Thursday, April 22, 2010

Obama: "privacy and bodily integrity, core Constitutional values"

President Obama will be nominating a Justice to the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) in the coming days.  What does he look for?

2008, Obama: "You know, I taught constitutional law for 10 years at the University of Chicago. I feel very strongly that a right to privacy is part of the overarching structure of the Constitution. I think a Supreme Court justice who did not believe in that right, as well as the implications for gender equality, would not have the kind of judicial philosophy that I generally believe in."

2010, April 21, Obama: "You know, I am somebody who believes that women should have the ability to make often very difficult decisions about their own bodies and issues of reproduction. Obviously this has been a hugely contentious issue in our country for a very long time. I will say the same thing that every president has said since this issue came up, which is I don't have litmus tests around any of these issues.

"But I will say that I want somebody who is going to be interpreting our Constitution in a way that takes into account individual rights, and that includes women's rights. And that's going to be something that's very important to me, because I think part of what our core constitutional values promote is the notion that individuals are protected in their privacy and their bodily integrity, and women are not exempt from that."

By wide margins, the American public strongly supports the traditional approach to judging followed by these Justices. In a recent Rasmussen poll, for example, 60% responded that the Supreme Court should make decisions based on "what's written in the Constitution and legal precedents" as opposed to its "sense of fairness and justice."

Would we want to have a litmus test for Supreme Court appointees?  No, we want justices who will interpret the Constitution as written and not be "activist" ie try to make it say what they want.

Please write or call Senator Brown to ask him to actively oppose any nominee who does not strictly interpret the Constitution.

317 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington D.C. 20510
(202) 224-4543



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