I certainly dislike Fred Thompson, but I don’t think it’s fair to say that he’s declared his opposition to Griswold v. Connecticut, as Scott Lemieux seems to think he has. Thompson is quoted as saying that Roe v. Wade was “fabricated out of whole cloth,” which Lemieux takes to mean that Thompson doesn’t think Roe has valid precedents behind it, and hence that Griswold, the main precedent cited in Roe, is wrong. Lemieux’s mistake is in thinking that Thompson knew what he was saying. To me, declaring a decision unpopular with one’s base “fabricated” seems more designed to overshadow one’s past support for abortion rights than to espouse a deep-seeded judicial doctrine. That said, in the general election, the Democrat should demand a position on Griswold from the Republican. It’s a no-win situation for the Republican: if he states that he does support it, he pisses off his right-to-lifer base and reduces turnout, while if he opposes it, that’s an easy attack line, given that opposing a constitutional right to privacy (and defending contraceptive bans) is pretty out there.

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