Rick Santorum’s Prop 8 Comments Make Clear He’s Not Fit to Be President

Rick SantorumWhat Rick Santorum thinks about California's proposition 8 has never been in contention. The Republican presidential candidate who swept the primaries in Missouri, Minnesota, and Colorado this week is a conservative Roman Catholic known for his anti-gay rhetoric. But if the former Pennsylvania senator's comments in the wake of the 9th Circuit Court's decision to overturn Prop 8 on constitutional grounds don't scare voters, there's something wrong with this country.

Santorum's full statement on the decision is not surprisingly ranty. He's unhappy (to say the least) with what he calls an "activist ruling" by the 9th Circuit. But then the presidential candidate wanders into some dangerous territory.


Today's decision by the 9th Circuit is another in a long line of radical activist rulings by this rogue circuit -- and it is precisely why I have called for that circuit to be abolished and split up.

Wait a minute. An entire federal circuit court should be "abolished and split up"? Because they have done something that Rick Santorum doesn't agree with? Who cares what Rick Santorum agrees with? No really, who cares? He is one man. He simply does not have that sort of authority now, nor would he if he were president. Maybe that's how things work in facist countries, Rick, but in America, we are fortunate to have freedom of thought. The judiciary works for the people, not one person.

Oh, but it gets worse. The same guy who thinks he should get the biggest job in the country shows he lacks a basic understanding of how the American justice system works. Said Santorum:

The people of California spoke clearly at the ballot box that they wanted marriage defined in the traditional manner of one man and one woman. And for a court, any court, to usurp the power and will of the people in this manner on an issue this fundamental to the foundation of our society is wrong.

Yes, the people spoke at the ballot box. But that does not make the people infallible. The point of a judiciary in this country is to uphold the law. The justices on the 9th Circuit -- as in others -- are bound by their obligation to follow the instructions drawn up by our forefathers in the form of the United States Constitution. The "will of the people," as it stands in our democracy, is to abide by said Constitution. Its rules supersede any other decisions by the public, just as the laws of the federal government supersede those made in the individual states. 

And so a court doesn't usurp the power of the people at all. It ensures that some misguided majority does not have the ability to sneak through unconstitutional laws that would deny an entire sector of the population the basic human rights upon which our country, the United States of America, was built. Prop 8 wasn't overturned because it was the "will" of the court. It was overturned because it violated our Constitution. Period.

This is basic civics. If Rick Santorum doesn't know this or -- worse -- if Rick Santorum does not want to follow this, he has no business being our president.

How does this affect your thoughts on Santorum's candidacy for the GOP nomination?


Image via CafeLindsay/Flickr

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