Republican candidate and tea party darling Ted Cruz made an appearance at a campaign forum last night, and took the opportunity to advance some of the far-right’s favorite baseless conspiracy theories — including a claim that American law is in danger of being replaced by Islamic law:
“In response to questions from attendees, Cruz said he hoped to see U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder impeached and opposed the law that prohibits tax-exempt churches from endorsing candidates from the pulpit.
When asked about whether he viewed “Sharia Law” as a problem in the United States, Cruz said “Sharia law is an enormous problem.”
It’s not. It’s not even a small problem. Although it is common for politicians on the far right of America’s political spectrum to claim that courts are slowly replacing American law with Islamic law, these claims have no basis in reality. Few American courts have ever even mentioned Sharia or Islamic law, and those that have generally only do so in contracts or similar cases where a party before the court agreed to be bound by Sharia law.
This is hardly the first time that Cruz abandoned reality to toss red meat to his Tea Party base. In 2010, Cruz floated a theory about how states can bypass the federal government and ignore existing laws they disagreed with, advocated for a radical rereading of the US constitution which would have rendered Medicaid unconstitutional, and in March, warned Texans about the dangers of a George Soros and United Nations-led intrusion into local communities to eliminate golf and paved roads.
Cruz and Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst are locked in a runoff election to be the Republican nominee to replace outgoing Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX). In the May 29 primary, Dewhurst easily defeated Cruz 47 percent to 25 percent, but failed to reach the 50 percent threshold needed to avoid a runoff election. The runoff, scheduled for July 31, has already gotten ugly, with both sides exchanging accusations of misrepresenting the facts. The race is expected to be one of the most costly senate elections in the country. Spending already exceeds $25 million.