There was a time, not long ago, when President Barack Obama called for “a new era of civility” in U.S. Politics. Judging by the Twitter feed of Lis Smith, director of Rapid Response for the Obama For America campaign, that was empty rhetoric.
Here is what Iowa Rep. Steve King said that has Smith so worked up:
Interviewer: Is it true that you think states should have the ability to ban contraception at all?
Rep. King: This is another example, Dave, it’s just another example. I sit on the Judiciary Committee. I do read the Constitution. I read case law. I read precedent cases that come from the Supreme Court. There was a case in 1965 called Griswold v. Connecticut. At that time, Connecticut had banned the sale of contraceptives even to married couples because they were a strong Catholic state and that’s what they believed. That went to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court discovered a right to privacy that didn’t heretofore exist within the Constitution that prohibited Connecticut from banning the sale of contraceptives. I simply related the background to that case. I’ve never taken the position that states don’t have the right or that states have the right to ban contraceptives. That’s another misconception that has been perpetrated by the [Christie] Vilsack [for Congress] campaign. There are many of them. I counted 24 of them in one debate.
Interviewer: Is that something you’re personally against?
Rep. King: I’ve not taken a position on the sale of contraceptives at all.
Rep. King is being raked over the coals for these comments, but he was simply saying that Griswold v. Connecticut is questionable constitutional law. The five-term congressman did not take a position on the sale of contraceptives — not because he suddenly decided he wants to ban them, but because he was talking about judicial activism.
King is hardly alone in raising questions about the Supreme Court’s reasoning in right-to-privacy cases such as Griswold.
Does Smith think that John Hart Ely, one of the most respected legal scholars in United States history, was also a nut job? Here’s the first page of his famous Yale Law Review article criticizing Roe v. Wade.
We doubt Smith will have anything to say about that. She’s too busy drumming up hysteria about right-wing boogie monsters.