay in question is entitled “Limits on the Treaty Power” which explores the possible use of international treaties by an unscrupulous federal government to acquire power for itself and to take away power from the states.

The essay has lots of citations and footnotes, particularly in reference to a case before the Supreme Court called Bond v. the United States. Carol Anne Bond is a woman who attempted to poison a love rival by smearing a chemical on a door knob. The attack failed, but Bond is now serving a six year stretch for violating an anti chemical weapons treaty signed by the United States in the 1990s. The Supreme Court is to decide whether that conviction was constitutional. Cruz would like the court to place limits on the use of treaties to supersede state law.

This somewhat esoteric legal argument has incited The Daily Beast to suggest that Cruz is using a “dog whistle” to influence the conspiracy theory addled far right in a January 11, 2014 essay. It is one thing, the online magazine states, for someone like Cruz to tell people that the United Nations is threatening to take away peoples’ guns or enact some kind of climate change tax on the Rush Limbaugh Show or in a conservative magazine. It is incredibly sneaky of the senator to suggest that treaties could be used to violate states rights in the pages of a staid, establishment law journal.

Nick Rosenkranz, writing in The Volkh Conspiracy, has a more measured reaction, marveling how unusual it is for a sitting senator to write scholarly essays and doubly unusual to write one calling for limits on his own power.



  • Al Qaeda video surfaces
    A video of an Al Qaeda meeting surfaces, concealed identities are raising suspicions
    Watch Video
  • Boston Marathon
    Boston cops shut down Boylston street after finding suspicious, unattended backpacks
    Top News
  • Death penalty for hate crime?
    Actions by the anti-Semitic gunman are being condemned by the unlikeliest of groups
    Crime News
  • New York gun control
    As many as one million New Yorkers are ready to disregard the state's new gun laws
  • Korean ferry capsizes
    Hundreds of passengers are missing after a ferry sinks off the South Korean coast
    World News
  • NYPD ends surveillance on Muslims
    The NYPD will end surveillance programs against Muslims in their own communities
    Watch Video

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about and apply today!