Ted Cruz’s War on Dildos: A Short Explainer

Presidential candidate once argued against “right to stimulate one’s genitals”


Ted Cruz is generating attention today for the strangest of reasons: He once argued in a Texas case to oppose the legalization of sex toys.

Yes, this is a real thing that happened. (Just as Cruz really did recently call Donald Trump a rat with whom he would not like to have sex.)

“There is no substantive-due-process right to stimulate one’s genitals for non-medical purposes unrelated to procreation or outside of an interpersonal relationship,” Cruz’s office declared in a legal brief while he was serving as Texas solicitor general.

It all started back in 2007 when Cruz’s legal team was working on an appeal of a previous ruling that the selling of sex toys was not protected by the Constitution, according to Mother Jones. Cruz’s team filed a note with the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit that included the words: “The Texas Penal Code prohibits the advertisement and sale of dildos, artificial vaginas, and other obscene devices” but does not “forbid the private use of such devices.”

By 2008, the court told Cruz that Texans can legally use dildos, allowing the “right to be free from governmental intrusion regarding ‘the most private human contact, sexual behavior.’”

Though Cruz’s argument was rejected, he went on to file various unsuccessful motions and appeals. Dildos remain legal in Cruz’s home state of Texas to this day.

The Mother Jones story has sparked some interesting Twitter responses: