Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Tuesday night that as president he would ignore a U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down an anti-abortion law.


During a debate sponsored by Personhood USA, Perry was asked what he would do if the Supreme Court ruled against a law "making clear that Fourteenth Amendment protections apply to unborn children."

"Well, obviously you enforce the right to life opinion," he responded.

Personhood USA, a Colorado-based Christian organization, has pushed for so-called "personhood amendments" to state constitutions that would prohibit the intentional taking of prenatal life. Perry and other Republican presidential candidates have signed Personhood USA’s pledge to support personhood amendments at the state and federal level.

Republican presidential hopefuls Michele Bachmann and Newt Gingrich have also said they would disregard Supreme Court rulings with which they disagreed.

Gingrich has gone as far as suggesting that Congress should direct U.S. Marshals to arrest judges and question their rulings. He also vowed to abolish federal courts if he disagreed with their decisions.

The president of a national organization dedicated to the preservation of the U.S. justice system has repudiated Gingrich for his controversial remarks.

"In short, even though he would take an oath to uphold the Constitution and laws of the United States, he would not honor that oath," Harry T. Widmann of the American Board of Trial Advocates said in a statement on Tuesday. "To disagree with a judge or a judicial decision is the right of every American. However, to advocate for the elimination of a judicial bench or court because of such disagreement shows a profound disrespect for the rule of law and for the basic principles of our Constitution."

"Americans need to remember that our courts, insulated as they are from political manipulation, represent the last line of defense for our precious individual liberties," Widmann added.

Photo credit: Jon Mallard, Creative Commons licensed