GOP Candidates’ Judicial Activism Fixation Should Alarm Voters

COMMENTARY| The GOP presidential candidates' debate on Fox News took place in Sioux City, Iowa, Dec. 15, featuring participants like former House Speaker Newt Gingrich blasting the role of judicial activism at the federal level and deeming some judges as "radically anti-American," as reported by The Raw Story.

While GOP presidential hopefuls were given a forum to spout rhetoric over judicial activism, even bringing up past president Thomas Jefferson abolishing 18 federal judges, people should be clear that their discussion on this subject is coded in ultimately desiring to curtail the rights of women regarding abortion.

Nonetheless, Megyn Kelly, one of the Fox News moderators, seemed quite satisfied with herself for bringing up an issue not given ample airtime in prior debates. And rightfully, for voters need to know the attitudes of the GOP presidential hopefuls when it comes to legal decisions that will affect their lives dramatically, even as Gingrich was quite emphatic about abolishing the Ninth Circuit court partly because the "one nation under God" words in the Pledge of Allegiance were declared unconstitutional by the entity, which the Fox News clip at The Raw Story article alluded to.

But make no mistake, when conservatives talk about "judicial activism," blamed for the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, and which commentaries at websites like that of the Harvard Law Record use as an example, they are sending a coded message to their followers about their desire to eradicate a woman's right to choose. This quest by the right to purge what they see as judicial activism goes way beyond what should or shouldn't be in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Yet the GOP is out of touch with the American people over this divisive issue; earlier this year, a Gallup Poll showed that more Americans see themselves as "pro-choice" as opposed to being "pro-life," by 49 percent to 45 percent.

Conservative lawmakers and presidential candidates continue to show a lack of respect for the will of the people over controversial issues, especially when their views are in the minority. For instance, their state of being out of touch with the majority of American sentiment also applies to making the wealthy pay more in taxes.

The majority of "self-identified Republicans" surveyed last October (53 percent) believe higher taxes should be applied on households that make more than $250,000 annually, according to a Bloomberg-Washington Post poll. This doesn't stop GOP and tea party lawmakers on Capitol Hill from fighting tooth and nail to make sure the rich don't pay one more cent in taxes, thanks to their allegiance to Grover Norquist.

The Fox News moderator should be commended for bringing up an important legal issue because it gives discerning voters a chance to see what these GOP candidates really want to do to America as they rail against judicial activism: that is, to take away the rights of women regarding a personal decision, which will be "priority one" for them if they are given the opportunity.