October 1st, 2008
09:48 PM ET
14 years ago

Palin has difficulty naming court case she disagrees with


[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/01/art.cbs.cnn.jpg caption="Couric interviewed Palin last week."](CNN) - Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin had difficulty naming a specific Supreme Court case she disagreed with besides Roe v. Wade in a long-awaited clip CBS News aired Wednesday night.

The comments, first reported by Politico, came in an interview with CBS News anchor Katie Couric taped last week.

"Well, let's see. There's –of course –in the great history of American rulings there have been rulings, that's never going to be absolute consensus by every American," Palin said. "And there are–those issues, again, like Roe v Wade, where I believe are best held on a state level and addressed there. So you know–going through the history of America, there would be others but–"

"Can you think of any?" Couric interjected.

"Well, I could think of–of any again, that could be best dealt with on a more local level, maybe I would take issue with," Palin responded. "But you know, as mayor, and then as governor and even as a vice president, if I'm so privileged to serve, wouldn't be in a position of changing those things but in supporting the law of the land as it reads today."

Palin's comments came in the same interview during which she gave a widely-panned answer on the economic bailout bill and had trouble describing John McCain's record on regulation of the financial industry.

The interview later became the subject of Saturday Night Live's opening sketch last weekend.

Cafferty Blog: Are Palin’s interviews with Couric helping her?

When Couric posed the same question to Joe Biden, the Democratic VP candidate and longtime member of the Senate Judiciary Committee said he disagreed with a ruling that invalidated a portion of the Violence Against Women Act.

"You know, I’m the guy who wrote the Violence Against Women act. And I said that every woman in America if they are beaten and abused by a man should be able to take that person to court. Meaning you should be able to go to federal court and sue in federal court the man who abused you if you can prove that abuse," Biden said. "But they said no that a woman, there’s no federal jurisdiction and I held, they acknowledged, I held about 1,000 hours of hearings proving that there’s an effect in interstate commerce."

"Women who are abused and beaten and beaten are women who are not able to be in the work force. And the Supreme Court said there is an impact on commerce but this is federalizing a private crime and we’re not going to allow it. I think the Supreme Court was wrong about that decision," he continued.

Filed under: Extra • Sarah Palin
soundoff (623 Responses)
  1. a grad student in biomed research

    Sen. McCain, you touted so many times that Sen. Obama isn't fit to lead. Now, I am asking you respectfully, do you think Gov Palin is fit to lead?

    October 1, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  2. Ken

    I bet I could go down to my old middle school, where we had civics in eighth grade, and ask them about Supreme Court cases, and they'd be able to rattle off at least five.

    October 1, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  3. Johnnie

    Wow! What can I say? Many of these critical issues that Palin is ignorant of are taught in high school, at least in freshman college courses. How can a VP candidated come across as more ignorant that she already has. Pathetic indeed! And just sad, I almost feel sorry for her-almost.

    October 1, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  4. Hopeful in LA

    Doug - Palin's ignorance is neither Couric's fault nor the "liberal media elite" (whatever that is). If she were up to the position of VP, she wouldn't be so easily stumped. Face it, her work experience as mayor and governor is just too narrow to have prepared her for the second-highest position in our great country. We deserve better. She is just not qualified.

    October 1, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  5. Cindy

    Well, in fairness to her, court cases are not her forte. Biden's an attorney. So is Obama.

    Let's just call it what it is... McCain made a political choice for his VP. Somebody he thought could bolster his conservative cred. He didn't even know her, and now he's spending an inordinant amount of time protecting her. Palin is not qualified. McCain makes dumb decisions. Perhaps there is a large population of America that still wants a not-qualified and dumb decision maker in the Whitehouse. That's their choice. I'm just going to chose the 2 smart guys. I sure hope others will join me.

    October 1, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  6. Hillary Supporter for McCain/Palin

    Couric how about ethical journalism! Your ratings are low!!!

    October 1, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  7. Cory

    So the vice presidential choices are a lady who can't name a Supreme Court case she disagrees with, and a guy who thinks that the Interstate Commerce clause gives the Federal Government jurisdiction in domestic abuse crimes.


    October 1, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  8. ucla02

    wait till mr.barack ladin obama get into the white house. every tree
    in the south guess who will be hang,pay back time is a real pain for
    all the brown noses.

    October 1, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  9. Russell

    Sarah Palin Please......Save yourself while you're still Govenor of Alaska. Everyone including me would like to be Pesident or Vice President and to be considered isa Honor, But we all have to recognize our own limitation. I know I'm not qualified and neither are YOU!!! Go take care of Alaska. The Country will Thank You...That would really take guts and Leadership to tell Mc Cain... Thanks But No Thanks. You were being used by Mc Cain and He should be ashamed of himself. He needs to beg for your forgiveness.

    October 1, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  10. Jim B

    If she promises to end evolution I will vote for her. So far she seems to be doing fairly well at it.

    October 1, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  11. Eva

    Oy, oy, I am a "new " American and I know about the Supreme Court decision in Exxon -Valdez case ! It was news this summer in almost all the news papers she said she is reading......

    October 1, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  12. Alice

    Doug, how did Couric "corner" Palin? She asked her the exact same question she asked Biden. I guess Couric "cornered" Joe Biden too.

    October 1, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  13. JonInATL4Obama

    uh golly gosh gee wiz..."what was the question again?" – What a mess! Republicans need to realize she could be the next leader of the USA. Do you really want this hardly educated individual running our country?

    October 1, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  14. Dealt

    Good grief... Palin's being crammed as if leading America is a one-time exam... I think she has relied too heavily on her girlish posturing to get her through life and now the campaign and possibly the vice-presidency. However, there's no possible comparison between let us say, Hillary's strength, and Palin's giggles and ingenue voice and gestures. It's scary, the thought that this nice, ineffective, mainly idealess lady may find herself in a position to lead the country

    October 1, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  15. Mikey in San Antonio

    Gov. Palin, important cases are usually covered in high school government. Do they not offer that in Alaska? Maybe instead of looking at Alaska from your back yard, you should invest in some high school American government textbooks.

    October 1, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  16. Tempered

    I think this is an elaborate ruse by the McCain campaign to set up really low expectations of their VP candidate. No one running for VP could actually have answered these questions that way Palin has. It can't be real - can it?

    October 1, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  17. Johnnie


    October 1, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  18. J. S.

    It doesn't bother me that she can't name a decision. What bothers me is her failure to make a complete sentence that communicates a distinct thought. What is she trying to say????????

    October 1, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  19. chase


    October 1, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  20. JonJon

    "uh golly gosh gee wiz, what was the question?" Do we really want this individual a heart beat from the presidency?


    October 1, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  21. AMY



    October 1, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  22. Bill A

    It was easier to find Waldo than to find her brain..

    October 1, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  23. EE


    October 1, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  24. chad

    Where was Cnn's story when Biden said the wrong year for the depression? And he also go the president wrong?? He has had more goof ups then anyone else I have ever seen, but does the liberal media ever cover it? Of course not. . .CNN has become a joke, when Nancy Grace is the best show on the network, you know you have hit rock bottom. . .would I rather watch CNN or teabag a meat grinder?!?!?! Just call me Mr. Lipton

    October 1, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  25. John Chamberlain

    I've tried to give this woman some slack, but the time to give her an opportunity to get it together has come...and gone. This example of McCain's "lack" of wisdom, and good judgement proves to me that he isn't presidential material. I like McCain, but lets face it, he failed as an academic, he lost four naval aircraft, then got shot down and captured. That is a story, but it doesn't lift him to a position that makes him qualified to lead a nation, Mexico maybe, but not the USA.
    Palin is the subject of this article, but the buck stops on McCains desk, and at 72 McCain in all honesty has a good chance of dying before his first term is over. Combined, McCain, and Palin don't come close to Obama's educational achievements, and if republicans believe that education isn't important, look at the US today, under Bush. Yeah, it was a joke at first, but step back and be honest with yourselves when you answer that question because a multi-trillion dollar economy is only one subject you had better understand. I don't need to be Dr. Kissinger to see that the GOP ticket is dangerous for Americans, and that won't be a skit worth watching on SNL. What are American republicans thinking. Palin, the ferry is waiting for you in Seattle, don't miss it, please for our sake. Sorry Alaskans, she's yours.

    October 1, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
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