[Posted by Karl]
CBS’s Katie Couric asked Vice-presidential nominees Sarah Palin and Joe Biden their views on the Supreme Court’s decision on Roe v. Wade and whether there were other Supreme Court decisions with which they disagreed:
However, Biden fares little better. He filibusters the follow-up, complaining about the Supreme Court decision invalidating part of the Violence Against Women Act. He does not actually name U.S. v. Morrison, which raises the question of whether he remembered it only because of his direct involvement in drafting the part of the law the Supreme Court invalidated. (Ironically, the ACLU opposed the original version of the VAWA on the ground that it allegedly violated the right to privacy.)
Worse, in the first question, Biden lectures Couric about the trimester framework of Roe, which he calls as close to a consensus as America can get. In reality, the Supreme Court
ruled signaled that the trimester framework had “proved to be unsound in principle and unworkable in practice” in the 1989 case of plurality opinion in Webster v. Reproductive Health Services.* The trimester framework has been bad law for 19 years.
Palin, having spent her days dealing with state issues as Governor of Alaska, might be expected to stumble over these sorts of questions, which is probably why Couric asked them. Biden has been on the Senate Judiciary Committee for decades — what’s his excuse?
Update: Here’s video of Palin disagreeing with the Supreme Court’s opinion reducing the punitive damages awarded in Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker.
UPDATE BY PATTERICO: Sorry, but this is just embarrassing. I’ve become far less confident over the past few days that Palin is up to the job; much of the interview with Gibson could be explained away as the product of distorted editing, but this is a bit much. That said, in the videos I’ve seen of her interviews and debates before the 2006 Alaska gubernatorial election, she was impressive. I wonder which Sarah Palin we’ll see tomorrow.
She had better do well — and then, she had better get out there and start engaging with journalists. If this doesn’t happen, in a decisively impressive way, you may be adding me to the ranks of the Kathleen Parkers and David Frums of the world.
UPDATE BY KARL: I don’t disagree much with Patterico on Palin’s answer — which is why I linked to criticisms of it from the Left and Right. But inasmuch as the criticism of Palin is already widespread, I thought it worth noting what others were not — i.e., that Biden was not called on his babbling about the legally discared trimester framework of Roe, just as he was not savaged by the MSM for babbling about FDR being president and on television in 1929, exaggerating his adventures in Afghanistan and Iraq, and so on, as SPQR notes in the first comment below.