Ted Cruz, former Solicitor General of Texas, met with Melissa Clouthier, Tabitha Hale, and myself at the SRLC to discuss the legal strategies that will come into play in attempting to defeat the federal mandate in ObamaCare. As Solicitor General for Texas from 2003-2008, Cruz argued eight cases before the US Supreme Court, winning some significant victories for conservatives. We asked a number of questions about the likelihood of success from the state challenges to the mandate, which Cruz thought was fairly high. At the same time, Cruz was more pessimistic about so-called “nullification” statutes passed by states such as Montana that forbids the state from helping enforce the mandate. Those, Cruz says, will likely fail in federal court, but they do serve a political purpose in heightening the visibility of federal encroachment on state sovereignty.

The best and most complete route for undoing ObamaCare is the political channel, Cruz emphasizes. The courts can only do so much — and as conservatives, we shouldn’t expect them to do any more than reject the unconstitutional sections of ObamaCare:

We had a longer conversation with Cruz off camera. He intended to run for Attorney General as offices got switched around when Kay Bailey Hutchison announced she would resign her Senate seat regardless of the outcome of the primary. When she changed her mind, with the public blessing of Governor Rick Perry, it had a domino effect on Texas politics that left Cruz without an office to pursue. He insists that he will run for public office in the near future, but meanwhile wants to remain active in policy issues. Texans may want to keep an eye on Cruz.