LUNGREN: Position On Judges ‘Troubling,’ Political Editor Says
"One especially troubling aspect" of pro-life activists' attempt to remove state Supreme Court Justices Ron George and Ming Chin "is the unwillingness of GOP gubernatorial nominee Dan Lungren, a longtime opponent of abortion, to support George and Chin, based entirely on their parental-consent opinion," McClatchy Newspapers political editor John Jacobs writes in Saturday's San Francisco Examiner. The two judges voted to overturn the state's parental consent measure, earning the wrath of pro-lifers. Jacobs states that "Lungren's position undercuts his own insistence that governors don't have very much to do with abortion and that it isn't terribly relevant as an issue." He argues that "Lungren has sought to finesse the abortion issue by insisting that a governor really only has impact on abortion in three areas: what abortion opponents call 'partial-birth' abortion; parental consent; and government-funded abortions. What he didn't say was that governors appoint hundreds of judges -- including state Supreme Court justices -- who make major rulings on abortion, as George and Chin so clearly did." Jacobs asks, "If Lungren is willing to withhold his endorsement of two eminently qualified jurists on the basis of one abortion-related decision, what does that say about appointments a Gov. Lungren would make to the state Supreme Court? Would he use abortion as a litmus test?" He concludes, "With pro-choice Wilson as governor these last eight years, abortion has been a settled issue, by and large. ... But with an activist anti-abortion governor -- who has certainly sent a powerful signal on the George-Chin retention issue -- that would no longer be the case. ... And then it could indeed become a 'major' issue" (10/3).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.