Rick Perry’s campaign tried to rescue him from the mistake of saying there were 8 justices on the Supreme Court by claiming that he was talking about a case that he was not, in fact, talking about.
Rick Perry’s campaign today said the Texas governor’s reference to eight U.S. Supreme Court justices Friday was in regard to a ruling where all but one voted differently than what he thought was appropriate.
Perry on Friday in a meeting with The Des Moines Register’s editorial board spoke about his belief that prayer in public schools should be allowed…
Perry’s campaign today said that the 2012 Republican presidential candidate was referencing a 1963 case known as Abington School District v. Schempp, when the court ruled that school-sponsored Bible reading is unconstitutional. The vote was 8-1.
Perry in the meeting with the Register did not specifically mention the name of the case but did – about five minutes before making the “eight” comment — note a 1962 case while discussing school prayer. (The actual case was argued and decided in 1963.)
But Schempp wasn’t about school prayer, it was about mandatory Bible reading. As the article notes, the school prayer decision was Engle v Vitale in 1963. So no, he was not talking that case — but the amusing thing is that he’s too ignorant even to know what case he was talking about. In fact, when you look at the full transcript, it’s even worse than it looked before:
Doing away with the federal government? The one you’re running to lead? Yeah, that makes sense.
Question: As president you have to represent all Americans. By saying this president has declared war on religion, some people of this country who are of diverse faiths might read that as you would declare war on their religion.
PERRY: “Well, they would be wrong is how I would say that straight up.”
Question: You talk about state rights in terms of defending the constitution. You don’t see a role for the federal courts to uniformly interpret the First Amendment to defend religious rights in all 50 states?
PERRY: “No, here’s what I see happening with the First Amendment. And this goes back to 1962 and that case where you can’t have an organized prayer to an almighty God as I believe the way it was. I’m not a lawyer and I haven’t studied these cases in depth. But the idea that the court is telling us whether or not we can have prayer in school is really a bit offensive to me. That should be a decision at the local level. It’s one of the reasons I’ve called for doing away with the federal government.
Question : Just to clarify. When you talk about day of prayer or prayer in schools are you talking Christian prayer or non-denominational prayer?
PERRY: “What I’m saying is it’s not the government’s business to be telling folks that at the state level. Obviously if a school is a Jewish school in Dallas, Texas, that private school should be able to do that.”
Question: They can. The issue is public schools.
PERRY: “Well then the independent school boards that oversee those should make those decisions, not government. Again, I mean, the idea that we have to be so politically correct that there’s one family that says, ‘Listen, I don’t want my child,’ then that child ought to have the freedom — can sit over there and play Tic Tac Toe or what have you. But the issue is that for Washington to tell a local school district that you cannot have a prayer and a time of prayer in that school, I think, is offensive to most Americans. I trust the people of the states to make those decisions, I trust those independent school districts to make those decisions better than eight unelected and, frankly, unaccountable judges. And it’s one of the reasons that I’ve called for the end of lifetime appointments to federal judgeships. I would go to some set term.”
How many imbecilities do you count? First, he doesn’t know the difference between a private school and a public school. Second, he doesn’t seem to know that public school boards are the government. They are elected public officials running a government agency. This man isn’t qualified to run the night shift at a Taco Bell.