During the debate, Paul Ryan said he did not think the abortion issue should be left to "unelected judges" and that it should instead be decided by "elected officials."
On the surface, the media seems to be taking this to mean Romney/Ryan would enact laws to outlaw abortion. MSNBC's Steve Schmitt just said Ryan meant it should be left to the states. "That's what he said," explained Schmitt.
But that is too simple an interpretation. Any law that elected officials pass, whether at the state or federal level, ultimately can be overturned by those "unelected judges" who sit on the Supreme Court. This would suggest that Ryan's answer does not make sense and that he doesn't understand how courts work. Au contraire, my friends.
Follow me over the squiggly thing.
The only way elected officials can outlaw abortion and not have it be subject to review by those "unelected judges" on the Supreme Court is to pass a Constitutional Amendment, which is done by -- you got it -- elected officials. Once it becomes part of the Constitution, guess who can't second guess the decision? You got it -- the "unelected judges."
That is the only way one can interpret what Ryan said, unless you want to fall back on the notion that a guy who has essentially spent his whole adult life in Congress, trying hard to outlaw abortion, just doesn't understand that the Supreme Court has the power to overturn any law the President signs on
Constitutional grounds. I am of the view that Ryan knows this.
And didn't Romney tell Mike Huckabee that he would "absolutely" support a Constitutional Amendment saying life begins at conception? Ryan was using coded language to slip this past moderates, but make no mistake, his far-right lunatic fan base knew exactly what he meant, and it's up to us to make sure everyone else knows it, too.
Now, it would never clear Congress with the numbers we are likely to have, and the President has no direct role in amending the Constitution, but the fact that they would support such a Constitutional Amendment is not reassuring because if Romney/Ryan support something that drastic, think of all the lesser efforts they would support that oppress women's freedom to make reproductive choices.