Anderson Cooper divulged some interesting information while asking an interesting question during the CNN debate last night with the remaining Republican nominees for president:
On July 6, 1981... Ronald Reagan wrote in his diary about Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. And the Reagan Library has graciously allowed us to actually have the original Reagan diary right here on the desk....
And in it, he wrote by his hand, he said, "Called Judge O'Connor in Arizona and told her she was my nominee for Supreme Court. Already the flak is starting, and from my own supporters. Right-to-life people say she's pro-abortion. She declares abortion is personally repugnant to her. I think she'll make a good justice."...
[W]as she the right choice?...
Certainly Reagan's thoughts on O'Connor have been public information for a long time, but not to me. Recall at the time Roe was only 8 years young, and parsing on being "personally" pro-life had not yet bloomed into what we know it to be today: functionally pro-abortion.
Also interesting is that Reagan apparently asked O'Connor The Question, and she apparently answered him or made her ideology public, a point Republicans and judicial nominees intensely avoid these days, thinking the code phrase "strict constructionist" rather than "pro-life" fools anyone.
The candidates' transcribed answers are below. To summarize, Huckabee refused to answer but gave a mini-speech on being pro-life; Paul said no; McCain refused to answered but reiterated he would appoint justices in the mold of Roberts and Alito, "who have a proven record of strict interpretation of the Constitution"; Romney said no, reiterating same, and adding Scalia and Thomas to his list.
Candidates' responses to Cooper question on whether they would have nominated Sandra Day O'Connor as Supreme Court justice, as Reagan did:
HUCKABEE: History will have to determine that, and I'm not going to come to the Reagan Library and say anything about Ronald Reagan's decisions. I'm not that stupid. If I was, I'd have no business being president.
I think we need to talk about why the issue of right-to-life is important. For many of us, this is not a political issue; this is an issue of principle and conviction. And it goes to the heart of who we are as a country.
If we value each other as human beings and believe that everybody has equal worth, and that that intrinsic value is not affected by net worth, or ancestry, or last name, or job description, or ability, or disability, then the issue of the sanctity of human life is far bigger than just being anti-abortion.
It's about being pro-life and exercising that deep conviction held by our founding fathers that all of us are equal and no one is more equal than another, recognizing that once we ever decide that some people are more equal or less equal than others, then we start moving that line, and it may include us some day.
And that's why for many of us -- and me included. Let me be very clear: I'm pro-life. I value every human being. And I would always make every decision always on the side of life every time I could, without equivocation.
COOPER: Yes or no, Congressman Paul, was Sandra Day O'Connor the right choice?
PAUL: I wouldn't have appointed her, because I would have looked for somebody that I would have seen as a much stricter constitutionalist.
COOPER: Senator McCain?
MCCAIN: I'm proud of Sandra Day O'Connor as a fellow Arizonan. And my heart goes out to her family in that situation that they have today. And I'm proud of her.
The judges I would appoint are along the lines of Justices Roberts and Alito, who have a proven record of strict interpretation of the Constitution of the United States of America. I'm not going to second-guess President Reagan.
COOPER: Governor Romney?
ROMNEY: I would approve justices -- I would have favored justices like Roberts and Alito, Scalia and Thomas. I like justices that follow the Constitution, do not make law from the bench. I would have much rather had a justice of that nature.
My choice for Prez is the Huck Man.
And some idiot on this site yesterday called him a moron.
What a thoughtful and eloquent person he is.
I'll say it here again : As much as I like the Huck Man, the Mac will win the Presidency and Huck will be his VP.
Keep praying, keep praying.Posted by: HisMan at January 31, 2008 9:57 AM
Jill: "McCain refused to answered but reiterated he would appoint justices in the mold of Roberts and Alito, 'who have a proven record of strict interpretation of the Constitution'"
Think about it: Will McCain actually appoint justices who would rule his beloved McCain-Feingold unconstitutional? Of course not.
The same justices who would protect McCain-Feingold are the same who will protect Roe v. Wade.
So if pro-lifers continue to split their votes, McCain will win the GOP nomination. Then whether he wins or a dem wins in the general election, we will be stuck with justices who don't completely rule by the Constitution....and will continue to erode all our rights (right to life, freedom of speech, freedom of religion).
Pro-lifers MUST get behind the candidate who can best beat McCain in the primary AND a dem. candidate in the general election, even if he is not a personal favorite. But no, we all need to bicker about who is the most pro-life instead.
Can Huckabee do it? I doubt it. How about Ron Paul? I don't think so. (As much as I like things about these two.) That leaves Romney. Can he do it?Posted by: Ellie at January 31, 2008 10:23 AM
Yes, keep praying. Pray that Mr. Huckabee is not put in the position to overturn any judicial convictions and release anymore felons into society.Posted by: SamanthaT at January 31, 2008 10:33 AM
Stop quoting the liberal press about Huckabee.
If you read the fine print, his decisions regarding "judicial convictions and the release of felons into society", were well thought out, legal and compassionate decisions.
Give the guy a chance.
I mean, if you are really appalled by these issues, then I would think that what the Clintons did would sicken you.Posted by: HisMan at January 31, 2008 10:42 AM
Obama is the only choice for those in favor of choice.Posted by: Hal at January 31, 2008 10:46 AM
How come no one picks Alan Keyes for President?Posted by: CrankyCatholic at January 31, 2008 10:54 AM
"How come no one picks Alan Keyes for President?"
How much space do we get? Although he's a very good speaker, and seems like a nice guy, his views on almost everything are a bit "out there." He is probably the only candidate running who would actually be worse that GWB.Posted by: Hal at January 31, 2008 10:58 AM
"If you read the fine print, his decisions regarding "judicial convictions and the release of felons into society", were well thought out, legal and compassionate decisions."
Yes, Huckabee was very compassionate. Toward Wayne Dumond. Not toward the woman who was raped as her three-year-old lay sleeping beside her, nor to the pregnant woman Dumond raped and murdered after he was convicted by twelve of his peers, after he was released despite a flood of letters Huckabee received from his victims.
"Give the guy a chance."
He had a chance. He had a chance to protect the women Dumond would murder when released. He had a chance to protect the women he believes should be submitting to the men in their lives. He failed. Sara Andrasek will never get a second chance. Her baby will never get a first chance. Her husband will never get a chance to hold either of them.Posted by: SamanthaT at January 31, 2008 11:05 AM
Yes, keep praying. Pray that Mr. Huckabee is not put in the position to overturn any judicial convictions and release anymore felons into society.
Posted by: SamanthaT at January 31, 2008 10:33 AM
I heard Huckabee explain of his side of this MSM farce. The process to release these felons was initiated by Clinton prior to Huckabee starting his term. After a release is granted, you can not stop the process. It may have appeared that Huckabee granted the releases, but it was acutally Clinton who was responsible.
I think he was legally bound to release the dude? Sandy's comments are correct.
You simply don't understand the guy or you are simply allowing your prejudices towards him to block your logic.
Alan Keyes is simply one of the most brilliant constitutional thinkers and statesmen on the face of the earth. Because he is faithful and has been relegated to realtive obscurity up to now, God will eventaully reward him. Guys like that usually come into the limelight when a major crisis hits. Have you ever heard of Abraham Lincoln? Alan Keyes is a great man and you would be wise to listen to his words.
Alan Keyes: Keep the faith my friend. Your time is yet to come.Posted by: HisMan at January 31, 2008 11:23 AM
Mr. Huckabee - "I think we need to talk about why the issue of right-to-life is important. For many of us, this is not a political issue; this is an issue of principle and conviction...."
How true. We live in a world where many people don't have a basic understanding of morality. Without morals, principles and convictions have no basis, no leg to stand on. It's no wonder abortion is accepted (or tolerated) by so many. God have mercy on us all.
Alan Keyes and I don't agree on many issues. That's the nicest way I can say it.Posted by: Hal at January 31, 2008 11:55 AM
There is really no way that Huckabee is going to win the primary, so there is no way I throw my vote his way. McCain is really a democrat and will take any stand that appeals to the press. Therefore, I'm voting for Romney.
Prolifers need to take a long view of this election. If either of the Dems win, we have absolutely no way of influencing policy or judgeships. If we choose a weak republican, it is a vote for the dems --- Huckabee is not going to prevail at either level.
Sure, I would like a different candidate, but I am a realist and would rather get someone who is at least attune to my views that anyone who is clearly hostile to them.
The mainstream media is firmly in the McCain camp -- so that clearly signals who I won't vote for.
Hisman -- I'm sorry, but your thinking on the very polarizing Mr Keyes is exactly why Mr Obama (lover of partial birth abortion) is in the position he is. It is also why I, an Illinois citizen, haven't had a voice in Washington in many years. Keyes is no more than a speaker and his foray in Illinois politics was a horrible farce.Posted by: Anon anon at January 31, 2008 12:47 PM
Abortion is an ObamaNation
Abortion is an ObamaNation
Abortion is an ObamaNation
I have read several news reports that indicate that Mr. Huckabee did indeed push very heavily for the release of this man, whose parole was consequently granted twenty-five years ahead of schedule. These sources also report that Dubon's sentence was actually commuted by the governor who served between Clinton and Huckabee. Most troubling are Huckabee's affirmations that he had no indication of the man's intention to assault again.
"Huckabee also wrote in his campaign book that his intervention on Dumond's behalf reflected his broad philosophy that the criminal justice system is too harsh, and that his religious faith requires him to take chances to act with compassion towards the accused."
"How come no one picks Alan Keyes for President?"
Posted by: rosie
at January 31, 2008 1:17 PM
People probably would if he actually put some effort into it, nobody knows who he is. I heard him speak at a pro-life dinner once and he was great, he needs to get out there and get more attention.
"Keyes is no more than a speaker and his foray in Illinois politics was a horrible farce."
He did come in a little late as far as Illinois politics goes, he hardly had the time to become aquainted with Illinois people.
Sandra Day O'Connor was terrible on the life issue. She single handedly kept Roe V Wade alive.Posted by: jasper at January 31, 2008 3:57 PM
Let's just all be thankful that Harriet Myers isn't on the Supreme Court.Posted by: Hal at January 31, 2008 5:21 PM
Fired up, Ready to go.
(I'll probably be one of those calling people to get out the vote this weekend, and hoping to add to the visibility factor. He jumped 15 points here, if not more, in a matter of days. He's actually jumped up nation wide!)Posted by: Dan at January 31, 2008 5:28 PM
He's really making a move in the Polls. What a pleasure it will be if he can win it all.Posted by: Hal at January 31, 2008 5:40 PM
Hal, if he's the nominee I think he very well could. Especially if he takes Edwards onto his ticket, or announces Edwards will be playing a key role in his Administration if he's elected.Posted by: Dan at January 31, 2008 5:41 PM
It makes so much sense why pro-chioce = Domocrat.
All they need is a kid that grew up smoking cocaine in Hawaii to shout that it's all about "change" and they wet their pants. Just like they rally people to "choice" and leave off that the choice is to kill a baby. They likewise get excited ablut "change" cause it is a really a completely ambiguos platform.
I visited Obama's web site and posted to hin about his lack of support for parental/legal guardian notification prior to performing an abortion on an unemancipated minor. His reply was typical doublespeak:
"Despite my strong feelings about the need for, and importance of, parental involvement in decisions such as an abortion, I reluctantly cannot support legislation that does not allow sufficient latitude to deal with serious extenuating circumstances, such as the health of the minor. " I am about to post back to him that there is already a provision for "serious extenuating circumstances, such as the health of the minor. " in the 'Parental Notice of Abortion Act of 1995' that has been held up in his/our state courts for the last twelve years.
thinking the code phrase "strict constructionist" rather than "pro-life" fools anyone
Jill, I really have to take issue with this statement. You can be both pro-life, and a strict constructionist. This would mean that you might find a particular law objectionable, but you must rule on the strict wording of the Constitution in deciding the case.
I am pro-life, but I don't want to see our justices "legislating" from the bench. We've seen where that goes with Roe v. Wade. A pro-choice strict constructionist could vote to overturn Roe simply because it's bad law and the right to abortion is not contained or even implied in the Constitution.
If we want abortion made illegal, we need strict constructionists who see the folly of Roe v. Wade, or we need a Constitutional amendment granting citizenship to the unborn. That would be my choice since it would immediately invalidate Roe.
But we need to do this in Congress, not in the courts.