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Public Statements

Issue Position: Constitutional Issues

Issue Position

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Marriage

I have always believed in the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman. For the sake of our society, our children and our democracy, marriage must be protected from unelected, activist judges who seek to redefine it.

* I am a cosponsor of the Marriage Protection Act (H.R. 1269), which would act as a firewall against challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act by limiting the ability of federal courts to interpret certain portions of the Defense of Marriage Act.
* I am a cosponsor of the Marriage Protection Act to remove the jurisdiction of all federal courts and the Supreme Court from reviewing challenges to DOMA. This would prevent states from being forced to alter their definition of marriage to include a union between persons of the same sex as recognized under the laws of any other state.

Sanctity of Life

I have been working since I came to Congress to protect the rights of all Americans -- including the rights of the unborn. Human life is a precious commodity that in today's society is often taken for granted. I believe in my heart and mind that life begins at conception, and as a Member of Congress, I am working to make abortion more rare in America.

I believe that all unborn children have a right to life, which is why I have cosponsored several bills in the 111th Congress to support those rights. In addition to changing our nation's laws to make them more family-friendly and ensuring the dignity of human life, we must work to change hearts and minds as well. You may be assured that I will continue to promote pro-life legislation to affirm the fundamental right to life.

* I received 100 percent rating from the National Right to Life Committee every year that I have been in Congress.
* I cosponsored the Right to Life Act which declares the right to life guaranteed in the Constitution begins at conception.
* I cosponsored legislation (H.R. 5111) which would amend the health care bill and insert the Stupak-Pitts language codifying the Hyde Amendment within the health care bill, prohibiting federal dollars from being used for elective abortions.

Stem Cell Research

Embryonic stem cell research has been the subject of much debate, and rightfully so, as it can put our deep respect for human life up against our highest hopes for curing human suffering. As someone who served for several years on the board of the American Cancer Society of Dallas, and who has had close friends suffer through terrible diseases like autism, I have seen firsthand the human toll that diseases can cause and know the importance of investing in research to find new treatments and, hopefully one day, cures. That's why we need to approach this issue with great caution and compassion to ensure the ethical treatment of all human life.

When looking at the issue of stem cell research, it is important to keep two things in mind. First, there is generally strong support in the scientific community and in Congress for most kinds of stem cell research. The only area where there is disagreement is with embryonic stem cell research that results in the destruction of the original embryo. Other kinds of research, like using adult or umbilical cord stem cells can be done without ending a human life.

I believe stem cell research holds the potential for curing some of the most debilitating diseases. However, the eagerness for scientific discovery must not supersede our duty to protect the unborn. Thus, I will continue to support using stem cells derived from sources that do not involve the destruction of human life.
Second Amendment Rights

I oppose gun control and want to ensure that our nation's current gun laws are enforced so that firearms are kept out of the hands of criminals. I assure you that I will work to support the rights of gun owners who use firearms responsibly, while working to punish those who break the law. Whether one uses a firearm for hunting, sport shooting, personal protection, or another lawful reason, I believe the Second Amendment clearly protects our individual right to keep and bear arms. As a gun owner, a hunter, and an advocate of our Constitutional rights, I will be vigilant in monitoring the process of bills that may be harmful to the rights of law-abiding gun owners.

I believe gun control policies fail to recognize that criminals, not guns, are the root cause of crime and violence in America. Criminals, by definition, violate laws. Gun control restrictions punish honest, law-abiding citizens who want to protect themselves and their families.

* I cosponsored the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act which would authorize a person with has a valid permit to carry a concealed firearm in one state and to carry a concealed firearm in another state.
* I cosponsored the Firearms Interstate Commerce Reform Act which would remove restrictions on interstate sale of firearms.
* I cosigned the amicus brief in the McDonald v. Chicago case, which the Supreme Court recently ruled on striking down a Chicago gun ban, and in the decision made explicit that the 2nd Amendment applies to states and localities, not just the federal government.


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