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I'm thinking this framing could help Obama with men.

When Mitt Romney says Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided and that his Supreme Court picks would overturn it, he is arguing against the constitutional right to privacy. In essence, Romney wants individual states empowered to take away your right to privacy.

From the transcript of a Republican debate, here's the money quote:

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you’ve got the Supreme Court decision [Griswold v. Connecticut] 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.

According to Mitt Romney, there is no constitutional right to privacy.

Nope. It's not there. Not for women. Not for GLBT people. The implications of overturning the right to privacy could extend far and wide. Let people use their own imaginations.

(continued below)

Planned Parenthood used footage from the aforementioned debate in a TV ad about contraception.

I think this is a very effective video. But I also think that focusing on Romney's desire to take away our right to privacy could possible appeal more to men, since the implications could extend beyond reproductive health and reproductive rights.

It would also help people understand the link between Roe v Wade and the legality of contraception. In general, the public doesn't believe that Republican politicians seek to outlaw contraception. But people know that most GOPers want to overturn Roe v. Wade, and the only way most practical way to do so is for a landmark ruling against the right to privacy. Alternatively, Romney also supports a constitutional amendment to criminalize a women's right to choose [Italics: updated text]

Finally, it bears notice that Robert Bork is the co-chair for Mitt Romney's Justice Advisory Committee. He (like Scalia) thinks there is no right to privacy. Tedd Kennedy famously speechified about "Robert Bork's America" during Bork's SCOTUS confirmation hearing in 1987, when the Senate voted against confirmation with several Republicans joining Democrats.

Recently, People For the American Way released a TV ad hitting Romney over SCOTUS, abortion and Bork.



PFAW even has a website focusing on what Bork means for a Romney Supreme Court  

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Comment Preferences

  •  really? (6+ / 0-)

    Let's see your tax returns, then, MOTHERFUCKER!!

    I'm sure "privacy" means differing things when rich people's privacy is being violated.

    •  if it's the papers, then you're protected (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      distraught

      you just need to learn to incorporate your womb.

    •  Pity (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jfromga, distraught

      Of course this rebuttal was beyond George Stephanopoulos.

      Journalism used to be a real thing in this country.

      •  Timing, Of Course (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        distraught

        This debate happened awhile ago, and the tax return issue is current, so Stephanopoulos might be forgiven for not offering a rebuttal specific to tax returns, but I think he certainly could have forced Romney to agree that his position requires reconition that he personally has no right to privacy, essentially giving his permission for the federal and state governments to inspect every aspect of his personal life at will.

    •  but the government has seen (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      distraught

      his tax returns. Every year when he files them. So they are not private.

    •  Not inconsistent with Griswold (0+ / 0-)

      You can criticize his Griswold position -- it's Scalia and Thomas' position as well, and as I said below, it's part of an ongoing debate that has been around for decades over how to interpret and apply the Constitution.

      But the fact that the federal government has enacted laws to protect tax information from disclosure is not inconsistent with Griswold.  Scalia, et al say that the feds and the states can enact whatever privacy laws they want -- it's just not guaranteed in the Federal constitution, according to them.

      Criticize his Griswold position all you want -- many legal scholars do.   But it has nothing to do with the confidentiality of federal tax information.

  •  Not surprising. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OrdinaryIowan, rgembry, distraught

    Since the right to privacy is not actually mentioned in the Constitution, there always has been an ongoing debate as to whether it's proper to hold that the Constitution protects a right to privacy.  It's a matter of whether you think the SCOTUS should apply the text of the Constitution as written ("textualist" approach) or whether you think the SCOTUS should apply the principles and spirit of the Constitution, and read into it things that are not expressly set forth (Griswold, Roe v. Wade approach).  

    That debate did not begin with Romney, nor will it end with Romney.  

    I think anyone considering voting for a Republican President pretty much knows about this already.  

    •  Boggles (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      distraught

      Honestly, I can't imagine what it would be like to have a kind of "liberty" where the government can access all your personal information.  Some things that are not expressly set forth are inherent to the things that are expressly set forth.  Liberty, in all its forms not expressly set forth, must be preserved by due process of law.  How hard is that?

      •  Of course, there are two sides to this issue (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        distraught

        and it has been that way for decades and decades, with progressives and conservatives switching sides on how to interpret the Constitution.

        You already know the "interpret the spirit of the Constitution" argument.  

        The other side's argument is based on the fact that the Constitution is a democratic document, put in place because, and only because, the people (through their representatives) put it there.  Their argument is that it is contrary to democracy to read into the Constitution things that the people never intended when they ratified the Constitution or the amendments, and that it gives the justices too much power -- they can find pretty much any right they want, without the people having a chance to vote on whether it should be in the Constitution.

        Ironically, the stances were exactly reversed in the 1930's.  Conservatives were the ones reading things into the Constitution -- they found that there was an implicit "right to contract" (much like the implicit "right to privacy) in the Constitution, and used the "constitutional right to freedom of contract" to strike down much of the New Deal Legislation, leading to FDR's attempt at Court-packing.  Look up "substantive due process."  Conservative justices used the Due Process clause to find unenumerated rights in the 1930's, pretty much as liberal justices do now.  

        This debate isn't new, and it won't end with this election.  Over the decades, both sides have adopted both views, depending on whether they like the right being "read into" the Constitution.  

        (Yes, I know that's a simplistic explanation of a complex subject.)

    •  Re: anyone considering voting knows this already (0+ / 0-)
      I think anyone considering voting for a Republican President pretty much knows about this already.  
      I disagree. I guess most people, even Republicans,  think they have a right to privacy
  •  Hey, if you haven't done anything WRONG... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HappyinNM, distraught

    Then you've got nothing to be afraid of, right?

    One of my favorite quotes from a local low-info rightie. But remember, they're the party of FREEDOMZ!!

    (romney)/RYAN 2012 - Soylent Green is PEOPLE, my friends!

    by Fordmandalay on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 07:31:14 AM PDT

  •  You all are forgetting that Romney is a robot. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    distraught

    His answer is just his pat answer that was programmed. Seriously, he appears to be incapable of answering anything that isn't programmed. Pretty pathetic for a lawyer.

    Your left is my right---Mort Sahl

    by HappyinNM on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 07:38:33 AM PDT

  •  No right to privacy? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jfromga, distraught

    When is Big Brother going to put the cameras and TV screens in our homes? I mean like 1984, not "Big Brother" from CBS.

    I reject your reality and substitute my own - Adam Savage

    by woolibaar on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 07:41:01 AM PDT

  •  It's In the Effing Bill of Rights: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jfromga, distraught, tle
    Amendment IX

    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    In other words it doesn't matter if a right is "in" the Constitution. There are other ways for society to recognize a right, and the Griswold decision illustrates that.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 07:55:48 AM PDT

  •  where are his tax returns (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    distraught

    if there is no right to privacy, those are public property.  He's a freaking doofus.   Women have no right to privacy in their bodies, but he has one in his tax returns?  Self serving thoughtless 'bot.

  •  He's competely correct, of course. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    distraught

    The closest the Constitution comes to a right to privacy is the 4th amendment, and that's most assuredly not the same thing.

    The majority opinion in Roe v. Wade is a ridiculous, implausible hash and is easily one of the worst opinions ever written.  It was obviously wrongly decided, but the fact it reached the "correct" result prohibits most people from pointing out the emperor is quite naked.

    •  i and many others think we have a right to privacy (0+ / 0-)

      the 4th amendment, the 9th amendment, the 14th amendment, and an understanding that a right to privacy is a natural right would be my justifications.

      •  The courts haven't been cooperative. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        coffeetalk

        At the risk of hammering on the Roe v. Wade decision some more, I have a little trouble grasping how I have the Right to Privacy in the form of an abortion (but only a abortion in the early trimesters... wuh?) but apparently not in the form of being able to chose what I put in my body and smoke in my home.

      •  Do you think we have a "right to contract" (0+ / 0-)

        too, as the SCOTUS found in the 1930's?  

        I completely understand the feeling that if a right should be protected, then the SCOTUS should infer that the Constitution implicitly protects it.  

        The main contrary argument to your position is who gets to say what other "natural rights" are in the Constitution?  And how does the SCOTUS decide which "natural rights" are constitutionally protected and which are not?  The opposition would say the Constitution was passed by the people (through their representatives) and that the SCOTUS should not find any right that was not put in the Constitution by the people.  

        That's going to be the main debate when the same-sex marriage case comes up.  Pretty clearly, when those amendments were put in the Constitution, nobody who voted for them thought they were invalidating laws limiting marriage to heterosexual marriage.  Should the SCOTUS read Constitutional Amendments in ways that are not consistent with the intent or meaning of the people who wrote and/or ratified those amendments?  

    •  Exactly. When I was in law school (0+ / 0-)

      discussing Roe v. Wade, while there were a lot of people who liked the result, pretty much nobody could justify the way the court got there.  Even the professor -- very liberal and very supportive of choice -- was pretty open in saying that the SCOTUS was pretty much making it up as it went along so as to reach the result that the majority thought was the 'right" answer.  

      Griswold is the same.  While the vast majority of people in this Country believe it was the right "result" -- states should not ban contraception -- that decision is kind of "intellectually challenged" as well.  

      That whole "penumbra" thing is pretty hard to defend.

      The foregoing cases suggest that specific guarantees in the Bill of Rights have penumbras, formed by emanations from those guarantees that help give them life and substance.

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