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Santorum uses policy speech to denounce courts

GOP presidential candidate and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum went after the judicial branch during a policy speech Friday morning in Iowa, advocating for abolishing the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and amending the Constitution to overturn Roe v. Wade and ban same-sex marriage.

“One of the things I’m most passionate about is the usurpation of authority the judiciary has done over the last couple decades in this country,” Santorum told a crowd of about 50 in Urbandale.

Santorum said it’s clear to him the U.S. Constitution gives the judicial branch the least power because it’s listed third in the articles, after the legislative and executive branches. He also questioned whether the Constitution allows for courts outside of the U.S. Supreme Court, and said the two other branches established those courts.

“They can establish them, and if those courts violate the Constitution and do things that they should be stopped from doing, they have the power to repeal those courts, to abolish these courts,” said the Pennsylvania Republican.

The “poster child for rogue courts” is the 9th Circuit, he said, accusing it of rewriting the Constitution. He wants to break the 9th Circuit into two or three separate courts and replace all the judges.

“This will be a very important signal to be sent to the judiciary that they are an equal branch of government, not a superior branch of government,” Santorum said, seemingly contradicting earlier statements.

And while Santorum said he’s “not a big fan” of Constitutional amendments, it’s the only thing that’s left “when the courts have run roughshod.” He wants amendments to ban same-sex marriage and abortion.

“Since they amended the Constitution by legal decision, they only way to legitimately turn around and overturn this interpretation of the Constitution is to clarify it for them and let them know exactly what our country wants,” he said.

He called the Roe v. Wade decision “a legal fiction” that says “not all human life are people.”

“Well we know for a fact that at the moment of fertilization we have an entity that is a unique human being with its own unique DNA and that it is alive,” Santorum said. “Therefore by any biological definition it is a human life, and as a human life it should be treated with the same dignity of all human life in our society.”

He called for a Constitutional amendment defining personhood as the moment of fertilization.

“My proposal is let’s help out the United States Supreme Court determine what a person is, since they seem to have such a hard time figuring that out,” Santorum said.

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