The man Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) says he would have nominated to the Supreme Court instead of John Roberts gave $1,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) in 2008 — the year Barack Obama swept to power and Nancy Pelosi was re-elected Speaker of the House.
Michael Luttig, for whom Cruz clerked on the Fourth Circuit in the 1990s, left the judiciary in 2006 to become General Counsel and senior vice president for Boeing. Luttig had also clerked for the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
After Scalia passed away earlier this year, Cruz declared that he would appoint conservative judges to the bench.
Cruz said in the GOP debate in South Carolina in February that if he were president, not only would he would not have nominated Roberts to the Supreme Court, but he said that he would instead “have nominated my former boss, Mike Luttig, who was Justice Scalia’s first law clerk.”
Crowdpac, a nonpartisan political data and crowdfunding platform that measures political leanings based on political contributions, unveiled Luttig’s DCCC contribution in a blog post, noting that Cruz has attacked Donald Trump for similar contriubutions: “…Cruz has frequently criticized such behavior and made Trump’s contributions to Democrats (especially his support of Nancy Pelosi) a major line of attack in his campaign against the Washington establishment.”
In the GOP debate in Michigan in March, Cruz noted that in 2008, “Donald Trump wrote four checks to elect Hilary Clinton as president. So I’d like to ask Donald: ‘Why did you write checks to Hillary Clinton to be president in 2008?'” A new Cruz ad targets Trump’s donations to liberal Democrats in New York.
Trump has defended his own contributions to Democrats by arguing that people in the business world feel they have to give to both parties to remain in favor.
John Dern, the Vice President of Public Relations at the Boeing Company, told Breitbart News the company would decline to comment on Luttig’s 2008 contribution.
Despite the DCCC donation, Luttig’s record is one steeped in conservativism.
In the book In the Balance: Law and Politics on the Roberts Court, author Mark Tushnet wrote:
Luttig had a different set of problems. No one doubted his conservativism, but from the time he had served in the Reagan and Bush Department of Justice he had a reputation for sharp elbows in his personal relations. The new Chief Justice, the White House hoped, would be able to consolidate a conservative majority through personal leadership, and they worried that Luttig couldn’t do that.
And the liberal American Constitution Society for Law and Policy writes that Luttig’s “reputation is as a hard-line conservative, though even liberal opponents concede that he is very smart.”
Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz.