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Here's What Ted Cruz Won't Tell You About His Days as a Corporate Lawyer

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He wasn't always a "courageous conservative."


In the pegged-to-the-campaign memoir Ted Cruz released last year, A Time for Truth, the GOP presidential contender chronicles his rise from the son of a Cuban immigrant to a tea-party-beloved, Obama-obstructing senator. But a chapter in his life gets short shrift: Cruz's years as a highly paid private lawyer who often defended powerful corporations. And there are several significant cases he handled -- politically inconvenient cases -- that he has photoshopped out of his personal narrative.

After serving five years as the solicitor general of Texas, the state's top lawyer, Cruz in 2008 joined the Houston office of the high-powered international law firm Morgan Lewis to develop its Supreme Court and national appellate practice. Having previously argued before the US Supreme Court on behalf of Texas in cases that had a conservative bent -- defending the Second Amendment, the Pledge of Allegiance, and US sovereignty -- Cruz was well regarded for his skills as an appellate attorney. But now, he would apply these talents to advance the interests of the firm's clients, which tended to be large corporations.

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In his book, Cruz notes that he represented Federal Express, Kimberly-Clark, Dentsply, and AstraZeneca. He also cites two pro bono cases he assisted: He helped veterans groups preserve a cross that had been erected as a memorial on federal land, and he aided two Morgan Lewis lawyers in the firm who were representing John Thompson, a Louisiana man falsely convicted of murder. Thompson had served 14 years on death row and was seeking to preserve a $14 million restitution award he had won in a case against the New Orleans district attorney's office, which had covered up evidence that could have exonerated Thompson. (Despite Cruz's involvement in that case, he would, as a politician, later say he trusted the criminal justice system to apply the death penalty fairly and appropriately.) Cruz also notes in his memoir that during his 2012 race for the US Senate, while he was still at Morgan Lewis, his opponent in the GOP primary attacked him for having represented a Chinese company that had been found to have stolen trade secrets and designs from a US-based tire manufacturing firm. (Cruz, an attack ad exclaimed, had sided with the "Red Chinese" against American jobs.) And, the book points out, Cruz was assailed during that campaign for having represented a Pennsylvania developer who was a central player in a corruption scandal that exploited juveniles.

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David Corn is  Mother Jones ' Washington bureau chief. For more of his stories,  click here . He's also  on  Twitter  and  FacebookRSS  |    David is (more...)
 

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