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This just in: Jon Runyan opposes the Dred Scott decision

Oct 21, 2010, 11:37 AM EDT

Jon Runyan, Dred Scott

You may know former NFL offensive tackle Jon Runyan as the last remaining active player from the Houston Oilers. Also, in 2006 when he was playing for the Eagles, he was listed in a Sports Illustrated article as one of the dirtiest players in the NFL. Now retired from football, Mr. Runyan is running for Congress; the Republican nominee for New Jersey’s 3rd congressional district. In his campaign literature Runyan promises “an end to politics as usual in Washington”, and if by that he means not knowing much about current events in politics, it’s mission accomplished.
Video following the jump.


On Tuesday night Runyan debated his Democratic opponent, Rep. John Adler, when the subject of the Supreme Court came up. Uh oh.

ADLER: “Jon, it’s a different branch of government, but can you give me an example from the last 10 or 15 years of a Supreme Court decision in which you strongly disagree?”

RUNYAN: “That I strongly disagree with?” Runyan clarified, pausing before considering his final answer. “Dred Scott,” Runyan responded, drawing laughter from the audience.

Adler then noted that the Dred Scott Decision was from 1857, and thus was not “within the past 10 or 15 years.” So he posed the question again. Runyan did not respond.

From the Huffington Post:

The inept response comes days after Delaware GOP Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell stumbled on a similar question in a debate with her opponent, Chris Coons.

Other former athletes who are running for office this year are Keith Fimian, who played briefly for the Cleveland Browns and is running for Congress out of Virginia; former NBA center Shawn Bradley, who is running for a seat in the Utah state legislature; and former Redskins tight end Clint Didier (don’t miss the Top Gun theme he uses in his campaign web site intro). Didier, who was defeated in Washington’s Republican primary for U.S. Senate, had the backing of Sarah Palin and Ron Paul. Also, former NBA journeyman Chris Dudley is the Republican nominee for Governor in Oregon.
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Jon Runyan On ‘Dred Scott’: GOP Candidate Can’t Name Recent Supreme Court Case [The Huffington Post]
NFL, NBA Provide Recruiting Ground for Republicans in November [Bloomberg]

  1. Tony A - Oct 21, 2010 at 3:40 PM

    This is soooo strange. This question seems like a softball for a Teabagger or a Republican, even if they don’t know jack about the court. All they have to do is say something like, “Well, since Roberts got in as Chief Justice, there haven’t been any really bad decisions that stand out for me.” Even a jock could figure that one out…

  2. Limbonehead - Oct 21, 2010 at 4:28 PM

    It’s a damn shame that Runyan obviously sustained massive brain damage in his NFL career.

  3. SoSad - Oct 21, 2010 at 5:04 PM

    A recent national survey showed more Americans could name the Three Stooges than could name the three branches of government. By a wide margin. We get what we deserve.

  4. Tony A - Oct 21, 2010 at 5:58 PM

    Moe, Larry, and Shemp (not Curly) for me on the first; Bad, Worse, and Terrible on the second…

  5. Aaron Knight - Oct 21, 2010 at 8:40 PM

    I feel sorry for some of these Tea Party candidates. They could not successfully debate a 4th grader. The Dred Scott Decision was somewhere around 1860 or so, I believe but most certainly not within the past 15 years. OMG…

  6. VoteSmart NotStupid - Oct 21, 2010 at 9:08 PM

    The three branches are
    Executive
    Judicial
    Legislative
    As for a SCOTUS decision in the last 10-15 years that I don’t agree with -> Citizens United.
    Civics should be **required** before being allowed to run for office. I’m tired of hearing about stupid people running for office! And as for people who don’t like Government – move to Somalia and find out what life without one is like.