Three out of four Iowa Republican candidates for U.S. Senate said Friday they would block any federal judge appointee who did not have a “biblical view of justice” or follow “natural law” as handed down from God.
The discussion came up at a forum hosted by The Family Leader, an organization that lavished money on a 2010 campaign to oust the Iowa justices who ruled that marriage equality was required by Iowa’s constitution.
When asked by moderator and right-wing commentator Erick Erickson what criteria they would use in confirming federal judges, the candidates tried to one-up each other to emphasize the importance of Biblical law. Sam Clovis, who recently asserted that Obama remains in office solely because Republicans are afraid of impeaching a black president, said any judicial nominees must be able to “explain to me natural law and natural rights.” Matt Whitaker went even farther, specifying that judges must be “people of the faith” with “a biblical view of justice.” State Sen. Joni Ernst stressed that judges must have an “understanding where the Constitution came from and our laws, and they all did come from God.”
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“Biblical law” is often used as a code for opposition to marriage equality among social conservatives, and to promote a patriarchal family structure with one man and one woman.
Despite the Republican Party’s efforts to reach out to a more moderate audience, this year’s crop of Republican primary candidates nationwide seem to be competing to hold the most extreme views. All of the GOP Senate candidates in North Carolina and Colorado have denied climate change exists. Georgia’s Senate race has also been characterized by candidates refusing to support any bill that does not fit “Judeo-Christian Biblical principles,” creationists denying evolution, and multiple calls to impeach President Obama.