Chicago Sun-Times
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Sweet column: Obama broad constructionist on Constitution when it comes to abortion, other issues.

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WASHINGTON -- Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) previewed what would be his presidential philosophy in appointing Supreme Court justices Tuesday to a group dedicated to preserving abortion rights.

Speaking to a receptive crowd at a Planned Parenthood event, Obama, asked about how to make sure justices back abortion rights, said the court needs justices who believe the Constitution need to be broadly interpreted.

"There is nothing wrong in voting against nominees who don't share a broader vision of what the Constitution is about.

"The Constitution can be interpreted in so many ways, and one way is a cramped and narrow way in which the Constitution and the courts essentially become rubber stamps for the powerful in society. And then there is another vision of the court that says that the courts are the refuge of the powerless because often times they may lose in the democratic back and forth; they may be locked out, prevented from fully participating in the democratic process."

Asked later how he would determine the views of a judge, Obama said, "you get a pretty good sense from someone's writings, someone's body of work what their judicial philosophy is."

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He sounds sensible, as always.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on July 18, 2007 6:29 AM.

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