Before Ted Cruz became a Texas senator, Tea Party champion, and 2016 presidential candidate, he was the Texas solicitor general—a position that meant that he once fought to keep the sale of dildos illegal, Mother Jones reports.
In 2007, an Austin sex toy seller challenged a state law that outlawed the sale and promotion of "dildos, artificial vaginas, and other obscene devices." Violators could be punished by up to two years in prison. This law was still on the books despite the Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Kansas, which said that individuals were mostly free to do sex in private.
But Cruz's office fought back with a brief arguing that Texas needed to defend "public morals" by "discouraging prurient interests in sexual gratification, combating the commercial sale of sex, and protecting minors," arguing that buying a sex toy was just like hiring a prostitute or engaging in bigamy. There may be a constitutional right to use a dildo, the argument went, but you don't have a right to buy one.
In 2008, an appeals court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and against Cruz, and though Cruz and then-Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (now the governor of Texas) considered appealing all the way to the US Supreme Court, they decided against it, sparing the world the image of Cruz talking about sex toys in the nation's highest court.