More On McDonnell

A reader writes:

I think you dropped a line in your recent post about Robert McDonnell's thesis for Regent University, inadvertently conflating his opinions about the Supreme Court's 1965 decision in Griswold with a 1972 followup in Eisenstadt. The missing line is important, because his views on Griswold are much more radical than the excerpt suggests.

Here's the original, from the Wikipedia page you cite: "[he] criticized Griswold v. Connecticut for "attempting to create a view of liberty based on radical individualism, while facilitating statist control of select family issues," and described the Eisenstadt v. Baird decision as "illogical." In Griswold, the court upheld the right of married people to purchase contraceptives. In Eisenstadt, the court extended the right of contraception to unmarried couples -- this is the "illogical" extension that McDonnell appears to be complaining about.

The Griswold decision was the first to enunciate a "right of privacy" implicit in the Bill of Rights -- a "right" which later became the basis for the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade. McDonnell's position, based on the full quote, appears to be that the "right to privacy" is "radical individualism." He goes on to state that, after Roe and its progeny, "the Court had, for all practical purposes, obliterated the difference between marriage and non-marriage, by replacing the sacred convenantal view of marriage with the positivistic view that a marriage is but an act of the state."

Many legal scholars have criticized the logic of Griswold and Roe by contending that there is no legal authority for finding "implicit" rights in the Constitution. To those scholars, if a right is not explicitly stated, it doesn't exist. But McDonnell's position, as stated in this paper, seems to go far beyond that. He appears to believe that the government doesn't have the right to rule about marriage and family matters at all, since they are "sacred covenants" and not legal creations.

He is a radical theocrat. Which makes him right at home in Virginia's GOP.