Tuesday, September 06, 2011

On the 14th and Abortion: Gingrich, Bachmann v. SCOTUS

Yesterday's South Carolina dog-and-pony show produced at least one very interesting and provocative statement.

[Prof. Robbie George]:  Now, many argue today we need a constitutional amendment to overturn Roe versus Wade. However, section five of the 14th Amendment, as you know, expressive authorized the Congress by appropriate legislation to enforce the guarantees of due process and equal protection contained in the amendment's first section. 

So as someone who believes, as I know you do, in the inherent and equal dignity of all members of the human family, including the child and a woman, would you propose to Congress appropriate legislation pursuant to the 14th Amendment to protect human life in all stations and conditions without waiting for a constitutional amendment?

NEWT GINGRICH, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes. And there's a reason -- it goes much deeper. There are five or six other issues, such as one nation under god, such as the right to have a cross on public land. There are a number of issues where the courts have now dramatically usurped their power.
Let me add to your Lincoln quote. Jefferson, being written about the question of whether or not there could be a Supreme Court, wrote back, that would be an oligarchy. Think about it. This is the center of American exceptionalism. We're a people of law. To be a people of law, you have to have a structure. The structure of the constitution says there's a formal way to attend the constitution. It's a very complicated process.
The idea that the founding fathers also meant to say oh, by the way, by a five to four vote, appointed lawyers can be the equivalent of a constitution convention is an absurdity.

All of this starts in 1958 with a Warren Court assertion of supremacy, which is profoundly wrong. The Supreme Court is supreme in the judicial branch, and the judicial branch is one of the three branches. It's the third branch mentioned in the constitution, and in the "Federalist Papers," Alexander Hamilton says explicitly it will be the weakest of the three branches.

Yes.  It's about time there's a debate about the Warren Court's assertion (and maybe Marshall's).

FWIW, Bachmann agreed with Gingrich's take on the question.  Romney did not.

Entire transcript here.


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