Cruz argued the common weapons banned under the measure make the proposal unconstitutional under the Second Amendment, even if the ban receives strong public support.
“The final point I’ll make on make on the Constitution is that some have pointed to public opinion polls, in my view the Constitution is particularly important when the Bill of Rights is unpopular," Cruz said.
“The purpose of it is to stand for the rights of the minority when the majority is acting to strip their rights.”
As Cruz continued he was interrupted by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), “I appreciate the lecture of what we’re supposed to do as senators upholding the Constitution, I’ve been doing it for 38 years but I’m always happy to have the reminder from someone who has been here for – probably not quite as long.”
Cruz requested the opportunity to conclude and did so by saying, “Likewise, earlier this week this committee voted to fund a study of the impact of films and video games on violent crimes. And I would note that I voted ‘no’ against that as well because I believe in the First Amendment, I believe in the Second Amendment, I believe in the Fifth Amendment and I would suggest that every one of us has an obligation to the Constitution.”
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the renewed assault-weapons ban on a party-line 10-8 vote. The measure bans a wide range of semi-automatic weapons and “ All ammunition feeding devices (magazines, strips, and drums) capable of accepting more than 10 rounds.”
The measure now advances to the full Senate.