Bachmann’s Constitutional Flameout
by Sarah Posner, September 6, 2011
At yesterday’s Republican candidate forum in South Carolina, Princeton professor Robert George, drafter of the religious right manifesto the Manhattan Declaration and founder of the American Principles Project, befuddled the participants with a line of questioning about abortion and the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.
Michele Bachmann, who has a law degree and is an old hand in anti-abortion politics, looked genuinely confused by George’s line of questioning. That’s because George was proposing not merely the appointment of anti-Roe justices to the Supreme Court. He wasn’t just proposing a Human Life Amendment to the Constitution. Rather, George was raising the 14th Amendment as a vehicle for Congress to pass legislation that would confer equal protection under the law to fetuses, much like the civil rights laws conferred protected status based on race, sex, and other factors.