Mitt Romney’s muddling on reproductive rights continued yesterday, as DirtGirl noted. He told an Iowa newspaper that “There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda.”
We also learned that yesterday Mitt Romney met with the Dispatch editorial Board, and that they attempted to get him to clarify his position on this issue.
Does anyone know where Mitt Romney really stands on these issues?
The Dispatch swung and missed. They apparently did not see any need to follow-up on the inconsistency of Romney saying, “I will take pro-life measures, but those happen to be executive-order and budget measures, as opposed to legislation, at least so far as I’m aware.” And then saying that he would not pursue a constitutional amendment to overturn Roe v. Wade.
(Romney also made a total hot mess of health care – more on THAT later if we can actually figure out what Romney said.)
A modest suggestion to the local media in Ohio who will get a lot of chances to interview Mitt Romney over the next few weeks. This includes various editorial boards. We respectfully suggest that a reporter can do everyone in the country a favor by asking Mitt one question and one follow up:
Question: “Governor, do you believe that the Constitution contains a right to privacy?”
Mitt has previously, as we noted, not answered this question coherently. The argument that the Constitution does not contain a right to privacy has been a centerpience of conservative jurisprudence ever since the Roe decision.
A “YES” by itself makes big news as it establishes a huge difference between Romney and abortion-rights opponents like Rick Santorum. Santorum has, in particular , been very outspoken on just this point.
The follow-up for a “YES” focuses on the Supreme Court:
“Governor, Justice Scalia says that no such right exists, so do you still want to appoint Justices who think like Scalia?”
A “NO” is more likely. It seems unlikely Romney would take a big risk in alienating his base by saying “YES.”
The follow-up for a “NO” is simple, really, and only requires a very small knowledge of constitutional law:
“Governor, you just said that the Constitution does not contain a right to privacy. Yet as a lawyer, you are undoubtedly aware that the right to privacy is the basis for in the Grwiwold decision, which prohibited states from restricting the sale and use of birth control. The right to privacy was also the basis for the Loving decision, which prohibited states from banning interracial marriage. So, do you believe that Griswold and Loving were wrongly decided?”
Simple, right? One question to illustrate what is at stake in this election.
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