Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 14, 2016

Cruz Faces Off With Durbin on ‘Stand Your Ground’ Inquiry

Sen. Ted Cruz pushed back today against Sen. Richard J. Durbin’s inquiry on “Stand Your Ground” laws, saying his letters to 300 corporations asking for their positions on the policy in the wake of Trayvon Martin’s shooting death was an “inappropriate government intrusion.”

The Texas Republican is the ranking member on the Judiciary subcommittee chaired by Durbin, the No. 2 Senate Democrat, which will discuss Stand Your Ground laws next month.

Cruz criticized Durbin’s letters to groups who have previously or currently given financial backing to the American Legislative Exchange Council, even though their recipients are free to respond or not respond as they see fit.

“Senator Durbin’s request for ALEC supporters to announce an official position on gun laws in advance of a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee hearing is inappropriate, and I encourage recipients not to respond,” Cruz said in the statement. “While Senator Durbin is free to make any inquiry he likes, in my view this effort represents an inappropriate governmental intrusion into the personal and political views of American citizens and businesses. In light of the current IRS targeting scandal, this action raises concerns about retaliation against those who may disagree with the Chairman and the Obama Administration.”

Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal wrote an op-ed criticizing Durbin for the effort, ostensibly claiming the Illinois Democrat was using the Stand Your Ground issue, elevated to national attention by the shooting death of Martin, to otherwise cripple ALEC, which has advocated for other conservative causes.

You can read more about Durbin’s letter, which CQ Roll Call wrote about Wednesday, here.

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