It looks like Ted Cruz’s interest in the constitution goes back to his days as an undergrad.

Katherine Oh of the Daily Princetonian.

Ted Cruz ’92: Grassroots phenomenon who once seemed destined for the ivory tower

While many now identify Ted Cruz ’92 as the classic example of a conservative populist politician, few still remember a time in his life when he seem destined for the ivory tower or understand how someone so committed to the life of the mind became a grassroots phenomenon.

Cruz had already begun thinking about the topic of his senior thesis while he was a freshman, his roommate and debate team partner David Panton ’92 said.

“He was 17,” Panton said. “Not too many 17-year-olds were thinking about their thesis their freshman year first of all, and also writing about two relatively unknown, orthodox amendments of the constitution. He was very focused, very driven.”

Cruz and his office did not respond to requests for comment.

Cruz’s thesis, called “Clipping the Wings of Angels: The History and Theory behind the Ninth and Tenth Amendments of the United States Constitution,” explored the meaning of the Ninth and Tenth amendments and how they were actually being applied in modern court cases.

Robert George, professor of jurisprudence who was Cruz’s senior thesis adviser, recalled working closely with Cruz.

“He was very dedicated to it, deeply interested in the subject matter. Of course the subject matter had to do with the way in which the Constitution shapes and limits the powers of the national government,” George said. “What he ended up producing was a thoughtful, original, careful, critical piece of scholarship.”

George said that he was initially surprised when Cruz decided to pursue a career as a politician, adding he was one of the top students at the University and genuinely interested in intellectual debates and ideas.