January 8, 2012

Did Romney — who went to Harvard Law School — display ignorance of the Supreme Court's decisions on the right of privacy and contraception?

Here's the transcript from last night's debate:
STEPHANOPOULOS: Governor Romney, do you believe that states have the right to ban contraception? Or is that trumped by a constitutional right to privacy?

ROMNEY: George, this is an unusual topic that you’re raising. States have a right to ban contraception? I can’t imagine a state banning contraception. I can’t imagine the circumstances where a state would want to do so, and if I were a governor of a state or...
So Romney begins by avoiding the question. No law professor would accept a student's responding that way. The question is about whether the states have the power to do something or whether there is a constitutional right supervening that power. It's a separate question whether the state would want to use that power.

You could say: Actually, the states do have the power, and the Supreme Court was wrong when it said there was a constitutional right of privacy, but it's not something to worry about, because the states aren't going to use this power. It's not going to happen.

But Romney went straight for the second point, that the states won't use this power. Implicitly, perhaps, he's saying it's not worth discussing the question of the state's power, because this issue won't come up in the real world. There's some justification in keeping it simple. This isn't a law school class, and the point I've just made is a bit difficult for the average person to catch on the fly.

Stephanopoulos drags Romney back to the question whether there is an individual right that supervenes the state's power:
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, the Supreme Court has ruled --

ROMNEY: ... or a -- or a legislature of a state -- I would totally and completely oppose any effort to ban contraception. So you’re asking -- given the fact that there’s no state that wants to do so, and I don’t know of any candidate that wants to do so, you’re asking could it constitutionally be done? We can ask our constitutionalist here.
Romney acknowledges that he can see the question Stephanopoulos is asking, but he still doesn't want to answer it. Let Ron Paul answer it. Ron Paul is always going on about the Constitution. There's something clever and cagey about what Romney is saying: I don't make a constitutional question out of everything; I live in the real world, where I deal with real problems.

As a constitutional law professor, let me say that this is the way a lot of judges and scholars talk about law. Romney's engagement with law at this point is actually sophisticated, even as it looks simple. Ron Paul's continual pronouncements about constitutional law, by contrast, feel like political rhetoric to me.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I’m sure Congressman Paul...

(CROSSTALK)

ROMNEY: OK, come on -- come on back...

(CROSSTALK)
Now, to me, Romney got the better of that. I'm reading the cold transcript now, but I did glimpse this part on TV last night. The humor and adeptness of what Romney was doing there is much more apparent in text. There is a seeming lightness and modesty to Romney when you're watching him, but, in writing, I see the cleverness. 
STEPHANOPOULOS: ... asking you, do you believe that states have that right or not?
(I wish everyone would say "power" and not "right" in that context of what governments may do.)
ROMNEY: George, I -- I don’t know whether a state has a right to ban contraception. No state wants to. I mean, the idea of you putting forward things that states might want to do that no -- no state wants to do and asking me whether they could do it or not is kind of a silly thing, I think.
Romney recommits to his original response, but he drops in the statement that he doesn't know whether the states have that power, which is to say, he doesn't know whether individuals have a right that trumps the exercise of that power.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Hold on a second. Governor, you went to Harvard Law School. You know very well this is based on...

ROMNEY: Has the Supreme Court -- has the Supreme Court decided that states do not have the right to provide contraception? I...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Yes, they have. In 1965, Griswold v. Connecticut.
This is the weird part of the interchange. In Griswold, the Supreme Court found the right of privacy that trumps the state's effort to ban contraceptives (used by married couples. A later case, based on Equal Protection, protects unmarried persons as well). But when Romney restates the question, he changes it to whether the states "do not have the right to provide contraception," an issue that no one was even talking about. My best guess is that Romney is stumbling here, and he needs the prompt about Griswold.
ROMNEY: The -- I believe in the -- that the law of the land is as spoken by the Supreme Court, and that if we disagree with the Supreme Court -- and occasionally I do -- then we have a process under the Constitution to change that decision. And it’s -- it’s known as the amendment process.
Here, he's resorting to generalities about the Supreme Court's authority and the supremacy of constitutional law.
And -- and where we have -- for instance, right now we’re having issues that relate to same-sex marriage. My view is, we should have a federal amendment of the Constitution defining marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman. But I know of -- of no reason to talk about contraception in this regard.
He comes back once again to his original point, that as a real-world matter, contraception is a nonissue. We shouldn't even be talking about it.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But you’ve got the Supreme Court decision finding a right to privacy in the Constitution.

ROMNEY: I don’t believe they decided that correctly. In my view, Roe v. Wade was improperly decided. It was based upon that same principle. And in my view, if we had justices like Roberts, Alito, Thomas, and Scalia, and more justices like that, they might well decide to return this issue to states as opposed to saying it’s in the federal Constitution.
Now, he's clear that he doesn't think there is such a right. Either he finally has to talk about it, or he actually didn't realize that the Court first articulated the right of privacy in a case about contraception. Also, in addition to noting that a Supreme Court opinion can be overcome with a constitutional amendment, he's talking about something the President of the United States can do: Appoint new Justices who will overrule the case.
And by the way, if the people say it should be in the federal Constitution, then instead of having unelected judges stuff it in there when it’s not there, we should allow the people to express their own views through amendment and add it to the Constitution. But this idea that justice...

STEPHANOPOULOS: But should that be done in this case?

ROMNEY: Pardon?

STEPHANOPOULOS: Should that be done in this case?

ROMNEY: Should this be done in the case -- this case to allow states to ban contraception? No. States don’t want to ban contraception. So why would we try and put it in the Constitution?

With regards to gay marriage, I’ve told you, that’s when I would amend the Constitution. Contraception, it’s working just fine, just leave it alone.
This gets a laugh and applause from the audience — proving perhaps that Romney is playing it the right way for his purposes — but it still doesn't deflect Stephanopoulos, who restates his question again.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I understand that. But you’ve given two answers to the question. Do you believe that the Supreme Court should overturn it or not?...

ROMNEY: Do I believe the Supreme Court should overturn Roe v. Wade? Yes, I do.
Stephanopoulos shouldn't have said "it." He should have said Griswold, but, seriously, do American voters worry about Griswold? Stephanopoulos might be trying to get people worried about contraception, which nearly everyone wants to have available, instead of abortion, which lots of people want to ban, and Romney isn't allowing himself to be dragged into Stephanopoulos's agenda. Romney pulled the discussion in a different direction, a direction that served his political goals and probably won the favor of the actual voters in the audience. In short, he succeeded in making Stephanopoulos look like a pest.

140 comments:

chickenlittle said...

One can't help but wonder how the sitting law Professor -in-Chief would have answered had he been asked (just for comparative shopping purposes). Perhaps George will ask him one day.

Steve Austin said...

I'm still amazed these candidates wouldn't do Trump's debate but have no problem allowing G Steph, Anderson Cooper, Gus Johson and Angela Davis to moderate these.

Jason said...

Stephanopoulos was very tenacious in this line of questioning.

I'm totally sure we can expect the same probing tenaciousness when he interviews Obama during the general.

WV: Hangun. The nickname for the future Supreme Court case, Solo v. Empire, in which the plaintiff establishes that the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms extends to phasers. The court will also consider whether Jawas and Wookies are included in the legal definition of "persons" and "people."

edutcher said...

No surprise Milton beat up on Steffi. He's been forceful in the debates and it's helped him a lot.

Disagree with him (and all the other pols, including Willie) on DOMA. It's a state issue, period, but, give him credit, Milton stood up on this one.

He's been as Conservative on social issues as the base (at least in the last 6 months), but, unlike Santorum, it's not the only arrow in his quiver or even the biggest one.

Granted, he may well drift leftwards as the general election looms.

PS This may give Jay Retread more second thoughts on his win-win scenario.

Bob Ellison said...

I agree with the Professor's analysis, though I would stress even more that this is not a law-school class. The lawyerly analysis is, as the Professor implies, sometimes insufficient.

By the way, the candidates are right now having yet another debate on NBC, hosted by David Gregory. There's not much there there, though. Romney almost made Huntsman cry toward the beginning. Gingrich is in full Newt mode, hating other people and loving himself. These guys really don't like not being in the lead.

Maguro said...

You'll have my Trojans when you pry them out of my cold, dead hands.

MayBee said...

I can't believe one second of time was wasted talking about this issue in a debate for President of the United States.

Idiocy.

Kansas City said...

It was a very interesting exchange where Romney bested Stephanopolous, but it illustrated the high wire act of these debates and aggressive questioning by left wing media like Stephanopolous. The thing that saves politicians like Romney are: (1) their skill in providing good answers that redirect the question; (2) the media questioners are not sufficiently bright or skillful in the art of questioning; and (3) the media questioners, even with liberal bias, have a reluctance to go for the jugular - there remains the unspoken self serving agreement between media and politicians (even republilcans) not to embarass one another.

Jason said...

Steph was engaging in a cheap form of "gotcha" questioning.

I hate this kind of low-rent journalism. The journo is trying to become the story.

Here's how it works... the journo keeps a card up his sleeve, and gets the subject to answer a question, committing to a response... and then using the card up his sleeve to clobber him with it.

Romney is a pretty cagey guy, and an experienced negotiator. He didn't quite fall for it... not easily, anyway, and drew Stephs card out of his sleeve before Steph wanted to deploy it, so the ambush fizzled.

A much better, and more honest approach, would be for the journo to say "Governor Romney, you have expressed that R v W was wrongly decided because you don't believe privacy is a civil right enumerated in the constitution. But the court also found for a right to privacy in Griswold v. Wallyworld. Do you believe that states have the constitional authority to ban contraception? Is there any constitional limit on government to regulate what happens in the bedroom? If so, what's that limit?"

Such a journo would have a lot more respect from me and the candidates alike.

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt said...

As a real-world matter, contraception is very much a live issue. The personhood amendments that have been floating around the states would outlaw several common forms of contraception, including the pill and IUDs. Such an amendment was defeated in Mississippi in November 2011.

Mitt Romney knows about personhood amendments-he's been asked about them before.

Questions about contraception are relavent, important, and fair game.

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt said...

This isn't gotcha journalism. Romney was asked about contraception and personhood amendments before, and, like classic Romney, was cagy and didn't really commit to an answer. Now he got asked about contraception again. What's the problem?

Jason said...

If they outlaw preventing reproduction, only outlaws will be preventing reproduction!

MadisonMan said...

Granted, he may well drift leftwards as the general election looms.

The Republican who does not drift leftwards as the General Election looms is the one that is not elected.

DADvocate said...

Funny how the right to privacy seems to apply more to liberal issues than life in general. It reminds me of the voter ID concealed carry dichotomy where it's horrible to demand an ID for someone to vote, but you need to divulge your life history for practice your second amendment rights.

JohnJ said...

Not much I can add to this analysis, ...except perhaps to mention the flop sweat.

Nick said...

That had to be one of the top 5 dumbest questions ever asked. Why Ann is even bringing this up again is stunning.

Ann, you seem to miss the entire point. The fact that it would be an insufficient answer to a law exam question has absolutely nothing to do witht eh appropriateness of it as a setup debate question being asked by an open Democratic operative.

There is no contraception issue. This is nothing but the left trying to gin up fear that the evil republicans want to keep all you women pregnant and in the kitchen.

It's juvenile and you fell for it.

MayBee said...

The only important thing facing our nation regarding contraception is that Katherine Sebelius has declared it will be impossible to buy health insurance- something we will be legally mandated to do- that does not provide women's birth control pills for zero co-pay.

It is ridiculous to think the person we elect as President needs to be
- an expert on all Supreme Court cases by name
- A military expert
- An expert on education policy
- An economic expert
- An expert in the hard sciences
- The national arbiter of morality

sean said...

If we're playing this game, I'd like to hear from Prof. Althouse: does the Constitution permit states to ban plural marriage? More generally, does the Constitution permit states to favor Christian/Indo-European conceptions of the good life over Muslim/Semitic conceptions?

pm317 said...

Stephanopoulos might be trying to get people worried about contraception, which nearly everyone wants to have available,

I think Santorum is going around saying states could/should ban contraceptives. Is Romney responding to this question based on that?

Maguro said...

George shoulda asked Romney about that town in Footloose where they banned dancing. Is that constitutional, Gov Romney, huh? Answer the question!

MayBee said...

I think Santorum is going around saying states could/should ban contraceptives. Is Romney responding to this question based on that?

Possibly, but it's been a favorite question for Republican candidates from the left for a while.

Jay Carney, Obama's current press secretary, famously asked McCain about it in an interview during the 2008 campaign, then wrote about how grumpy McCain has gotten when McCain tried to brush off the stupid question.

Jon Burack said...

Stephanopoulis wanted to trip Romney up and attach the lable "far right fanatic" to him by making the issue contraception not abortion. Romney called him on it and made it work for him and against Stephanopoulis. That a candidate has to do that is a sad commentary on the partisan media hacks we have now. I have to say I am amazed at Ann's ability to deconstruct this in such legal detail. It's nice of her to do it, but I sense that no one was fooled for a second into thinking Stephanopoulis was really worried about contraception or really interested in a closely reasoned legal discussion.

garage mahal said...

We've gone from Multiple Choice Mitt to No Choice Mitt. You pick!

John Bragg said...

I thought this was Romney's best moment of the night. Stephanopolous tossed him a tar-baby filled with razor blades, and Mitt deflected it right back at Steph.

The purpose of the question was to get Romney to either
A. Start a fight with militant pro-lifers by affirming Griswold
B. Alienate everyone who favors birth control by rejecting Griswold or
C. Look weak and indecisive by trying to have it both ways.

Romney is not competing for an A in law school. Stephanopolous is not his professor. Romney is a potential Commander-in-Chief Leader-of-the-Free-World President of the United States, and Stephanopolous is a has-been former Clinton aide.

Romney first highlights the ridiculousness of the question, and implicitly the questioner. Then he answers the question--he opposes a state ban on contraception, placing him on the 99% side of that opinion poll.

On the obscure-to-the-audience constitutional question, he treats Ron Paul as his Attorney-General, and refers the question to him. Doesn't disrespect Paul at all, which will be valuable in November.

Romney then takes an open shot at Stephanopolous--the question is silly. Makes points with the Republican base.

When Romney asks Stephanopolous "Has the SC ruled", he's being disingenous. I'd bet money he knew and was thinking about Griswold at the time. He made a one-word slip, said "provide" instead of ban.

He then gets to uphold the supremacy of the Supreme Court, making him look sane and reasonable in the context of Newt's zany scheme last month to limit court power. For conservatives concerned about the Court having too much power, Romney's got the answer--constitutional amendment. Meanwhile worried moderates remember--constitutional amendments are REALLY hard.

"ROMNEY: Should this be done in the case -- this case to allow states to ban contraception? No. States don’t want to ban contraception. So why would we try and put it in the Constitution?"

Translation: What? No, that's a f--- stupid question.

Stephanopolous managed the task of making Romney look like a regular guy.

Romney looked reasonable to the undecided middle, pleased the right by humbling the leftwing press hack, and also managed to make Ron Paul his cabinet member. You almost can't have a better debate performance than that.

Warning: Foul language at the link. http://www.cracked.com/video_18354_if-white-house-press-briefings-were-honest.html

SteveR said...

This is what happens when you get to the 14th debate. Folks like George start to think they are smart and important, the former is questionable the latter they aren't.

John Bragg said...

Maybee:

"It is ridiculous to think the person we elect as President needs to be
- an expert on all Supreme Court cases by name
- A military expert
- An expert on education policy
- An economic expert
- An expert in the hard sciences
- The national arbiter of morality"

And yet we do expect this. If you want to run plausibly for President, you need to be ready to answer all of these questions plausibly, plus be able to manage the legislative process and manage foreign policy.

That's why it's not a job you can prepare for in a few months.

MayBee said...

And yet we do expect this. If you want to run plausibly for President, you need to be ready to answer all of these questions plausibly, plus be able to manage the legislative process and manage foreign policy.

That's why it's not a job you can prepare for in a few months.


Yet we never get it.
That person doesn't exist, and if we could stop our drift toward federal-government-as-all-powerful-provider, we could stop looking for him.

Maguro said...

I keep trying to understand why the GOP would agree let a former Clinton PR flack moderate their debate. Would the Dems do a debate on Fox News moderated by Karl Rove?

write_effort said...

The issue could kill the GOP and I'm kind of feeling that the all-male GOP field doesn't get it. Romney did okay but he's got to reassure women that he and his administration will not use various powers of government to erode access to contraception or family planning. To begin with that means no Santorum for VP.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Romney (as usual) looked and sounded like a coked-up greaseball weirdo. What is the deal with his ranting and stuttering and panting and sleazy mannerisms? He always seems so manic and uncomfortable and out of breath. Calm down, Mitt!

The Crack Emcee said...

He succeeded in making Stephanopoulos look like a pest.

And the next day, Newt succeeded in making Romney look like one.

I say Stephanopoulos and Romney can both go,...

The Crack Emcee said...

Zachary Paul Sire,

Romney (as usual) looked and sounded like a coked-up greaseball weirdo. What is the deal with his ranting and stuttering and panting and sleazy mannerisms? He always seems so manic and uncomfortable and out of breath. Calm down, Mitt!

That's all I see, too. But the rest of these fools see a "winner."

I see a rich kid out of his depth,...

EMD said...

"You'll have my Trojan Magnums when you pry them out of my cold, dead hands."

Fixed.

Freeman Hunt said...

What hackery by Stephanopoulos!

He wanted the soundbite or, at least, the pull quote of Romney saying that contraception could be outlawed so that media could throw it up to the unsophisticated as chum for the crazy, Christianist Republicans trope. Romney was absolutely right to begin by handling it the way he did. It seems Stephanopoulos couldn't handle the reality of not getting his prize, and so he went on and on about something that makes no difference and is not at issue.

Stephanopoulos should never be a debate moderator again after that stunt.

EMD said...

Mitt is correct to deflect the question. My answer would have been more blunt, something along the lines of:

"We've got a 15 trillion dollar debt with no end in sight, regulations that make business near impossible, a broken tax system, real unemployment at 11%, and you want to f-ing ask me about contraception? What do you think this election is about?"

EDH said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JohnJ said...

Romney had an almost faultless debate and did particularly well with that question. He made flop-sweat Stephanopolous appear transparently partisan and ultimately silly, without resorting to any of Gingrich’s meanness or self-puffery.

Great moment.

…and spot-on analysis here by John Bragg, I thought.

MaggotAtBroad&Wall said...

I wonder why Snuffleupagus did not ask a more relevant question, like does a state have the constitutional right to cover the moon with yogurt?

write_effort said...

Contraception/family planning is a major economic issue for families. GS didn't introduce the issue out of nowhere. Major candidate Rick Santorum, for one, did. It's telling that Romney didn't feel he could make a stronger statement on the issue. If it had been about guns he sure would have.

Ms. Kirk said...

Maguro that is hilarious! Why not posit that question Ann? Its just as likely a scenario than states banning contraception. Stephanapolis looked like a fool and I gained a smidgen of respect for Romney

machine said...

He was just avoiding the line of questioning: Is there a Constitutional right to privacy?

He knows an affirmative answer would cost him...either with the evangelicals, or the "orientalists"...

Zach said...

As others have pointed out, Stephanopolous is not Romney's professor and is not giving out grades. Nor is Romney trying to impress a teacher with his technical understanding of legal doctrine. He correctly identifies the actual issue, which is political rather than legal -- nobody is currently trying to ban contraception, so the question is moot.

What this question really is is an invitation for an arrogant candidate to shoot off his mouth and get into trouble. Gingrich, for one, strikes me as very likely to take the bait and say something stupid about the courts.

I can't say I've always rooted for Romney, but he's had an awful lot of chances to trip up and hasn't done it so far.

Freeman Hunt said...

Does the Constitution allow states to outlaw dogs?

Does the Constitution allow states to outlaw cement?

Does the Constitution allow states to outlaw wingback chairs?

Please, George, give us more of these hard-hitting questions.

Pogo said...

"Contraception/family planning is a major economic issue for families."

Bullshit.

The horrible and mishandled economy is a major economic issue for families.

Contraceptives? Bah.

gk1 said...

this is annoying because I have never seen democratic presidential contenders ever questioned with the same rigor or bias. Its always t-ball for the democrats and bean ball for the hapless republicans. Feh.

Tim said...

I'm somewhat stunned by this fine-grain analysis of this obvious set-up by Stephanopoulos of Romney; after all, Althouse overlooked the elephant in the room in voting for the least experienced candidate ever nominated for the presidency. If only a fraction of this effort was made then...

But instead, we'll surely see something like this between Halloween and Election Day:
-----------------------------------
ALTHOUSE: How Romney Lost Me

It was in the last debate. Remember this?:

STEPHANOPOULOS: Governor Romney, under the original intent of the Constitution, explain for us nullification theory, and tell us if you believe individual states may invoke it?

ROMNEY: George, this is a highly unusual topic that you’re raising, one that we dealt with over 150 years ago. Under the tenth amendment of the Constitution, States have certain powers and rights...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Thank you, Governor Romney. You're pretty stupid, aren't you?

Anyway, moving on.

President Obama, that navy blue tie you're wearing tonight is quite crisp - it reminds us all of your keen insight into the complexities of all the problems facing this nation, this nation you love so deeply - and that you're the only man qualified to handle those tough decisions.

OBAMA: Well George, as community organizer in chief, I mean, president, I face tough decisions every day. Choosing the royal blue, uh, navy tie - I almost picked royal blue - over the cardinal red - was tough. Then I remembered that my voters are, thanks to all the opinion leaders and pundits like yourself, called Blue state voters, and I thought that those watching tonight should know, once again, I stand firmly with them, Blue state against Red state, sharing wealth against keeping wealth, socializing our problems rather than privatizing them, making communities responsible rather than individuals...

ALTHOUSE: Isn't it obvious, clearly, Obama - despite all the missteps off his first term - is the more experienced, qualified candidate...?

Joe said...

I agree with Zach; the main purpose of the "debates" is to get a candidate to lose his or her marbles. Note that Perry repeatedly did.

A better question would be "Do you think states should be allowed to ban vibrators?" Not because the answer is meaningful, but to force a candidate to say the word "vibrator."

machine said...

Right...never the same for the Democrats!!! Always the media's fault!!! Those gotcha questions like "what do you read?"

What victims....when are you all going to stop crying? Maybe you just have bad candidates, Hmmmmm.....

Freeman Hunt said...

Machine, the candidate handled it beautifully. What are you going on about?

write_effort said...

The horrible and mishandled economy is a major economic issue for families.

Contraceptives? Bah.


...Unless someone introduces it into the debate as a point of controversy. And someone has. With Rick in the race, the issue will come up. In addition, my guess is that women in particular are curious how a Mormon feels about contraception.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

This was obviously a gotcha question from a highly partisan interrogator. I believe, as a Federalist, that states do have the right to ban contraceptives. I also believe that it is beyond absurd to speculate that any state would, or would want to. However, if Mitt had answered Steph in the affirmative, the NYT headline this morning would have been,

ROMNEY SAYS STATES SHOULD BAN CONTRACEPTIVES

A retraction on Friday of next week, buried on page three, would have grudgingly admitted that that was not exactly what he said, but no one would be listening.

MayBee said...

As a constitutional law professor, let me say that this is the way a lot of judges and scholars talk about law. Romney's engagement with law at this point is actually sophisticated, even as it looks simple.

This may be the way judges and scholars talk about law, but to me, an unsophisticated non-scholar, it makes me wonder how this right to privacy protects contraception but not marijuana or trans-fats.
Or how the "right to privacy" can't be invoked to keep you from having to disclose to the government whether you've purchased health insurance.

Sometimes it seems legal scholars are all about walking into a forest and declaring it to actually be a series of stand-alone trees.

Maguro said...

Contraception/family planning is a major economic issue for families. GS didn't introduce the issue out of nowhere. Major candidate Rick Santorum, for one, did. It's telling that Romney didn't feel he could make a stronger statement on the issue. If it had been about guns he sure would have.

Eh, you're just doing the same thing that Stephanopolous was trying to do - tie contraception to "family planning" (the progressive euphemism for abortion) together in order to create a social issue that favors the Dems.

"Those nutty Republicans are going to take away your birth control pills! And your contraceptive sponges!! You'll be pregnant and barefoot in the kitchen!!! Just like June Cleaver!!!! OH NOES!!!!"

Anyway, if Santorum is the one who brought it up, why not address the question to Santorum? I think the answer is obvious. George knows that Santorum is not going to win the nomination, so he'd like to attach the "He wants to ban contraception" label to the likely nominee.

Pogo said...

"Unless someone introduces it into the debate as a point of controversy. "

Bullshit.

"This July, the typical summertime peak of youth employment, the share of young people with a job was just 48.8 percent, according to fresh data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This represents the lowest July rate since the Bureau began collecting such data, in 1948."

U-6 unemployment is 15-20%.

No one gives a damn about the stupid issues Steffi brought up. Except morons for Obama.

EDH said...

By contrast, isn't interesting that Supreme Court nominees and sitting justices who will decide these issues feel absolutely no need to answer these types of questions, and that the court itself will begrudge providing an answer until they decide to take an acceptably ripe case before the court.

Spread Eagle said...

Me, I don't mind the MSM "journo-lists" going after and asking tough questions of the candidates, not even supposed out-of-bounds or unfair questions. Hey, it's up to the candidate to figure out how to handle it, maybe even turn it around and make it an advantage, something Reagan excelled at (much to the chagrin and consternation of the MSM and libtards generally). It's illuminating to the citizenry and voters about the quality of the candidates. So that, in and of itself, is not a problem. The problem is the MSM doesn't do it to all candidates in an even-handed manner. As a rule, they don't do it to Dem candidates, and they never do it to their chosen Dem candidates. That's how we end up with intelligent educated people voting for utter empty suits, unvetted, bereft of even a modicum of qualifications. Like Althouse did in 2008.

Hagar said...

Stephanapoulos is a pest, so making him look like one is not difficult. In fact, he does not need any help at all.

As for "the Court first articulated," I do not think that Ollie Douglas meandering about "penumbras" emanating from the Constitution as if something had died in there amounts to "articulating." It was invention to further the personal preferences of an influential towering ego, pure and simple.

John Burgess said...

When I started university in MA, condoms could only legally be procured through a prescription. That was the law. The law was largely ignored unless it was a 10-y/o looking to buy 'rubbers'.

Pogo said...

The left can't argue the economy, so they'll argue squirrels.

Sloanasaurus said...

The correct conservative response is that there is no right to privacy in the constitution and yes, the states could theoretically ban contraception. This is what GeorgeS wanted Romney to say so that the MSM could state the next day that "Romney wants to ban Contraception."

The MSM doesn't care about moderating a debate, their goal is to bring Obama a victory in 2012.

The set-up was totally obvious. The fact that Romeny recognized the trick and refused to give GeorgeS this victory shows that Romeny is a seasoned politician especially when it comes to dealing with the MSM.

If the MSM were fair you would see them pummel Obama with questions about "right to work." Why should a worker be forced to pay union dues?" But they will never ask him.

AprilApple said...

Why is it that democrats are never asked these questions?

garage mahal said...

Whenever a Republican is in trouble, blame the media.

"What do you read?"

That's so unfair!

Jay said...

machine said...

Right...never the same for the Democrats!!! Always the media's fault!!! Those gotcha questions like "what do you read?"


The number of debate questions Obama has been asked by former Republican political operatives remains at zero.

The Crack Emcee said...

Pogo,

The left can't argue the economy, so they'll argue squirrels.

And Romney will puff, and stammer, and make his eyes wide, and flail his hands around, while everyone declares he's "sophisticated" (I love that) and did really well with the question - just like he will in a crisis.

2008 election, here we are again - they see what they want to see,...

Jay said...

garage mahal said...

Whenever a Republican is in trouble, blame the media.


Nobody, including the author of this blog, thinks that Romney is "in trouble" based on that exchange.

But you keep hoping.

AprilApple said...

We do not have real journalism in this nation. We have democrats with an agenda.

Pogo said...

"What do you read?"
That's so unfair
!

It is unfair.

To me.

It's a stupid waste of time, and so unfair to me and other voters.

The only relevant question remains: How are you going to fix the economy?

All else is bullshit, and unfair to the public.

Chuck66 said...

EDH.....I think the reason we don't ask SC nomonies these questions is because the concept of a law, vs an actual law or case coming before the court could be very different. The SCUS justice needs to hear all the arguements from both sides before deciding a case.

If you ask a nomonie if she would uphold a law restricting abortions, the answer would be "depends on the law. I'd have to read the law and hear the assertions by the 2 sides".

Jay said...

I would love to see the constitutional law lecturer in chief be asked this.

Can you imagine the number of "uhhh's" that would be in the answer?

garage mahal said...

Being a Republican is hard work!! Mommy mommy!!

kurt mueller said...

John Bragg -- Excellent point. I am surprised that Prof Althouse, who should know much better, implies that someone who years ago went to Harvard Law should be able to instantly conjure up Griswold. I went to a lesser Boston law school years ago but, prior to last night, would not have been able to cite Griswold. As a corporate lawyer, however, I can explain the potential implications of a side pocket on the highwater mark of a hedge fund. And Mitt could as well.

Going to law school does not make you a constitutional scholar. Just ask Obama.

Hagar said...

When Ollie Douglas discovered "the right to privacy" (though limited to such matters as the liberal Democrats consider covered by the term; matters the conservatives consider private, not necessarily) in the "penumbras emanating from the Constitution" and got six of his contemporary brethren to go along with it, he simply invented a way for the Federal Government - or at least the Supreme Court - to legislate in matters the Constitution expressly says are none of its business, but are reserved to the several States..

AprilApple said...

Again, democrats are never asked these types of questions (abortion/contraception) by fellow democrats in the media. NEVER. If so, someone please offer proof.

The poor are getting poorer, the middle class is getting poorer, the vilified wealthy are getting poorer. DC is getting rich.

Stephanopolis(D) has an agenda and asks about a silly non-issue: contraception. What a joke. Good on Romney for batting it back.

I want to know why Obama admitted in his book "Dreams of My Father"
that "He felt like a spy behind enemy lines" during a short portion of his life when he actually had a job. (3 months)

No wait. What I really want to know - will those crazy, radical scary scary Republicans ban contraception? Whatever it takes to divert the conversation away from what matters.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The issue could kill the GOP and I'm kind of feeling that the all-male GOP field doesn't get it. Romney did okay but he's got to reassure women that he and his administration will not use various powers of government to erode access to contraception or family planning.

First of all this issue is entirely stupid. The President of the United States, even if he wanted to do so, does not have the ability to create laws that would ban contraception.

FEDERAL laws are made by Congress, not the President. He has veto power and can 'suggest' that the members of his party propose laws, but even then they still have to go through the Constitutional law making process.

STATE laws are also made by their legislatures and the likelihood of a STATE passing such a law, ban on contraception, and having it pass through the inevitable judicial challenges is also about on the same level and pigs growing wings and learning to fly.

They (the legislatures) DO have the right and the power to eliminate or reduce Government, aka TAXPAYER, funding of contraception and family planning, which is another weasel way of saying abortion.

There is NO reason on God's green earth that taxpayers should be paying for birth control pills, abortions or buying purple throbbing dildos and condoms for sex education classes (for 8 year olds yet!!).

If you, and I mean YOU, want to support those things, start a foundation and donate your own money. You can't use mine.

The question was nothing more than a method to try to paint the GOP as religious right fanatics.

The correct answer for Romney or any other candidate being asked such a question is......> "WTF!! Why are you asking suck a stupid question about something that has nothing to do with the Presidency??? Ask me a serious question or shut up. You are wasting our time. "

VW: cobjett. I'm speechless :-D

cubanbob said...

Romney should have told him to stop with the stupid and ridiculous questions and ask an intelligent and pertinent question. That would have shut GS up instantly.

As for a legal comment he should have said if elected president he would have congress send to the states an amendment to the constitution further limiting the enumerated powers of the US government and enumerate the powers of the states and their sub-divisions. That statement would most likely galvanize the republican base in to seriously considering and voting for Romney.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Contraception/family planning is a major economic issue for families


Why? Please explain how not fucking is a major economic issue?

And if it IS....why is it MY business or responsibility to fund it? Whatever it is.

John Bragg said...

Kurt mueller:

Actually, as a social studies teacher, I recognized the Griswold v Connecicutt line pretty quickly. But I only have 20-30 court cases to remember the implications of, not thousands of cases over 3 years of law school.

AprilApple said...

It's long past time for Republicans to push back. Abortion questions should be met with a "Why don't you ask your favorite democrat candidate that quesiton"
or - "that question reveals that you are a hack. try again."
"Can we talk about the economy now, you fucking hack?"
ok - that last one, maybe not.

write_effort said...

DBQ, I said nothing about enacting new legislation. The government is vast and there are many ways an administration can enforce its ideology. Go back to Rick Santorum's Caffeinated Thoughts video. He clearly believes the POTUS can and should have an impact on the issue. GS gave Romney a softball question. MR could have upheld his belief that people have the right to contraception at the same time reaffirming his opposition to abortion. Again, had it been guns he would have been more forceful.

EMD said...

A better question would be "Do you think states should be allowed to ban vibrators?" Not because the answer is meaningful, but to force a candidate to say the word "vibrator."

The answer to this of course, "If that were so, I would feel sorry for your wife."

Tyrone Slothrop said...

garage mahal said...

Being a Republican is hard work!! Mommy mommy!!


Yet again garage beclowns himself by his absolute inability to address substance with substance. garage, have you ever heard the saying, "It is better to keep silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt?" It's like they were thinking of you when they came up with that.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I said nothing about enacting new legislation.

Stephanopoulos did. That is the issue.

Maybe the Democrats are ok with King Obama passing edicts from on high, creating departments out of thin air, bypassing Congress and using the Constitution for toilet paper.....Conservatives are not.

cokaygne said...

Now wait a minute! The reason that the media do not ask 0bama questions like that is because they KNOW that 0bama has all the right answers. And the reason why the media questioners are former Democratic hacks is because they cannot get a job in the real world. Stay inside the cocoon.

Andy R. said...

And Romney will puff, and stammer, and make his eyes wide, and flail his hands around, while everyone declares he's "sophisticated" (I love that) and did really well with the question - just like he will in a crisis.

Crack Emcee: Who is your first choice in the primary?

garage mahal said...

Tyrone
Youre whining now too. Blaming the refs is for losers dude No one wants to hear it.

gk1 said...

Its amazing to me to this day the democrats refuse to allow anyone from Fox News to question their preferred candidate but the republicans subject themselves to MSFUCKINGNBC to run a debate. The stoopid party indeed.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

garage, address substance with substance and maybe you can dig yourself out. The question is, did Stephanopoulos ask an unfair, partisan, irrelevant question? I say he did. Now you say, no he didn't, and present factual items to uphold your thesis. See how that works? Calling people names is known as an ad hominem line of argument, and does not advance proof of your argument. Are you following me? No? I didn't think so.

Andy R. said...

Santorum has explicitly stated that he thinks Griswold was wrongly decided and should be overturned.

Romney either agrees with Santorum or disagrees with him or hasn't made up his mind or doesn't know anything about Griswold. Any of these four options would be important and relevant to at least some group of voters. How does Romney feel about Griswold? Does anyone know? Does he know? Does he plan on keeping it a secret through the election?

John Bragg said...

Andy R: Romney is going to keep his thoughts on Griswold a secret.

He is not going to pick a fight with pro-life activists by affirming Griswold.

He is not going to create a panic that reelecting Obama is the only way to keep contraception legal.

And he is not going to create a controversy over it.

mockmook said...

Santorum doesn't bring this subject up, the media does. Romney doesn't bring it up.

Plus, Santorum said he would be against States trying to outlaw contraceptives.

There is no story or issue here (except Stephie's idiocy).

Hagar said...

Some of Douglas' brethren wrote concurring opinions wherein they found the Connecticut statute unconstitutional for reasons grounded in specific Amendments. These I can more or less buy into, but Douglas' emanating penumbras are open to any judge or justice's unlimited imagination and should be re-visited and summarily rejected.

James Pawlak said...

After reading your article, I went back and scanned both the Wisconsin and United States constitutions with the following findings:

1. Both contain the prescribed methods of amending them by differing but democratic processes.
2. In Wisconsin that process (Including secret ballot of the People) to pass amendments as to: The right to keep and bear arms; And, firmly define marriage as only between one women and one man.
3. Those basic laws do NOT provide for changing them by any other means (Including the hobby horses of individual judges, the minority views of our State Supreme Court and such creative fictions as "evolving social standards".
4. The Constitution of the USA clearly defines protected privacy; But, only to search and seizure of specified things.
5. Neither constitution prescribes a "right to abortion" although the required amendment process has had many years to enact such---If the People would approve.
5. The rights you listed are NOT in the constitution, but are noted in the non-binding Declaration Of Independence. {In making that statement you "subtracted from the sum-total of human knowledge".] Your editor should note the impact of such ignorance on the Shepherd Express.

Going beyond those constitutions, any study of the history of anti-abortion laws in the Several States clearly demonstrates that the intent of the founders of the USA and of Wisconsin were very much opposed to such. Returning to the US Constitution (And, by extension, to that of the Several States) we should then recall President Thomas Jefferson's comments on interpreting that so under-valued document:

"On every question of construction carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to to the probable one in which it was passed.".

Seeing Red said...

Steffy was pissy. He was trying to get the conservative boogey man for use closer to the election, nothing more.

traditionalguy said...

Getting anything through The Mitten's armor is not happening.

He really handled that encounter as well as possible.

And I read that Tony Blankly died. That is sad. Tony was the most intelligent commenter that I remember listening to over the [ast 10 years.

Seeing Red said...

it's horrible to demand an ID for someone to vote, but you need to divulge your life history for practice your second amendment rights.



Or buy Drano.

bgates said...

Yes, let's debate contraceptives.

Does the Democratic understanding of the Commerce Clause allow Congress to force elementary school children to buy flavored condoms?

gregq said...

No, Stephi was and is a partisan hack and pest. Romney just get Stephi the rope he needed to display that fact.

Kansas City said...

Stephanolopous this morning implicitly conceded defeat by saying "Romeny had a little fun with me last night."

It is remarkable that a prominent political hack can transition to a prominent and respected network host. However, in some respects, it is better than the Brokaws and Williams who pretend to be objective. We all know the bias of Stephanopolous and can factor it into his work. He seems to try to be fair, but it is inevitable that his bias is reflected in his work. We can take that into account. The media would be much better if they all declared their politics.

AJ Lynch said...

Freeman asked:

"Does the Constitution allow states to outlaw dogs?"

Answer: Yes, but only if the dog is lefthanded.

"Does the Constitution allow states to outlaw cement?"

Answer: No, but you can only use it to bury one MAFIA boss per batch.

"Does the Constitution allow states to outlaw wingback chairs?"

Answer: Since no one wears wingtips anymore, wingback chairs would clash with your shoes.

nervous and tired said...

As a citizen, I would like to state, for the record, that I find it nearly irrelevant what school someone went to when they are in their 60s. I don't expect them to remember much of it if that is not the career path they pursued - nor do I give them credit for it.

He was right to preface his answer by saying he couldn't "imagine" that situation because the situation is, indeed, completely imaginary and the question itself qualifies as a political rhetoric attempt at a "gotcha".

I hate shit like that - and never ask interview questions like that.

Moneyrunner said...

Sean, you ask a good question and I would like to hear our hostess' reply: If we're playing this game, I'd like to hear from Prof. Althouse: does the Constitution permit states to ban plural marriage?
And no, we are not going to accept the excuse that there is no current groundswell for plural marriages. That is not an argument grounded on law.

Freeman Hunt said...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Governor Romney, one more question: Would you, or would you not, shoot a unicorn?

MayBee said...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Governor Romeny, one last follow-up. If unicorn hearts were found to be 100% effective in preventing pregnancy, would the Constitution prevent a state from banning the killing of unicorns?

Cedarford said...

My opinion? Read John Bragg @11.01AM.
Spot on, said better than anyone.

-------------
I will add a couple things:

1. Romney can be a little wierd,(he's not like us!! We who want the common touch!!), has his WTF??? moments during the campaign in saying oddball things to people, but the guy is fucking smart. He did a tour de force in his responses, discrediting Steffi's Griswald question, affirming it was a thing for states to ponder but not on silly hypotheticals on contraception - but on Roe, and the need to appoint conservative justices like the Famous 4.
Then threw in some rather clever humor.

2. The pivot to Ron Paul was beautiful. It gave respect to Paul and the libertarians as people Romney will listen to on Constitutional matters, while implying that Newt, Perry, and Santorum are NOT Constitutionalists. How does Romney keep the hardcore libertarians on the reservation and part of a unified Party - show them a little love and respect. This will show with later negotiations to add some of Pauls good ideas to his own platform - more oversight of the Fed, return of powers to the States on many matters, and hopefully a blunting of the Neocons in the Party - "1st a great new war with Iran, then on to Liberate the noble Syrians, then and exciting nation-building adventure or too in Africa!! John Bolton will not be the Secretary of State in a Republican Administration...but confined to bomb-throwing at mentor Newt's think tank..."

Unknown said...

This social crap is a diversion from our dismal economic condition. Obama is spending us into Weimar Republic territory. We used to be able to discuss social issues, but ready the lifeboats the Titanic is cruising.

Who gives a (#(#$* about contraception?

And the media is beneath contempt for their naked focus on what benefits the President rather than what is good for the country.

damikesc said...

I'm totally sure we can expect the same probing tenaciousness when he interviews Obama during the general.

Shorter-(if posdsible)-Steph: Why won't you answer my question in regards to a laughable hypothetical that nobody is pursuing?

Do Democrats get questions about a rape victim who does not have a gun and has no other means of protecting themselves? Because, UNLIKE contraception, that is specifically a goal of Progressives to this very day.

Romney did okay but he's got to reassure women that he and his administration will not use various powers of government to erode access to contraception or family planning.

If there is literally no move to stop it --- how can ANYBODY comfort idiot women who are convinced something that isn't happening REALLY isn't happening.

Any woman voting because she's convinced a candidate is looking to ban contraception should have their suffrage removed.

Santorum has explicitly stated that he thinks Griswold was wrongly decided and should be overturned.

Howard Dean is a Truther. Nobody has asked Obama if HE thinks Bush was behind 9/11.

Nobody even asked WHY he stuck with a church that is so patently bigoted to anybody looking at it for 20 years.

The GOP needs to name specific questioners who they will agree to have as moderator. Stephi and David Gregory would not remotely come close to qualifying.

Synova said...

"In addition, my guess is that women in particular are curious how a Mormon feels about contraception."

Since I'm not married to a Mormon the answer is... no.

Besides, the question wasn't how Romney FELT about contraception. The question was "do states have a right" and Romney was smart enough to realize that his opinion on state powers or rights vs. federalism, would be changed to proof of his FEELINGS.

damikesc said...

Governor Romney, one more question: Would you, or would you not, shoot a unicorn?

"Now, Governor Romney, do you have any opinions on Santa Claus' apparent violation of the 13th Amendment in regards to his elves?

Also, I was recently watching WWE RAW and I saw CM Punk kick The Miz from behind and cause him to lose to Daniel Bryan. Do you feel such chicanery is an affront to the WWE World Title? As President, how would you bring the glory back to the WWE?"

damikesc said...

Also, how will one afford contraceptives if one is unemployed due to idiotic Obama policies?

Beldar said...

Our host wrote: "So Romney begins by avoiding the question. No law professor would accept a student's responding that way."

But Romney's not a law student, George S. is definitely now a law professor, and it would be nuts for a candidate for POTUS to try to frame his or her answers to debate questions as if he or she was, instead, a law student.

Beldar said...

Sorry, that should have read "George S. is definitely not a law professor."

Synova said...

Trump would have been better.

The purpose of the primary races is for Republicans to chose who they want as their candidate. The questions should be aimed at this goal only. It should be about giving candidates opportunities to clearly explain their opinions and present their qualifications. A job interview.

Trump would have asked questions that Republican voters cared about.

Playing games with partisan Democrat hacks is counter productive in all ways.

It's like giving over the Democrat primary process to Ann Coulter.

Cedarford said...

Maybee:

"It is ridiculous to think the person we elect as President needs to be
- an expert on all Supreme Court cases by name
- A military expert
- An expert on education policy
- An economic expert
- An expert in the hard sciences
- The national arbiter of morality"


---------------

The President as superman, which none will ever be.

Add to that a certain laziness by the media in assigning instant expert status based on the experiential. Meaning that even in Romney's case, while he knows a lot about the economy from his experiences - there are still parts of it he has no first-hand knowledge and experience with. THAT IS WHY ALL LEADERS NEED TEAMS to hopefully fill in such holes.

The media does this a lot in military matters - despite each journalist supposedly knowing about the massive messup of a highly decorated combat vet and corporal in the Kaisers Army assumed, as a combat hero, to be an expert on all matters military and strategic. Lazy journalists and partisans nevertheless gave Total Military, Strategic, even Expert on Interrogation status on All Things Military to Hero Kerry and Hero McCain - Because..."THEY SERVED!! THEY SUFFERED!" (But both were just cogs in a large entity that they only had limited knowledge of from their personal experiences...)

Still, experience counts, not just leading, but being able to distill the advice of dozens of people into a final decision..that is the key..not personal expertise from experience or education. And being very bright helps. Good instincts help just as much, and the ability to inspire.
Romney has good instincts because most of his thousands of decisions after leaving Harvard were good ones.
His ability to inspire is suspect...but his record shows he ran businesses, his Mormon Church mission, his time at the Olympics and Mass Gov with a solid following of those who came away with a very high opinion of him as a Leader. His 1994 Senate run and 2008 Prez Campaign showed Romney was not a "natural politician" (shades of his Dad and Nixon!!!) but he learned from it and has fixed many of his "connection flaws".

Biff said...

Without directly addressing the Griswold question, I wonder how it might have worked politically if Romney said something along the lines of, "Given the amount of power over nearly every facet of healthcare that the Federal government has taken through Obamacare, maybe a better question is whether there is anything that the government cannot ban...or cannot force you to buy."

Sure, it would be very un-Mittish, and there is all sorts of nuance that is lost with such an answer, but it would drive all the right people bananas, and it would be very interesting political theater.

Beldar said...

Well, I wish I'd re-read Prof. A's entire set of observations before leaving my last pair of comments.

Prof. A acknowledges that debates aren't law school discussions. I'm not entirely sure if she's trying to make a particular point through this discussion -- that is, if she's trying to take a position and argue it -- or if she's just musing and questioning.

Andy R. said...

Do people think that Romney is going to be able to hold out until the election without saying what he thinks about Griswold?

Because soon it's going to become a thing that Romney won't say what he thinks about Griswold.

And, "presidential candidates is afraid to say what he thinks about a supreme court decision" is not a great thing to have going for you.

The Crack Emcee said...

Andy R.,

Crack Emcee: Who is your first choice in the primary?

Newt - who else?

Certainly not scaredy-pants,...

Writ Small said...

Impressive. Both the professor's analysis and after understanding that, Romney's response.

Who else could have finessed the set up line of questioning as well as Romney?

Shorter Romney: Griswold was wrongly decided insofar as it laid the predicate for Roe, but is otherwise irrelevant as the "right" to contraception is only at risk in the left's tortured imagination.

The Crack Emcee said...

Freeman Hunt,

STEPHANOPOULOS: Governor Romney, one more question: Would you, or would you not, shoot a unicorn?

Now THAT'S a question for Obama,...

damikesc said...

Do people think that Romney is going to be able to hold out until the election without saying what he thinks about Griswold?

It's an IRRELEVANT question. You may think it's quite the gotcha, but given that no state is trying to do it nor does the President have any authority one way or the other...it is utterly immaterial.

Why a candidate is expected to have an opinion on a baffling hypothetical that nobody has remotely endorsed is beyond me. Should Romney or any other Republican ALSO be expected to have an opinion on if they REALLY cannot believe it is not better?

And, "presidential candidates is afraid to say what he thinks about a supreme court decision" is not a great thing to have going for you.

Worked nicely for the current empty suit in the oval office.

Andy R. said...

It's an IRRELEVANT question.

There are x number of people in this country who would be willing to vote for Romney, everything else being equal, if he supports Griswold, and y number of people who would only vote for him if he wants it to be overturned. I don't happen to be one of those people, but the answer to that question is certainly relevant to those people.

If Romney had taken a principled stand never to respond to any hypothetical or irrelevant question it would be one thing, but if he says that he think Roe was wrongly decided and then won't say what he thinks about Griswold, it makes it seem like he is too scared to answer.

Maguro said...

Yes, Andy, the voters are just dying to hear about Griswold v. Connecticut. It's on everybody's mind, truly it is. One of the pressing issues of the day, yep.

Andy R. said...

Yeah, sure, let's pretend sex and social/cultural issues aren't a big deal for the Republican party.

Let's also pretend that Griswold isn't a wedge issue for the Republican party, and that there is some the reason why Romney is scared to give an answer.

Synova said...

x number of people care about Griswald. x^y people care about using a impossible hypothetical as a surrogate for Romney's supposed feelings which must certainly, then, be his agenda.

I don't even like Romney. Don't dislike him. Don't care.

But everyone is on to this tactic by now and it stinks like the pound of hamburger left under your bed by your three year old.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Do people think that Romney is going to be able to hold out until the election without saying what he thinks about Griswold?

Well, I for one think it was really wrong to tie Aunt Enda to the top of the Family Truckster.

netmarcos said...

As for the Mormons and conraception question, you should just ask them:http://lds.org/liahona/1980/06/i-have-a-question/i-have-a-question?lang=eng&query=contraception


Short story: that is a private decision between husband and wife.

Jay said...

Andy R. said...
Yeah, sure, let's pretend sex and social/cultural issues aren't a big deal for the Republican party.


I think you should go on pretending that sex and social/cultural issues aren't a big deal for the Democratic party.

Really. You should.
PS, I know you're a young college simpleton, but there was a time when Al Gore and other Democratic politicians wanted to ban the distribution of CD's & albums because of the lyrics in the songs.

Your ignorance is comical & tragic.

damikesc said...

There are x number of people in this country who would be willing to vote for Romney, everything else being equal, if he supports Griswold, and y number of people who would only vote for him if he wants it to be overturned.

Believe it or not, Griswold v CT is going to be a non-factor in the overall "Reasons I did/did not vote for Romney" recaps in November.

The movement to overturn Griswold v CT, as poorly judged as it is, exists primarily in your mind.

If Romney had taken a principled stand never to respond to any hypothetical or irrelevant question it would be one thing, but if he says that he think Roe was wrongly decided and then won't say what he thinks about Griswold, it makes it seem like he is too scared to answer.

To uneducated dunces, sure. But certainly YOU don't fall into that category.

Yeah, sure, let's pretend sex and social/cultural issues aren't a big deal for the Republican party.

And when I want to know what a big deal for the GOP is --- I ask Salon. Or Mother Jones. Interchangeable in their depth of knowledge of what Republicans think.

Let's also pretend that Griswold isn't a wedge issue for the Republican party, and that there is some the reason why Romney is scared to give an answer.

Why was Obama so scared to give his opinion on abortion. He's given multiple opinions on assorted hypotheticals, but when asked about abortion, he said it was "above his pay grade".

Let's not pretend that abortion isn't a huge wedge issue in the Democratic Party.

Why is Obama so scared to give his opinion?

And when it comes to handling the deficit. Obama has proven to be too scared to give an opinion how to resolve it. Why is he so scared to tackle the deficit?

damikesc said...

So, Andy, do you have no questions why Obama had his children attend a virulently racist church for 20 years?

Unlike your assupmtions about Romney and contraception, that Malia and Sasha were subjected to a bigoted church is not a debatable point.

SGT Ted said...

vWhat Romneys mistake was in not calling this question out for what it is: Liberal troll bait aiming to get a "gotcha" sound bite for the DNCs opposition research team. to run in the General election. Which is what he was trying to point out by calling attention to the fact that NO State is anywhere close to considering legislation banning contraception.

This is an effort by alleged debate moderators who are in actuality Democrat Party free agent operatives who have wormed their way into the Media to make Romney toxic to women voters by changing the subject from the economy and the economic destruction socialism is causing and trying to make it about abortion and the one sided reproductive/financial priviledges feminists prefer to keep in place.

Saint Croix said...

It's a typical liberal move to conflate abortion with birth control. It's all the same to liberals. And you can argue it is the same, at very early stages. IUD is birth control. IUD is abortion.

But many abortions are homicidal. In some cases abortion means inducing labor, giving birth to a child, and injecting poison into her neck.

It would be nice if the liberal media would be honest and focus on what pro-lifers are actually angry about. Instead we get horseshit like "birth control is at risk." That's a lie.

Here's what Romney should have said. "The problem with the unelected branch finding unenumerated rights is that it gives them too much power. They might find an innocent right, like birth control, or living with your grandmother. And we're all happy. But then they go too far, and before you know it, we're killing babies outside the womb. Have you read the Carhart opinion, George?"

Republicans should also remind the world that we saw the evil in slavery, when other people did not. And we saw the evil in Communism, when other people did not. The liberal New York Times won a Pulitzer prize for covering up Stalin's crimes. Today's liberal media is equally complicit in covering up the homicides done by our unelected branch.

Jay said...

Mark Steyn:

I see Terence Jeffrey and Andy McCarthy are having a disagreement about the correct response to a question on gay adoption. The correct response is to take an unconstitutional federally-funded supersized condom, roll it over George Stephanopoulos’ head, and say, “That’s odd. I can no longer hear a word you’re saying. So let me throw in my two bits on impending multi-trillion-dollar ruin…”

cassandra lite said...

I wish Stephie would ask the HLS president about case law on, for ex, limitations on the commerce clause.

cubanbob said...

The progs out to pray that SCOTUS finds against Obamacare. A government that can require you to buy something as a condition of living can also ban you from buying or boycotting. lets see as Oliver Wendel Holmes said three generation of idiots is enough. Imagine a reactionary congress that would require every woman of child birthing years on welfare be required to use contraceptives. Imagine the very same congress banning middle income or higher woman of child bearing years from using contraception. Both sets of examples have direct economic consequences to the general economy and thus would be permissible under the final tortured commerce clause if the court rules the mandate constitutional.

That is the thing about progs, they don't get that there a few things that are not a mixed blessing and don't carry their thought to its logical conclusion.

Mittens should have made a statement to that effect and he should have also said the states need to have their powers curbed to avoid such isues. Would have the libertarians with that as well.

Fran Akridge said...

Georgie Boy was trying to say that if you could not outlaw contraception you could not outlaw abortion. Romney knew that was wrong (although, evidently, the Supreme Courth used privacy for both) but was not up on why. He knew Ron Paul would know and rightly handed off to him.

keeperusa said...

Romney saw this one as a set up from a mile away.
He knew better than to answer it on a legal basis...he answered it on a political basis and pwned Georgie Boy.
Smart. Elect-ably Smart!

LarryD said...

Theoretical response: "What the hell does this have to do with my running for President? Why are you asking this, George?"

Bruce Hayden said...

ROMNEY: George, this is an unusual topic that you’re raising. States have a right to ban contraception? I can’t imagine a state banning contraception. I can’t imagine the circumstances where a state would want to do so, and if I were a governor of a state or...So Romney begins by avoiding the question.

But was it really a diversion? Even at the time that Griswold was being decided, the (relatively few) states that still had statutes on the books banning contraception, weren't doing so. None of them, even in the deep south, and definitely not in Connecticut. And over 40 years later, they are even less likely to do so today.

Keep in mind that Griswald, like the rest of the pre-abortion cases, was a set-up. We aren't talking jail time here, but $100 fines that were levied solely to get federal standing (a previous case with some of the same players had been dismissed by SCOTUS for just that reason). The state wasn't prosecuting the distribution of contraceptives, and didn't fine anyone else. Just the litigants here, and just to get standing, after a facial challenge had been rejected for lack of injury. And, as noted above, the primary purpose of the case was to create a (very selective) right of privacy, which could then be bootstrapped to legalize abortion.

State governments, utilizing their police powers, can legislate a lot of things. Theoretically, much more than the federal government, which is supposed to be limited to a small number of enumerated powers. Why don't they then do so? Because the ultimate control is the will of the people, as exercised primarily through executive and legislative elections. No legislature that voted in a ban on contraception would survive long, and neither would a governor who signed such a bill into law or tried to enforce it.

My view is that Romney pointed out here why Stephanopoulos is a highly political hack with limited understanding of the issues he tries to discuss.

Also, ask yourself, why this "Right of Privacy" created from imminations of a penumbra, is limited to abortion, contraception, and sodomy? Wouldn't it make sense to apply it to smoking pot in that same bedroom? Whether you had a gun in that bedroom? Deciding what type of health care and health care insurance were most beneficial for one's own situation? What you can eat? Etc. Why is sex the only place that this "Right to Privacy" exists?

Bruce Hayden said...

One of the weirder things that happened in LS was when we discussed these cases. The (otherwise very liberal) Con Law prof asked some of the women to argue the anti side of the contraception/privacy/abortion string of cases. And, the class (with some exceptions, including yours truly) filed a grievance with the dean over this.

Looking back, I am not the least bit surprised that so many, esp. on the left, don't understand the posturing and the logic that was utilized to get to Roe v. Wade, and, indeed, how far the Supreme Court had to reach to get there.

Don't know if Stephanopoulos ever went to LS, but if he did, I would expect that he joined the militant feminists there in glossing over what had happened and any weaknesses in the logic employed by the Court.

(And, yes, I have no doubt that Ann does understand these issues, in all their complexities, far better than any of the rest of us here - probably better than Stephanopoulos and Romney combined).

Bruce Hayden said...

Let me also add that I think that the right to contraception itself has gotten out of hand. I have no problem with states not being able to ban contraception, per se, for adults, whether in a marriage or not (another sleight of hand - jumping from the right of a married couple to contraception to a generalized right for all women - ignoring that the original caselaw involved the sanctity of the marital bedroom).

But, the place where I think it has gone overboard is when it involves children. Preventing parents from knowing when medications, that may have adverse long term health effects, are prescribed for their, possibly pre-teen, daughters. The government does not have this power (yet) for any other prescription medicines.

It takes a lot of bootstrapping to get from the sanctity of a marital bed to depriving parents of the right to know what prescription medicines are prescribed for their adolescent daughters.