Yesterday, Keith Rothfus, the Republican nominee in Pennsylvania’s 4th congressional district, attended a house party in Cranberry Township and discussed his political views for about an hour. At first, he echoed the views of most GOP candidates: if Republicans don’t succeed in repealing the new health care law, they would take the unprecedented step to defund the reforms. Rothfus was categorical in his opposition to supporting any aspect of the law, pledging that he “will not fund one Obamacare office.”
However, Rothfus took his defund-mantra a step further. When asked by a constituent whether or not Congress can override the Supreme Court, Rothfus argued that Congress could simply strip funding from the Supreme Court if it makes a decision he disagrees with. Said Rothfus, “if the Supreme Court rules you have to do something, we’ll just take away funding for it”:
CONSTITUENT: Keith, I have a question concerning the courts. It seems that the courts are having the final say on these matters, the Supreme Court. But isn’t it the Congress that can ultimately override the Supreme Court, the checks and balances?
ROTHFUS: Yeah, there are different checks and balances you can do. Congress’s ultimate weapon is funding. If the Supreme Court rules you have to do something, we’ll just take away funding for it. You can always pass a constitutional amendment. I myself have several amendments I’m thinking of. One is to tell the Supreme Court that when you consider American constitutional principles, American constitutional rights, you cannot rely on foreign law to adjudicate those. We have certain members of the Court who want to draw from Europe, and draw from Europe, Europe, and Europe. They’ll never want to draw from Saudi Arabia or something. They talk about these international evolving standards of decency, and they’re always talking about western Europe, which is dying. They want to incorporate really socialist principles into our constitutional regime.
ThinkProgress originally believed that Rothfus’s remarks were in favor of defunding the Supreme Court. But upon further review, it appears Rothfus is saying he would defund the decisions made by the Supreme Court. The title has been changed accordingly, and we apologize for the confusion.