Ted Cruz maintains that Harvard Law School was full of Communists

The freshman senator and former Harvard Law student stands by claims he made in a speech two and a half years ago

By Prachi Gupta

Published February 24, 2013 3:52PM (EST)

When freshman Sen. Ted Cruz attracted attention for his suggestive grilling of President Barack Obama’s nominee for defense secretary, Chuck Hagel, the New Yorker's Jane Mayer wondered, "Is Senator Ted Cruz  Our New McCarthy?" Mayer drew attention to a speech that Cruz, a former Harvard Law School student, gave two and a half years ago in which he said 12 Harvard Law School professors “were Marxists who believed in the Communists overthrowing the United States government.” In it, he also explained that President Obama "would have made a perfect president of Harvard Law School" because "there were fewer declared Republicans in the faculty when we were there than Communists!"

Through a spokeswoman, Cruz has responded to the story, and stands by the claims he made in his speech. The New Yorker reports:

"His spokeswoman Catherine Frazier told The Blaze website that the 'substantive point' in Cruz’s charge, made in a speech in 2010, was 'was absolutely correct.'

She went on to explain that “the Harvard Law School faculty included numerous self-described proponents of ‘critical legal studies’—a school of thought explicitly derived from Marxism—and they far outnumbered Republicans.' "

Mayer clarifies:

"As my story noted, the Critical Legal Studies group consisted of left-leaning professors like Duncan Kennedy, who is a social democrat, not a Communist, and has never 'believed in the overthrow of the U.S. Government.' "

Robb London, a spokesman for Harvard Law School, told the New Yorker that the school is “puzzled” by Cruz’s statements.

Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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Communism Harvard Law Republicans Senate Tea Party Ted Cruz