Rick Santorum Schools MSNBC on Judicial Tyranny (VIDEO)

Rick Santorum went on Chris Matthews’ show on MSNBC after the first debate on Wednesday, where they sparred about the Supreme Court in a feisty exchange:

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Senator, we have lived our lives with landmark decisions by the Supreme Court, whether it’s Brown — you know, vs. Board of Education which said we’re no longer separate but equal in public schools. We knocked out – the court knocked out prayer in public school in a prayer case. They basically reviewed the civil rights bill of ’64 and found it constitutional. We had Roe v. Wade in ’73. You’ve had — they’ve all been Supreme Court decisions, and many of them, 5-4 decisions.

RICK SANTORUM: Well, we also had Brown v. Board of Education. We also had Plessy v. Ferguson. You also have the Dred Scott decision.

MATTHEWS: Okay, well that’s back before the Civil War.

SANTORUM: Well, you also had Plessy v. Ferguson, which was before Brown.

MATTHEWS: Which was fixed by Brown.

SANTORUM: The point is, courts get it wrong sometimes, number one.

MATTHEWS: Well, who’s to say that?

SANTORUM: Who is to say that? We just wait for the court to do it? It’s called checks and balances.

MATTHEWS: You’re saying if we don’t like the ruling on same-sex marriage we do what? What do you do about it?

SANTORUM: You have a president who stands up and fights the court. President Obama has done that on occasion, as you know, number one. And number two —

MATTHEWS: You mean overrule the Supreme Court?

SANTORUM: You challenge the Supreme Court.

MATTHEWS: How do you do that?

SANTORUM: Because you raise your hand when you’re president of the United States and say, I uphold the Constitution of the United States.

MATTHEWS: As reviewed by the Supreme Court.

SANTORUM: No! Who has the final say?

MATTHEWS: By Marbury v. Madison.

SANTORUM: And who said that?

MATTHEWS: The Supreme Court did!

SANTORUM: The Supreme Court said, ‘I get the final say!’

MATTHEWS: It’s accepted throughout history!

SANTORUM: Not accepted by history. Abraham Lincoln passed a law that violated the Dred Scott decision. So no. The court is only one of three equal branches of government, it’s not the superior branch of government.

MATTHEWS: So you’re saying that this president or any president could’ve ignored the decision on same-sex marriage?

SANTORUM: It could contest the decision when a court acts beyond their constitutional authority. When the court acts within its right — you mentioned to me earlier the Bush v. Gore decision — that was within their right to take a factual situation and try to apply the law. There was really nobody else that could make that decision. In this case, the court exceeded their authority under the Constitution. And there are several justices who agreed with me on that. They have no right under the Constitution to do what they did, and when they act beyond the Constitution, someone has to check them.

MATTHEWS: Well, they did. They made that decision on same-sex [sic] under due process and under liberty clause —

SANTORUM: Which is what they made the Dred Scott decision on.

MATTHEWS: I know. Okay. Well they made it and that was the judgement, and you would have overruled it.

SANTORUM: I would.

MATTHEWS: You would overrule it?

SANTORUM: I would’ve contested it. In fact, I will as president.

MATTHEWS: Okay, thank you, Senator Santorum. Thank you for coming on.

Thomas Valentine is a researcher for APIA and a junior at the Franciscan University of Steubenville.