After taking a shot at Rick Santorum about the apparent incongruity between his strict constructionist stance and his zeal for federal restrictions on abortions, I was gratified to see that I wasn't the only one to notice. The Volokh Conspiracy, one of the best law-oriented blogs out there, today has a post by David Kopel pointing out that Santorum and four other Republican presidential candidates have signed a pledge that states almost in the same breath that they will appoint strict constructionist justices to the Supreme Court and that they will promote and sign a law that almost certainly would not survive scrutiny by such justices.
Of course, the title of this post is hyperbole. in my lifetime Democrats and Republicans have been equally guilty of trampling on the Constitution. But Republicans have almost a total monopoly on complaining about about so-called activist judges who «legislate from the bench». Adherents to strict constructionism (or more accurately originalism) versus those who promote the idea of the living Constitution do, for the most part, fall neatly into groups along party lines with the Republicans favoring original intent.
Disappointingly, of the candidates who have declined to sign the 2012 Pro-Life Citizens Pledge, none have yet cited constitutional concerns (Gary Johnson has apparantly not commented on the matter.) Maybe they just don't think it will play well with those they want votes from, but one would hope that at least some of the candidates actually understand the limits on the Enumerated Powers that they are trying to enforce.