Ted Cruz claims he was a Rehnquist pallbearer

Timothy Kincaid

July 7th, 2015


Last week NPR Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep interviewed the one-term Junior Senator from Texas, Ted Cruz, about his book, his opinions, his book, his run for President, his book, gay marriage, and his book. During the interview, Cruz said something interesting:

Now, when Chief Justice Rehnquist passed away, I was a pallbearer at his funeral. Chief Justice Roberts was also a pallbearer at his funeral.

He repeated this story again in an interview with Katie Couric. (around the 5:00 mark)

I’ve known John Roberts for two decades. He’s a friend of mine. We were both clerks for Chief Justice William Rehnquist. Indeed with Chief Justice Rehnquist passed away, both John Roberts and I were pallbearers at Chief Justice Rehnquist’s funeral.

But there’s a problem with that claim. Contemporary accounts don’t seem to make mention of Cruz being a pallbearer. The September 7, 2005 edition of the Los Angeles Times paints a different account of the event.

The pallbearers — David G. Leitch, Frederick W. Lambert, Ronald J. Tenpas, James Duff, Kerri Martin Bartlett, Gregory G. Garre, John C. Englander and [John] Roberts — and Rehnquist’s other former clerks and staff members lining the Great Hall looked ashen.

And I don’t think I recognize him from the photograph.


July 7th, 2015

Ted Cruz. Appalling.

I’ll just get my coat…

Lynn David

July 7th, 2015

It is possible that Cruz was named an honorary pall-bearer. That often happens in cases like this.

Lynn David

July 7th, 2015

Also his coffin was taken to repose in the Court then to the Church then to the cemetery and it could be that the pall-bearer duties were shared among his clerks and others over those times.

Lightning Baltimore

July 7th, 2015

He was the invisible one.


July 8th, 2015

He was pall-bearing in Buenos Aries, but his helicopter was shot down by a rocket -propelled grenade, and that’s why he isn’t in those pictures.

Timothy Kincaid

July 8th, 2015

Interestingly, Cruz was taking credit for being a pallbearer back at the time of the funeral, though this doesn’t appear to be confirmed by anything or anyone.


Mark F.

July 8th, 2015

He was a pallbearer in spirit?

Stephen White

July 11th, 2015

Maybe he’s hidden underneath the flag?

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