issues2000

Topics in the News: Supreme Court


Rick Santorum on Abortion : Aug 6, 2015
Roe v. Wade was a rogue decision, not settled law

Q: It's been 42 years since Roe v. Wade; is that now settled law?

SANTORUM: It is not any more than Dred Scott was settled law to Abraham Lincoln, who, in his first inaugural address, said "it won't stand." And they went ahead and passed laws in direct contravention to a rogue Supreme Court. This is a rogue Supreme Court decision. There is no constitutional basis for the Supreme Court's decision. One of the times the Supreme Court spoke that I thought they were acting outside of their authority was in a partial-birth abortion case. Abortions being done where the baby's being delivered first, and then they crush the skull. Well, the Supreme Court found a bill that I was the author of unconstitutional. What did I do? I didn't stop. I didn't say "oh, well, we lost. It's the law of the land." We worked together. The House and Senate, under my leadership, and we passed a bill, and we said, "Supreme Court, you're wrong." Sometimes it just takes someone to lead and stand up to the court.

Click for Rick Santorum on other issues.   Source: Fox News/Facebook Second Tier debate transcript

Rand Paul on Civil Rights : Aug 6, 2015
Resist government imposing religious views of marriage

Q: In the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling on same sex marriage, what will you do to ensure Christians are not prosecuted for speaking out against gay marriage? Will Christians be forced to conduct business that conflicts with their religious beliefs?

PAUL: Look, I don't want my marriage or my guns registered in Washington. And if people have an opinion, it's a religious opinion that is heartly felt, obviously they should be allowed to practice that and no government should interfere with them. One of the things that really got to me was the thing in Houston where you had the government, the mayor actually, trying to get the sermons of ministers. When the government tries to invade the church to enforce its own opinion on marriage, that's when it's time to resist.

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript

John Kasich on Civil Rights : Aug 6, 2015
I attended a gay wedding; accept the Supreme Court ruling

Q: If you had a son or daughter who was gay or lesbian, how would you explain to them your opposition to same-sex marriage?

KASICH: I'm an old-fashioned person here, and I happen to believe in traditional marriage.

Q: How would you explain it to a child?

KASICH: The court has ruled, and I said we'll accept it. And guess what, I just went to a wedding of a friend of mine who happens to be gay. Because somebody doesn't think the way I do, doesn't mean that I can't care about them or can't love them. So if one of my daughters happened to be that, of course I would love them and I would accept them. Because that's what we're taught when we have strong faith.We need to give everybody a chance, treat everybody with respect, and let them share in this great American dream. So, look, I'm going to love my daughters, I'm going to love them no matter what they do. Because, you know what, God gives me unconditional love. I'm going to give it to my family and my friends and the people around me.

Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript

Donald Trump on Civil Rights : Jun 16, 2015
Same-sex marriage is a state issue

What does Donald Trump believe? Social Issues: Marriage is between a man and a woman and should be defined state by state.

In a Bloomberg interview in January, the businessman asserted that he personally believes marriage is between a man and a woman. While he sees it as a state issue, Trump indicated that the Supreme Court could issue a ruling to determine the law.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: PBS News Hour "2016 Candidate Stands" series

Rick Perry on Civil Rights : Jun 3, 2015
Supported anti-sodomy laws; opposes gay marriage

Perry personally opposes gay marriage and argues that states should determine for themselves how to define marriage. Asked in April whether he would attend a hypothetical gay wedding, he answered, "probably." On homosexuality, Perry has supported anti-sodomy laws. In his book, "Fed Up!" he disagreed with the landmark Supreme Court decision which ruled such laws unconstitutional.
Click for Rick Perry on other issues.   Source: PBS News Hour "2016 Candidate Stands" series

Rick Perry on Social Security : Jun 3, 2015
Personal accounts for younger workers

Where Rick Perry stands on key issues: The three-term governor questions the legality of the Social Security program. In "Fed Up!" Perry argues that the program is a Ponzi scheme and that the 1937 Supreme Court was wrong to rule that it is Constitutional. To reform the program, the White House hopeful has said he is open to making changes for future recipients, including raising the retirement age and reducing benefits for the wealthy. Perry has also proposed partially privatizing the system by creating personal accounts for younger workers. The states-rights advocate would also allow each state the ability to opt out of Social Security and instead implement their own state or regional program.
Click for Rick Perry on other issues.   Source: PBS News Hour "2016 Candidate Stands" series

Lindsey Graham on Civil Rights : Jun 1, 2015
Accept the Supreme Court ruling to allow gay marriage

Graham says the nation should accept the Supreme Court decision on gay marriage. Speaking to the Boston Herald Radio in May, Graham said he personally believes in traditional marriage," but that America must be ready to move on following the decision of the Supreme Court on the issue.
Click for Lindsey Graham on other issues.   Source: PBS News Hour "2016 Candidate Stands" series

Mike Huckabee on Civil Rights : May 5, 2015
Amendment to overturn Supreme Court decision on gay marriage

Huckabee would push for a Constitutional amendment to reverse the Supreme Court's gay marriage decision.

Huckabee voiced sharp opposition to the Supreme Court's June ruling on gay marriage, writing that the prevailing justices acted as a "judicial tyranny" that must be resisted. The former Arkansas governor is calling for a Constitutional amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman. He also opposes allowing same-sex couples to adopt children.

Click for Mike Huckabee on other issues.   Source: PBS News Hour "2016 Candidate Stands" series

Carly Fiorina on Civil Rights : May 4, 2015
Supreme Court overstepped by legalizing same-sex marriage

Fiorina believes the Supreme Court overstepped its boundaries when it ruled that same-sex marriage should be allowed in all 50 states. She has not indicated yet if she believes the issue is settled law or if she would push for a Constitutional amendment to reverse the court decision. When running for U.S. Senate in 2010, the former CEO supported California's Proposition 8 to make same-sex marriage illegal and said that gay couples should be afforded the right to civil unions and other legal benefits.
Click for Carly Fiorina on other issues.   Source: PBS News Hour "2016 Candidate Stands" series

Ben Carson on Civil Rights : May 3, 2015
Homosexuality is a choice, but same-sex marriage is the law

In a statement issued after the Supreme Court ruling, Carson wrote that he disagrees with the decision to legalize same-sex marriage but that it is now the law of the land. The physician previously has argued that homosexuality is a choice and that he personally believes marriage is between a man and a woman.
Click for Ben Carson on other issues.   Source: PBS News Hour "2016 Candidate Stands" series

Bernie Sanders on Government Reform : Apr 30, 2015
Constitutional amendment to reverse Citizen United ruling

On Campaign finance: Limit corporate and interest-group spending in campaigns.

Sanders proposes a Constitutional amendment that would effectively reverse the Supreme Court's Citizen United ruling and ban corporations and nonprofits from unlimited campaign expenditures. The independent senator would also require disclosure of any organizations spending $10,000 or more on an election-related campaign.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: PBS News Hour "2016 Candidate Stands" series

Scott Walker on Civil Rights : Apr 26, 2015
Constitutional amendment to prevent federal gay marriage

Several GOP candidates tried to outdo one another on who could speak out most strongly against a right to gay marriage. Scott Walker noted that he voted for Wisconsin's constitutional ban and defended it through the judicial process, until the Supreme Court refused to review a lower court ruling that his state issue marriage licenses to gay couples. "Let me be clear, I believe marriage is between one man and one woman," the Wisconsin governor said. "I still hold out hope that the Supreme Court will rule, as has been the tradition in the past, that the states are the places that get to define what marriage is. If for some reason they don't, I believe it's reasonable for the people of America to consider a constitutional amendment that would affirm the ability of states to do just that."
Click for Scott Walker on other issues.   Source: Politico.com on 2015 Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition summit

Mike Huckabee on Civil Rights : Apr 24, 2015
Same-sex marriage leads to criminalization of Christianity

The United States is moving toward "criminalization of Christianity" as a result of legalizing same-sex marriage, Mike Huckabee told a group of conservative pastors: "We are moving rapidly toward the criminalization of Christianity."

The former governor of Arkansas said it is his "biblical duty" to pray for the members of the Supreme Court as they prepare to rule on same-sex marriage this summer.

"If the courts rule that people have a civil right not only to be a homosexual but a civil right to have a homosexual marriage, then a homosexual couple coming to a pastor who believes in biblical marriage who says 'I can't perform that wedding' will now be breaking the law," he said. "Let me make clear: It's not just saying, 'I'm sorry you have a preference.' No, you will be breaking the law subject to civil, for sure, and possibly criminal penalties for violating the law, depending on how the law is written in communities, states and in the nation."

Click for Mike Huckabee on other issues.   Source: Politico.com on 2015 Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition summit

Marco Rubio on Civil Rights : Apr 13, 2015
I oppose gay marriage, but it's the law of the land

Rubio says the Supreme Court decision on gay marriage is the law of the land. Rubio disagreed with the decision legalizing same-sex unions in all fifty states but said that Americans must abide by the ruling. Personally, Rubio says he believes marriage is between a man and a woman. Holding a nuanced position on Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Rubio believes some kinds of businesses, like wedding photography, should be allowed to turn away gay customers, and others, like hotels, should not.
Click for Marco Rubio on other issues.   Source: PBS News Hour "2016 Candidate Stands" series

Ted Cruz on Abortion : Mar 23, 2015
Ban taxpayer funding of abortion & partial birth abortion

On abortion, Cruz has called the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision legalizing the procedure a "dark anniversary" but has not said whether he would specifically work to overturn it. Cruz has staunchly supported bans on any taxpayer funding of abortion and bans of so-called partial birth abortion. He has fervently supported a Texas law that would require doctors at abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, a requirement that could limit staffing at abortion facilities. That Texas law was ruled unconstitutional by a lower court and is now before the U.S. Court of Appeals.
Click for Ted Cruz on other issues.   Source: PBS News Hour "2016 Candidate Stands" series

Ted Cruz on Civil Rights : Mar 23, 2015
Most states can ignore Supreme Court legalizing gay marriage

Following the Supreme Court's decision nationalizing same-sex marriage, Cruz told NPR that only the four states listed in the Supreme Court case (Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee) must abide by the ruling and that other states should ignore it. The Texas senator also said he now wants to abolish lifetime appointment to the court and subject justices to periodic election instead. Cruz believes marriage is between a man and a woman and that states should define the term "marriage" for themselves.
Click for Ted Cruz on other issues.   Source: PBS News Hour "2016 Candidate Stands" series

Mike Huckabee on Civil Rights : Oct 9, 2014
Supreme Court can't allow gay marriage all by itself

The Supreme Court refused to hear appeals from five states seeking to preserve their bans on gay marriage, clearing the way for a huge expansion in as many as 30 states. In an interview, Huckabee charged that the GOP "establishment" has waved the "white flag of surrender" on gay marriage. "I'm utterly exasperated with Republicans and the so-called leadership of the Republicans who have abdicated on this issue."

He said that he was most disturbed at the general tenor among Republicans to the Supreme Court's action was, essentially, "Well, that's settled."

"Of course, it isn't," Huckabee said. "The courts can't MAKE law. Even if one agrees with their ruling, the legislative branch has to pass enabling legislation, and it has to be signed by the chief executive and carried out. One branch of the three equal branches doesn't get to override the two other branches," Huckabee told Newsmax. "Civics 101."

Click for Mike Huckabee on other issues.   Source: NewsMax 2014 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Ted Cruz on Civil Rights : Oct 9, 2014
Overturn Supreme Court with anti-gay marriage Amendment

The Supreme Court refused to hear appeals from five states seeking to preserve their bans on gay marriage, clearing the way for a huge expansion in as many as 30 states and the District of Columbia. The states affected by Monday's action were Wisconsin, Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, and Virginia. State officials had appealed lower court rulings to preserve their bans. Couples in six other states--Colorado, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Wyoming--could get married soon, since those states would be bound by the same appellate rulings that have been on hold. Challenges are pending in 20 other states.

Many conservative GOP candidates slammed the Supreme Court's rulings--Cruz vowed to introduce a constitutional amendment that would prevent federal courts or government from voiding state laws on marriage--but others considered the more strategic implications.

Mike Huckabee charged that the GOP "establishment" has waved the "white flag of surrender" on gay marriage.

Click for Ted Cruz on other issues.   Source: NewsMax 2014 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Scott Walker on Civil Rights : Oct 9, 2014
Supreme Court has spoken; preventing gay marriage is over

The Supreme Court refused to hear appeals from five states seeking to preserve their bans on gay marriage, clearing the way for a huge expansion in as many as 30 states and the District of Columbia. The states affected by Monday's action were Wisconsin, Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, and Virginia. State officials had appealed lower court rulings to preserve their bans. Challenges are pending in 20 other states.

Many conservative GOP candidates slammed the Supreme Court's rulings--Cruz vowed to introduce a constitutional amendment that would prevent federal courts or government from voiding state laws on marriage--but others considered the more strategic implications.

Walker, who is in a tough re-election battle, declared after the court's ruling that the fight to prevent same-sex marriage was "over in Wisconsin."

Click for Scott Walker on other issues.   Source: NewsMax 2014 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Bernie Sanders on Government Reform : Sep 14, 2014
Citizens United opens up the road to oligarchy

Q: Let me ask you on the billionaire front--

SANDERS: The Koch brothers and the other billionaires are going to spend hundreds of millions of dollars. That is not a way you bring about change. We've got to mobilize the American people.

Q: If a billionaire agrees with you on issues are you okay with them participating in the process?

SANDERS: I think Citizens United will go down in history as one of the worst Supreme Court decisions ever. I think it is opening up the road to oligarchy, where the billionaires, like the Koch brothers--

Q: Left or right?

SANDERS: Left or right, but it's mostly right. It will always be. The Koch brothers are going to spend $400 million. Do you know what their agenda is? They want to end Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid. More tax breaks for the rich and large corporations. Nobody in America wants that except the billionaire class. This is a real danger to American democracy.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: Meet the Press 2014 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Hillary Clinton on Government Reform : Jul 21, 2014
Consider Constitutional Amendment against Citizen's United

While eying a potential presidential run that would surely be boosted by deep-pocketed super PACs, Hillary Clinton said that she's open to supporting a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, which opened the door to the outside groups and the flood of money that poured into the political process with them: "I would consider supporting an amendment among these lines that would prevent the abuse of our political system by excessive amounts of money if there is no other way to deal with the Citizen's United decision," she said in response to a question on the measure.
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Alex Seitz-Wald on MSNBC, "Citizens United"

Hillary Clinton on Abortion : Jun 30, 2014
Hobby Lobby decision is slippery slope against women

Clinton was asked about the Supreme Court's hours-old Hobby Lobby decision, and she delivered a fiery and impassioned reply: "I disagree with the reasoning as well as the conclusion," Clinton said. "I find it deeply disturbing. Part of the reason I was so adamant about including women and girls [in State Department efforts] is that they're often the canaries in the mine," Clinton explained. "It is a disturbing trend that you see in a lot of societies that are unstable and prone to extremism. Women's bodies are used as the defining and unifying issue to bring together people--men--to get them to behave in ways that are disadvantageous to women but prop up rulers."

Now, she said, something similar was happening in the US, where religion was worming its way into government. "Many more companies will claim religious beliefs. Some will be sincere, others maybe not. We're going to see this one insurable service cut out for many women," she said. "This is a really bad, slippery slope."

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: The Atlantic, "Deeply Disturbing", by David Graham

Rand Paul on Abortion : Jun 30, 2014
Supports religious freedom to deny contraceptive coverage

Sen. Paul today issued the following statement after the Supreme Court's ruling sided with Hobby Lobby on the contraception mandate: "Today, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of religious freedom by taking a stand with Hobby Lobby. Religious liberty will remain intact and all Americans can stay true to their faith without fear of big government intervention or punishment," Sen. Paul said. "Our nation was founded on the principle of freedom, and with this decision, America will continue to serve as a safe haven for those looking to exercise religious liberty."

BACKGROUND: Burwell v. Hobby Lobby is a landmark Supreme Court decision allowing corporations to be exempt from providing contraception in their healthcare plan, if its owners religiously object, and there is a less restrictive means of furthering the law's interest. It is the first time that the court has recognized a for-profit corporation's claim of religious belief. The decision is an interpretation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: 2014 official Senate press release, "Hobby Lobby"

Hillary Clinton on Civil Rights : Jun 12, 2014
We have all evolved on gay marriage since 1990s

NPR's Terry Gross asked Clinton whether she was glad to see the Supreme Court strike down the Defense of Marriage Act--a law signed by her husband, former President Bill Clinton, that barred the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages.

"We are living at a time when this extraordinary change is occurring and I'm proud of our country," Clinton replied, but "that was not the case" during her president's stint in the White House. "I think that we have all evolved, and it's been one of the fastest, most sweeping transformations that I'm aware of," she said.

But after Gross pointed out that many people did support gay marriage during the 1990s, Clinton grew irritated.

"To be fair, Terry, not that many," she said. "Somebody is always out front and thank goodness they are. But that doesn't mean that those who join later--in being publically supportive or even privately accepting that there needs to be change--are any less committed."

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Jake Miller, CBS News, "Don't Twist My Position"

Andrew Cuomo on Abortion : May 18, 2014
Codify state with federal law to allow 9th-month abortions

Cuomo said he wanted to "codify" state with the federal law to assure abortions could be performed into the ninth month of pregnancy. Although already legal under federal law, he said the state measure is needed in case the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down the Roe v. Wade decision.

Cuomo made the issue a crescendo in his 2013 State of the State speech--"Because it's her body! It's her choice!" But Senate Republicans, as expected, ultimately blocked the measure.

State records show few New Yorkers seek abortions as late as the ninth month of pregnancy. Of 97,502 abortions in New York in 2012, just 2.6 percent came after the fifth month of pregnancy, according to the state Health Department.

Astorino last week called Cuomo's proposal to protect ninth-month abortions "sick, I think that's ghastly. I would veto that in a second." But he said he wouldn't try to erode current abortion laws. "I'm pro-life. This is a pro-choice state. I get that," Astorino said.

Click for Andrew Cuomo on other issues.   Source: Newsday AdWatch on 2014 New York State gubernatorial race

Elizabeth Warren on Corporations : Apr 22, 2014
FactCheck: negotiated insurance deal for asbestos victims

[In addressing people who had developed lung cancer from working with asbestos,] the solution was to create a trust and to fund it with all the money from the businesses and their insurance companies who would be held responsible. The trust system had been effective for many years, but it was challenged. We won that case in the Supreme Court.

After I left the case, a lower court held that the insurance company didn't need to pay as much money as it had offered, and the case was again appealed.

Factcheck.org stated: "Warren's version of the case has been publicly backed by several attorneys representing the asbestos victims, as well as leaders of an asbestos workers' union. `[Brown is flat out misrepresenting the facts,' Francis C. Boudrow, business manager for the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Asbestos Workers Union, Local No. 6 told the "Boston Globe." `It's offensive to all these people who've lost lives' to asbestos-related illness, he said."

Click for Elizabeth Warren on other issues.   Source: FactCheck in A Fighting Chance, by Elizabeth Warren, p.334

Newt Gingrich on Government Reform : Apr 6, 2014
Allow unlimited campaign contributions to anybody

On the Supreme Court decision in McCutcheon v FEC striking down total limits on campaign donations, Gingrich said that even more deregulation is necessary to "overnight, equalize the middle class and the rich." Gingrich cited the 1976 decision Buckley v. Valeo, which equated limiting contributions with limiting freedom of expression. Gingrich said that "you've gone from that original decision to Citizens United, which said, in effect, that corporations could give and created super PACs. Now you've said they're unlimited." The 2010 Citizens United ruling allowed unlimited amounts of money via super PACs. The McCutcheon decision lets individuals give an unlimited total amount directly to parties and candidates, so long as they stay within limits for individual campaigns.

Gingrich added, "The next step is the one Justice Clarence Thomas cited--candidates should be allowed to take unlimited amounts of money from anybody. And you would, overnight, equalize the middle class and the rich."

Click for Newt Gingrich on other issues.   Source: Huffington Post 2014 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Jerry Brown on Crime : Jan 22, 2014
Major reductions in our prison population

In the field of public safety, we have changed historic practices in our prison system and transferred significant responsibilities to local authorities. The Federal courts, backed up by the United States Supreme Court, have ordered major reductions in our prison population and dramatic improvements in the medical and mental health programs that the state makes available. In response, we have transferred the supervision of tens of thousands of lower level offenders from the state to our 58 counties. This realignment is bold and far reaching, but necessary under the circumstances. And local law enforcement has risen to the occasion.

Our prisons are pioneering new programs and treatments--and so are the counties. Last week, I visited the Lerdo Jail just north of Bakersfield and sat in on some classes. It was moving to hear the men's stories and the struggles they encounter.

Click for Jerry Brown on other issues.   Source: 2014 State of the State Address to California legislature

Scott Walker on Health Care : Nov 18, 2013
Pushed ObamaCare for state choice on Medicaid expansion

Wisconsin joined the lawsuit challenging Obamacare. While I was disappointed that the US Supreme Court upheld the law, thankfully the Court did rule that the Obama administration cannot force states to accept the Medicaid expansion. It would have been fiscally unsustainable and would have added thousands of people to the Medicaid rolls when my goal was to have FEWER people dependent on the government, not more.

But I also wanted to reduce the number of uninsured people in our state. So instead of just simply rejecting the Medicaid expansion, as some governors did, I looked for a way to achieve that goal without putting more people on government health care.

Under our plan, every person in WI who is living in poverty will be covered by Medicaid. We removed the caps Gov. Doyle imposed on the number of participants, while moving some 87,000 people living ABOVE poverty into the private or exchange markets. With our reforms, we are reclaiming Medicaid for those for whom it was intended: the poor.

Click for Scott Walker on other issues.   Source: Unintimidated, by Scott Walker, p.219-21

Scott Walker on Jobs : Nov 18, 2013
When given the choice, employees don't choose union

Having failed to flip the state supreme court, the unions turned to the federal courts. They filed a lawsuit arguing that Act 10 was unconstitutional because our "paycheck protection" provision barring forced collection of union dues violated the First Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause because they exempted police and firefighters--creating 2 classes of public employees.

For unions, this was the core of their opposition. Paycheck protection gave government workers the right to choose whether or not to join a union and pay union dues. The unions didn't want them to have that choice.

Once the WI supreme court upheld Act 10, and the paycheck protection provision went into effect, many public workers did in fact decide to keep the money. In August 2011 "the statewide teachers union issued layoff notices to 42 employees, about 40% of its staff." In March 2011, when we passed our reforms, membership in AFSCME stood at 62,818. A year later, membership had fallen to 28,745.

Click for Scott Walker on other issues.   Source: Unintimidated, by Scott Walker, p.128-9

Rand Paul on Health Care : Oct 6, 2013
It's Congress' job to fight to change ObamaCare

Q: Why is ObamaCare even a matter of a negotiation when it's passed both houses of Congress, and upheld by the Supreme Court?

PAUL: Well, because it's Congress's job to oversee spending. The power of the purse resides with Congress and they fund programs every year. So it's not their obligation once something is law to never change it. So it's a silly argument for Democrats to say, "Oh, the law has been passed. We can't ever change it." Well that's what Congress's job is.

Q: You talk about compromise a lot with regard to ObamaCare. What part of ObamaCare do you like and want to keep?

PAUL: I don't really like any of ObamaCare. But I realize I'm not going to get my way. But we do control a third of the government. People did elect us to fight. I'm supposed to go and fight to make bills either less bad or make them better if possible. So I think it is my job to stand up and provide oversight for legislation. It's precisely what Congress is supposed to be doing. This is Congress's job.

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: Meet the Press 2013 interviews: 2016 presidential hopefuls

Hillary Clinton on Government Reform : Aug 12, 2013
Fight obstacles to voting disguised as election fraud claims

If the Voting Rights Act is not fixed [despite the Supreme Court's June 2013 ruling], Clinton warned, "citizens will be disenfranchised, victimized by the law instead of served by it, and that progress--that historical progress toward a more perfect union--will go backward instead of forward."

Clinton assailed what she considers an "unseemly rush" to make it harder for African Americans, Hispanics and other minorities to vote. She noted that this year, more than 80 bills restricting voting rights have been introduced in 31 states. "We've seen a sweeping effort across our country to construct new obstacles to voting, often undercover and addressing a phantom epidemic of election fraud," she said.

Clinton singled out 4 states in particular: FL, SC, TX, as well as NC, home to what she called the "greatest hits of voter suppression." Clinton said, "There are many problems in life that we can't fix, but preserving fairness and equality in our voting system is one that we can and that we should."

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Philip Rucker in Washington Post, "Demons of Discrimination"

Marco Rubio on Civil Rights : Jun 28, 2013
Defining marriage does not demean a class of people

I believe the Supreme Court made a serious mistake today when it overstepped its important, but limited role. I do not believe that Pres. Clinton and overwhelming bipartisan majorities of both houses of Congress acted with malice or intent to 'demean' a class of people when they adopted a uniform definition of marriage for the purposes of federal law. The Court should not have second guessed the will of the American people acting through their elected representatives without firm constitutional justifications. The sweeping language of today's majority opinion is more troubling than the ruling itself as it points to further interference by the Court in the years to come.

I recognize that the definition of marriage and the legal status of same-sex relationships is a deeply personal and emotional issue for Americans of a variety of viewpoints. These types of disagreements should be settled through the democratic process, not through litigation and court pronouncements.

Click for Marco Rubio on other issues.   Source: Press release on U.S. Supreme Court rulings on DOMA

Marco Rubio on Civil Rights : Jun 28, 2013
I believe in historical marriage, but ok if states redefine

I believe that marriage is a unique historical institution best defined as the union between one man and one woman. In the U.S., marriage has traditionally been defined by state law, and I believe each state, acting through their elected representatives or the ballot, should decide their own definition of marriage. For the purposes of federal law, however, Congress had every right to adopt a uniform definition and I regret that the Supreme Court would interfere with that determination.

I appreciate that many Americans' attitude towards same-sex marriage have changed in recent years. I respect the rights of states to allow same-sex marriages, even though I disagree with them. But I also expect that the decisions made by states like Florida to define marriage as between one man and one woman will also be respected.

I do not believe there exists a federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage. Therefore, I am glad the Supreme Court did not create one in the Proposition 8 case.

Click for Marco Rubio on other issues.   Source: Press release on U.S. Supreme Court rulings on DOMA

Rand Paul on Civil Rights : Jun 26, 2013
Redefining marriage leads to economic and moral problems

Earlier today, for example, the senator appeared on Glenn Beck's show to discuss the Supreme Court's ruling striking down the Defense of Marriage Act. The host suggested the ruling could lead to polygamy: "If you change one variable--man and a woman to man and man--you can logically change another variable--one man, three women."

For Paul, this seemed perfectly sensible. In fact, the senator went even further than Beck: "If we have no laws on this people take it to one extension further. Does it have to be humans? I'm kind of with you, I see the thousands-of-year tradition of the nucleus of the family unit. I also see that economically, if you just look without any kind of moral periscope and you say, what is it that is the leading cause of poverty in our country? It's having kids without marriage. The stability of the marriage unit is enormous and we should not just say oh we're punting on it, marriage can be anything."

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: Rachel Maddow blog on U.S. Supreme Court rulings on DOMA

Jeb Bush on Education : Mar 5, 2013
Civics & government for high school graduation

The lack of adequate civics education means that many Americans have little idea how their government works or how to effectively influence it. Indeed, nearly 2/3 of American cannot name all three branches of government and less than 1/2 can name a single Supreme Court justice--but 3/4 can correctly name all of the Three Stooges. The majority of American 8th graders could not explain the purpose of the Declaration of Independence, and only 5% of high school seniors could explain how Congress and the Supreme Court can check presidential power.

Even as we strengthen the immigration examination to ensure that newcomers understand American ideals and mechanisms for civic participation, we think in recent years, our education policy increasingly has recognized the importance of mastering subjects like math, science, and English. And yet we treat civics as a distant relative.

Click for Jeb Bush on other issues.   Source: Immigration Wars, by Jeb Bush, p. 60-61

Jeb Bush on Education : Mar 5, 2013
Education savings accounts: Fund students instead of schools

The best way for education policy to catch up with technology advances is to fund students rather than schools. After the Arizona Supreme Court struck down a voucher program for foster and disabled children under the state's Blaine Amendment, the Goldwater Institute proposed an innovative idea called education savings accounts. For any eligible student who leaves the public schools, the state each year deposits the student's share of state education spending in an account owned by the student's family. The accounts can be used for any educational expense, from private school tuition to distance learning, computer software, tutors, community college classes, and discrete public school services. Any money remaining can be saved for college.
Click for Jeb Bush on other issues.   Source: Immigration Wars, by Jeb Bush, p.193

Barack Obama on Welfare & Poverty : Feb 12, 2013
Community organizing brings about redistributive change

In a 2001 public radio interview, then-Illinois state senator Barack Obama said that the Constitution was too restrictive and didn't allow for the redistribution of wealth that he felt was needed in America.

"The Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society.

One of the tragedies of the civil rights movement was because the civil rights movement became so court-focused I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change."

During his presidency, we've seen Mr. Obama's many attempts to skirt the law and get around the Constitution to implement his redistribution agenda. His crowning achievement was one of the most immense pieces of redistributionist legislation in America history--the federal health care law.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Last Line of Defense, by Ken Cuccinelli, p. 37-38

Andrew Cuomo on Abortion : Jan 9, 2013
Let women make decision: pregnancy, adoption, or abortion

New York was a national leader protecting choice even before the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision. Governor Cuomo will continue to vigorously protect a woman's right to choose. Therefore, he will fight for passage of the Reproductive Health Act, which will protect the fundamental right of reproductive freedom and a woman's right to make private health care decisions. Several other states have already passed similar laws, including California,

A woman facing an unplanned or problem pregnancy should have the opportunity to make the best decision for herself and her family, whether her decision is continuing the pregnancy, adoption, or abortion.

Click for Andrew Cuomo on other issues.   Source: NY Rising 2013 State of the State booklet

Paul Ryan on Abortion : Oct 11, 2012
Judges shouldn't decide abortion; Congress should

Q: If the Romney-Ryan ticket is elected, should those who believe that abortion should remain legal be worried?

RYAN: We don't think that unelected judges should make this decision; that people, through their elected representatives and reaching a consensus in society through the democratic process, should make this determination.

BIDEN: The next president will get one or two Supreme Court nominees. That's how close Roe v. Wade is. Just ask yourself: With Robert Bork being the chief adviser on the court for Mr. Romney, who do you think he's likely to appoint? Do you think he's likely to appoint someone far right, that would outlaw abortion? I suspect that would happen. I guarantee you that will not happen [with Obama]. We picked people who are open-minded. They've been good justices.

RYAN: Was there a litmus test on them?

BIDEN: There was no litmus test. We picked people who had an open mind, did not come with an agenda.

Click for Paul Ryan on other issues.   Source: 2012 Vice Presidential debate

Joe Biden on Abortion : Oct 11, 2012
Romney will appoint pro-life Justice; Obama will not

Q: If the Romney-Ryan ticket is elected, should those who believe that abortion should remain legal be worried?

RYAN: We don't think that unelected judges should make this decision; that people, through their elected representatives and reaching a consensus in society through the democratic process, should make this determination.

BIDEN: The next president will get one or two Supreme Court nominees. That's how close Roe v. Wade is. Just ask yourself: With Robert Bork being the chief adviser on the court for Mr. Romney, who do you think he's likely to appoint? Do you think he's likely to appoint someone far right, that would outlaw abortion? I suspect that would happen. I guarantee you that will not happen [with Obama]. We picked people who are open-minded. They've been good justices.

RYAN: Was there a litmus test on them?

BIDEN: There was no litmus test. We picked people who had an open mind, did not come with an agenda.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: 2012 Vice Presidential debate

Elizabeth Warren on Civil Rights : Oct 11, 2012
We need a reliable vote for equal pay for equal work

As in their previous two debates, Warren cast Brown as an unreliable vote on women's issues, though she did so more crisply than before. In a direct appeal to women, she said that when Brown had the chance to vote for equal pay for equal work, he voted no; when he had the chance to vote for employers and insurers to pay for coverage for contraception, he voted no; when he had the chance to vote for a Supreme Court justice who supported abortion rights, he voted no. "The women of Massachusetts need a senator they can count on--not some of the time but all of the time," she said. Whether abortion remains legal, she said, "may hang in the balance."

Brown shot back that "I didn't vote for your boss," a reference to Justice Elena Kagan, who was dean of the Harvard Law School. He said Kagan didn't have the requisite judicial experience.

Click for Elizabeth Warren on other issues.   Source: N.Y. Times on 2012 Mass. Senate debates

Elizabeth Warren on Abortion : Sep 21, 2012
No Supreme Court nominees who oppose legal abortion

Warren tried to portray Brown as unreliable on women's issues. Warren said she would not vote to support a U.S. Supreme Court nominee who opposes legal abortion. She criticized Brown for opposing the nomination of Elena Kagan to the court.

Brown described himself as "pro-choice" and said he opposed Kagan because she didn't have enough courtroom experience for the high court. "Sorry I didn't vote for your boss," Brown said, referring to Kagan's tenure as dean of Harvard Law School. Warren pointed to a Brown vote in favor of a proposed amendment that would allow employers to deny insurance coverage for birth control. Brown said he supports women's access to birth control but was trying to protect the concerns of Roman Catholics.

Click for Elizabeth Warren on other issues.   Source: North Adams Transcript on 2012 Mass. Senate debate

Rand Paul on Environment : Sep 12, 2012
Navigable waters should mean permanently flowing

What is a "navigable stream," exactly? Well, as one Corps agent admitted, "Whatever we say it is." The Supreme Court didn't define navigable waters, but it did say, at least, that citizens have the right to contest in court the Corps' assertions concerning what constitutes a wetland.

It remains a dangerous situation, though, because the definition of "navigable" is still nebulous and arbitrarily decided by the Corps. Congress has abdicated its responsibility to provide clear laws and guidelines for regulators and citizens to follow. I have introduced the Defense of the Environment and Property Act of 2012 in order to:

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: Government Bullies, by Rand Paul, p. 90-92

Mitt Romney on Abortion : Sep 11, 2012
Since 1960s, illegal for states to ban contraception

In the January 6, 2012, Republican primary debate, ABC's George Stephanopoulos blurted a question [that] was strange, out of left field. Since the 1960s, it has been illegal under relevant US Supreme Court rulings for a state to ban contraception. Romney himself was taken aback by the question. "George," he said, "this is an unusual topic that you're raising. Given that there's no state that wants to do so, and I don't know of any candidate that wants to do so, you're asking could it be constitutionally done?"

But Stephanopoulos didn't want an answer. He wanted to make a point. "Do you believe states have that right or not?" he reiterated.

"George," Romney answered," I don't know if the state has a right to ban contraception, no state wants to! The idea of you putting forward things that states MIGHT want to do, that no state wants to do, and then asking me whether they can do it or not is kind of a silly thing."

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: Planned Bullyhood, by Karen Handel, p.180

Barack Obama on Government Reform : Aug 30, 2012
Constitutional Amendment to overturn Citizens United

President Barack Obama says the nation should consider mobilizing behind a constitutional amendment process to overturn the Supreme Court ruling that loosened restrictions on money in politics.

Obama made the comment Wednesday in an online chat with the website Reddit. The 2010 Citizens United ruling paved the way for a flood of campaign cash from corporations, unions and wealthy interests.

The president says that even if the amendment process fell short, "it can shine a spotlight" on super PACs and, in his words, "help apply pressure for change."

Obama says that in the meantime there's a need for more disclosure of the large campaign contributions flowing into super PACs and that such contributions, quote, "fundamentally threaten to overwhelm the political process."

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Boston Globe, "Amendment on Money in Politics"

Rand Paul on Health Care : Aug 29, 2012
ObamaCare is still unconstitutional, despite Supreme Court

When the Supreme Court upheld ObamaCare, the first words out of my mouth were: I still think it is unconstitutional!

The leftwing blogs were merciless. Even my wife said--can't you pleeeease count to ten before you speak? So, I've had time now to count to ten and, you know what? I still think it's unconstitutional!

Do you think Justice Scalia and Justice Thomas have changed their minds? I think if James Madison himself--the father of the Constitution--were here today he would agree with me: The whole damn thing is still unconstitutional!

This debate is not new and it's not over. Hamilton and Madison fought from the beginning about how government would be limited by the enumerated powers. Madison was unequivocal. The powers of the federal government are few and defined. The power to tax and spend is restricted by the enumerated powers.

So, how do we fix this travesty of justice? There's only one option left. We have to have a new president!

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: 2012 Republican National Convention speech

  • Additional quotations related to Supreme Court issues can be found under Government Reform.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Government Reform.
Candidates on Government Reform:
Incumbents:
Pres.Barack Obama
V.P.Joe Biden
Secy.John Kerry
Secy.Chuck Hagel

 Related issues:
Campaign Finance
Contraception
Federal Reserve
Privacy
Stem Cells
Tort Reform

2016 Presidential contenders:
Amb.John Bolton(R-MD)
Gov.Jeb Bush(R-FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(T-MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(R-NJ)
Secy.Hillary Clinton(D-NY)
Sen.Ted Cruz(T-TX)
Gov.Andrew Cuomo(D-NY)
CEO Carly Fiorina(R-CA)
Rep.Peter King(R-NY)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(D-MD)
Sen.Rand Paul(R-KY)
Sen.Marco Rubio(R-FL)
Sen.Bernie Sanders(I-VT)
Gov.Brian Schweitzer(D-MT)
Gov.Scott Walker(R-WI)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren(D-MA)
Sen.James Webb(D-VA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura(I-MN)
2012 Presidential:
Rep.Michele Bachmann(T-MN)
Mayor Michael Bloomberg(I-NYC)
Mayor Rahm Emanuel(D-IL)
Rep.Newt Gingrich(R-GA)
Gov.Nikk Haley(R-SC)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(R-AR)
Gov.Jon Huntsman(R-UT)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(R-LA)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Gov.Sarah Palin(R-AK)
Gov.Deval Patrick(D-MA)
Rep.Ron Paul(R-TX)
Gov.Rick Perry(R-TX)
Sen.Rob Portman(R-OH)
Gov.Mitt Romney(R-MA)
Rep.Paul Ryan(R-WI)
Sen.Rick Santorum(R-PA)
Donald Trump(I-NY)
Please consider volunteering for OnTheIssues!
Click for details -- or send donations to:
1770 Mass Ave. #630, Cambridge MA 02140
E-mail: submit@OnTheIssues.org
(We rely on your support!)

Page last updated: Aug 17, 2015