LUNGREN: Vows Not To Make Abortion ‘Litmus Test’ For Judges
Stating he would not use abortion as a "litmus test in appointing judges," staunchly pro-life California Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Lungren said he will vote for both California Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald George and Associate Justice Ming Chin, whose reelection campaigns have been targeted by pro-life voters over the judges' decision to strike down a parental consent law for minors' abortions. While his announcement effectively reverses his earlier position, Lungren's endorsement stops short of stumping or financial support for the judges. Although Lungren pledged to "lead a charge" to reinstate the parental consent law, he added that he did not want to "politicize" the effort by taking "a formal stand on the jurists." Lungren said the change of heart comes "because I believe they're honorable people. And I believe that they would follow the law. If we're successful in changing the parental consent law by amending the California Constitution, I'm absolutely convinced they'll follow that." He added, "As I've always told people, do not vote against somebody because of a single issue. I still very, very strongly disagree with the (court) opinion. I think it was poorly written. I think it was judicial activism, and I was extremely disappointed. But I don't knock somebody off a court because of a single decision." The Los Angeles Times calls Lungren's move a "smoothing of ideological rough edges" necessary to attract centrist voters. A recent Times poll "found 45% of moderates saying they're less likely to vote for Lungren because of his abortion views," while just 7% "are more likely to." The poll also found Lungren's democratic opponent, Gray Davis (D), leading by 71% to 22% among moderates, and ahead 11% overall. The paper said that "[n]o candidate can win a statewide election in California without getting almost half the moderate vote," and so far, "abortion seems" to be Lungren's "biggest vulnerability" among these voters (Skelton, 10/26).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.