Ask Fred Thompson a question:

Would you like to ask presidential candidate Fred Thompson a question? Especially a question on a legal topic? The Thompson campaign has solicited questions from several leading weblogs, including this one. Here's the announcement:

On Thursday, Fred Thompson will be kicking off his campaign for the presidency in Des Moines, IA, touring through the early primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina before visiting Florida and returning to Lawrenceburg, TN for a homecoming celebration.

While on this tour, Fred Thompson will be answering the tough questions, whether they come from a voter at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire or from the nation's top journalists. However, Fred wants to make sure that you get a chance to get your questions answered as well, so we're asking some bloggers to help us pick good questions from you. The bloggers will solicit your questions, select the best questions and send them to Fred Thompson to answer. Fred will be responding to some of your questions each day via video and posting those responses to our website.

We invite you to submit a question for Fred here, and check often for Fred's dispatches from the road.

Just enter your question in the Comments section. I will select the best four or five, and pass them on to the Thompson campaign. Questions on law topics are strongly favored. Comments which do not appear to be serious questions may be deleted.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. The Questions for Senator Thompson:
  2. Ask Fred Thompson a question:
"What is your view of the Federalist Society?"
9.6.2007 1:22am
Patrick McKenzie (mail):
Under what circumstances, if any, do you think that judicial oversight is Constitutionally required for prisoners taken in the War on Terror?
9.6.2007 1:22am
Maniakes (mail):
What are some specific federal programs you would seek to abolish?
9.6.2007 1:24am
Adam White (mail):
How do you propose to solve the looming crisis of budget deficits caused by an explosion in social-entitlement spending? Are you willing to raise taxes as part of that solution?
9.6.2007 1:24am
What is your opinion of increased federalization in the area of criminal law over the past couple of decades? Is the federal government interfering with the law enforcement powers of the states or fillng a need which the states cannot themselves fill?
9.6.2007 1:36am
Fred Flintlock (mail):
As a former lobbyist, what is your opinion on the restrictions on Washington lobbyists that Barack Obama has proposed?
9.6.2007 1:51am
Minipundit (mail) (www):
Do you believe that Griswold v. Connecticut was correctly decided?
9.6.2007 1:54am
SMatthewStolte (mail):
1. Do you support the current U.S. policy known as the war on drugs? What changes would you like to see in this area? Please convince me that you are familiar with the strongest arguments for and against the war on drugs.

2. Is the FDA too risk averse?

3. To what extent can strengthening protection of private property rights be used to protect the environment?
9.6.2007 1:56am
Jack Bauer (mail):
As a policy matter, should the United States of America shut down Guantanamo? As a legal matter, do you think the Supreme Court would be wrong to decide that Guantanamo is not a law-free zone? More generally, do you share Antonin Scalia's view of the Suspension Clause, when it comes to alien detainees?
9.6.2007 1:57am
Sean O'Hara (mail) (www):
Do you feel that the TSA has acted prudently and efficiently to stop terrorists, or simply engaged in security theater to make it look like they're doing something? If the latter, what policies would you change, and what balance would you strike between liberty and freedom.
9.6.2007 1:59am
Juliana Klovquist (mail):
You are a former federal prosecutor. The Wall Street Journal's editorial board thinks that the Justice Department has engaged in reckless, overzealous prosecution in the KPMG tax shelter case. Do you agree with the Wall Street Journal's editorial board and would you take steps as President to curb overzealous prosecutors?
9.6.2007 2:03am
1. Would you really reduce the size of the federal government (not just slow it's growth as Reagan did)?

2. Would you support and how would you end affirmative action?

3. Do you support a fundamental change in our tax code, like a federal consumption tax instead of the income tax?

4. Why should I trust you after the GOP has screwed us over so many times?
9.6.2007 2:08am
Mortimer Brezny (mail):
Do you believe that the Second Amendment secures an individual right? Would you appoint Supreme Court Justices who believe the Second Amendment secures an individual right? Do you believe that the Supreme Court should grant review in District of Columbia v. Heller and hold that the Second Amendment secures an individual right?
9.6.2007 2:08am
Crunchy Frog:
Will you commit to the immediate construction of the 700+ miles of Border Fence that was authorized last year?
9.6.2007 2:26am
1) What is your view of civil asset forfeiture in the absence of a criminal conviction? If you oppose this practice, what steps would you take to limit its use?

2) To what extent, if any, do court decisions regulating sexual or racial harassment in the workplace encroach on First Amendment guarantees of free speech?

Although I didn't come up with them, I'd love to see SMatthewStolte's drug war question and Wings' tax question selected.
9.6.2007 2:28am
Christopher M (mail):
Do you think it should be legal for Americans, whether married or not, to purchase and use contraception? Do you think the Supreme Court was correct when it held, in Griswold v. Connecticut, that a law barring married couples' access to contraception was unconstitutional?
9.6.2007 2:28am
Christopher M (mail):
Suggestion #2: Tell the truth -- did you fire Serena because she was a lesbian?
9.6.2007 2:29am
Marc :
Do you believe that Raich was correctly decided? How is that decision different from other assaults on libertarian ideals and states' rights?

Do you believe that the State of Caliifornia has the right to set its own policy regarding medical marijuana?

How would your view of this decision affect waht you would look for in a potential Supreme Court Justice nominee?
9.6.2007 2:32am
Law Student:
If given the chance to nominate a Supreme Court Justice would you pick one who espouses the legal views of Justices Scalia or Justices Roberts? i.e. would you pick a strict constructionist judge or an originalist judge?
Second Question
To what extent do you believe in State rights even when taking this position may put you at odds with your own personal opinions on an issue?
9.6.2007 3:13am
Law Student:
As an add on to the second question, if applicable, please provide an example of supporting State rights when doing so would conflict with your own personal view of the correct policy option to take.
9.6.2007 3:16am
John Herbison (mail):
You claim affiliation with a fundamentalist church whose members generally disapprove of divorced members' remarrying. Which congregation of the Church of Christ are you a member of, and are you in good standing in that congregation?
9.6.2007 3:20am
Duffy Pratt (mail):
Do you believe it is appropriate for the president to use signing statements to put a preliminary gloss on an act he is signing into law? If so, what weight if any do you think a court should give to such statements?
9.6.2007 6:19am
David M. Nieporent (www):
1. You were instrumental in securing passage of McCain-Feingold. Have your views on either the law's effectiveness or constitutionality changed in the years since it was passed, and what would you do about the continually-increasing purview of the F.E.C.?

2. If you supported the essence of a recently-passed bill, but believed significant parts to be unconstitutional, would you sign it and leave the determination of its constitutionality to the courts -- as, for instance, George Bush did with regard to McCain-Feingold -- or veto it and force Congress to rewrite it without the offending parts?

3. Do you believe in the existence of anthropogenic global warming, and if so, what federal spending or regulatory measures would you support to respond to it? In particular, would you support a revenue-neutral carbon tax?

4. Other than terrorism, what would be your top prosecutorial priorities for the DoJ?
9.6.2007 6:40am
A. Zarkov (mail):
1. Do you believe that the US has a shortage of qualified technical workers?

2. What evidence did you use to answer question 1?

3. Do you think the caps on the H1-B non-immigrant visa programmed should be changed and to what?
9.6.2007 7:04am
mike1234 (mail):
The operating units of the Federal government operate on their own agendas; almost always counter to the President and desires of the People. Examples are the CIA with the leaks of secrets to embarrass Pres. Bush, the state department ignoring the democracy agenda of the President, How will you defeat and reign in the bureaucracy.

Would you support a law that ends awarding American citizenship to the children of Illegals? The 14th Amendment doesn't apply to Illegals since they are not "under the jurisdiction of our law", they are foreign invaders.
9.6.2007 8:06am
Constitutional Crisis (mail):
What role will your wife play in a Thompson administration? In what matters wiill you rely on her for her expertise?

How has your role on Law &Order prepared you for the Presidency? Why did you leave public service in the first place?
9.6.2007 8:24am
Do you believe Bowles v Russell to be correctly decided?
9.6.2007 8:36am
The Emperor (www):
What do you think of astrology?
9.6.2007 9:29am
mr. meade (mail):
How do you interpret the Ninth Amendment to the Constitution? Give specific examples related to property, guns, drugs, and sexual behavior.

Do you think corporations should be taxed as people or people should be taxed as corporations? And why should there be any difference?

If leaving Iraq would create a bloodbath, how is our staying in Iraq changing that situation? If the Iraqis want to kill each other, is our presence going to change that? I haven't seen any political will in Iraq, so how?

Not only in this current Administration but overall lately, the amount of classified information regarding the government's actions has grown at a faster rate than the deficits and debts. Would you do anything to change that?

Is the war on drugs working?

With millions of Americans already receiving Federally funded medical care, why not just put everyone on some sort of minimal coverage from the Feds? This way, private healthcare can be purchased by those who want or need more but basics are covered. And would you as President pay for your own care? Why not? I thought private insurance was the greatest thing since sliced bread? Is it because you're fat and old? (Maybe you can leave that last sentence off.)
9.6.2007 9:37am
Cornellian (mail):
Consider two societies, A and B. In Society A, abortion is illegal but same sex marriage is legal. In Society B it is the reverse. The societies are otherwise identical. Which society is the more moral, and why?
9.6.2007 9:41am
Houston Lawyer:
Do you believe that the courts should have a primary role in foreign intelligence gathering operations?

Would you grant suspected foreign terrorists as either prisoners of war entitled to the protections of the Geneva conventions or common criminals entitled to the full protections of the United States Constitution?
9.6.2007 9:42am
Temp Guest (mail):
(1) It now seems clear that the current administration invaded Iraq without a clear exit strategy. Would you please provide an explicit outline of a strategy for reducing the ressources the US is currently expending in Iraq without further destabilizing the Middle East.

(2) What can we do (should we do) to eliminate havens for terrorists in other countries (and physically eliminate the terrorists in them) without involving enormous investments of US military power (as in Afghanistan); bribery and support of anti-democratic and illiberal governments (as in much of the Middle East); and policies that further alienate local populations (as in Pakistan, Indonesia, and the Phillipines).

(3) What way do you envision that is both politically plausible and fiscally sound for reducing the future burdens of Medicare/Medicaid, Social Security, Veterans Benefits, and Debt Repayment on the federal budget?

(4) What politically feasible ways do you see for reducing federal involvement in local law enforcement? I have in mind particularly the need to curtail the powers of the federal bureaucracy currently involved in the so-called War on Drugs and the proliferation of federal statutes regarding crimes that have traditionally been the purview of state and local government.
9.6.2007 9:48am
Yes/no, then why or why not:

One state's concealed carry permit good in all states?

Assault weapons ban?

50 caliber and safari rifle ban?

Does any state have the power to ban firearms?

Does the federal government have the power to ban firearms?

Repeal the 86 gun ban?

For extra credit:

What is the meaning of the Second Amendment?
9.6.2007 9:49am
How will the laws of other countries and the views of foreign governments, influence policy decisions you as president make?

Would you consider repealing daylight savings time?
9.6.2007 9:51am
Preferred Customer:
I like Marc's question on Raich. I think it is important to identify whether Thompson is a "fair weather federalist," who only believes in states' rights to the extent that one is discussing socially conservative policies.

Here's another question along those lines:

If Roe v Wade is overturned, would your commitment to federalism prevent you from supporting a federal law banning abortion? Or in a post-Roe world would you seek to ban abortion at the federal level regardless of the wishes of the individual states?
9.6.2007 9:52am
Pete Freans (mail):
In the area of international trade & foreign markets, do you believe that China trades on a level playing field with the U.S.? Specifically, what would your administration do differently from the previous administration regarding the further liberalization of Chinese markets and the transparency of its quality-control mechanisms of its products? Or, where do you see America's economic/political relationship with China in four years and beyond?
9.6.2007 10:03am
Is possession really 9/10's of the law?
9.6.2007 10:21am
Muskrat (mail):
How do you define torture? Are there any interrogation techniques you would be willing to see employed by the United States on detainees which you would find objectionable if used on U.S. personnel in the hands of others?
9.6.2007 10:21am
A. Nonymous (mail):
How do you define judicial accountability, judicial independence (or both)?

If a judge renders decisions that you find objectionable, should that be the basis for impeachment proceedings?
9.6.2007 10:32am
Tim Dowling (mail):
Would you support federal legislation providing that no federal law shall be interpreted to preempt any State law absent an express and unmistakeably clear statement in the federal law that the State law at issue is in fact preempted?

(cf. this brief)
9.6.2007 10:39am
james t kirk (mail):
My questions;

Everyone wants smaller government (especially me) but no one has a plan to get there. What laws and regulations would you like to see the government repeal? What function should it give up. Do you have a plan to shrink the size and power of government?
9.6.2007 10:40am
TJIT (mail):
Slightly off topic but.

I have to say there have been some really interesting questions posed in this comment thread. It would be really nice if debate moderators would ask a few questions like this.
9.6.2007 11:03am
Justin (mail):
Here's one he won't answer

You've come out in strong support of both Scooter Libby and the actions of the Department of Justice in the US Attorney scandal. Do you have any concern over the politicization of the prosecutorial and national security powers of the federal government, and how will you be able to assure Americans that you won't use these powers for partisan purposes?
9.6.2007 11:03am
Ex parte McCardle:
I like Cornellian's 8:41 question. I'd love to hear candidates respond to inquiries that require actual consideration of the question rather than just spouting back pre-fab, poll-tested phrases.
9.6.2007 11:07am
Just an Observer:
Was the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, as enacted in 1978 and amended through 2001, constitutional as a restriction on the president? Would you have followed FISA after 9/11, asked Congress to amend or repeal it, or ordered something like the warrantless surveillance outside of FISA as President Bush did?
9.6.2007 11:08am
How does your expereince of growing up and going to school in the segregated South of the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, influence your views on racial issues and the best methods to create a society of equal opportunity?
9.6.2007 11:09am
Kevin P. (mail):
Which federal gun control laws do you support repealing?
9.6.2007 11:21am
Preferred Customer:
Here's a follow-up on the abortion question:

Assuming you would support a federal law banning abortion, do you think Congress has the authority under the Constitution to enact such a law? Would barring the provision of abortions that occur entirely within the borders of state X constitute regulation of interstate commerce?
9.6.2007 11:36am
Jorge S. (mail):
Were the Slaughter-House Cases correctly decided?

Was Wickard v. Filburn correctly decided?


are there any constitutional limits to the government's power to regulate all economic activity, and if so, what are they?
9.6.2007 11:53am
Would you favor a compromise in which amnesty is granted to illegal immigrants and legal immigration from Latin America is expanded, in exchange for banning bilingual/multicultural education and all affirmative action?
9.6.2007 12:00pm
Danielle (mail):
Perhaps an overarching question regarding the sanctity of human life (abortion/contraception/embryology research) would be most helpful in determining many pro-life Americans' support of Fred:

Are you committed to pursuing complete protection for all human beings from fertilization to natural death, and how would that pursuit respect states' rights without compromising the protection of life and liberty for all American citizens?
9.6.2007 12:02pm
Daniel Lassiter (mail):
What is your view of the appeal by the District of Columbia in regards to the ban of handguns enforced by that city?
9.6.2007 12:05pm
C B:
How can you reconcile your role as a lobbyist for pro-choice and chief fund raiser for "Scooter" Libby's legal fees and fines with your anti-abortion and beltway outsider stances?

In 2004 President Bush signed changes to our labor policies that effective did away with any limit to forced maximum overtime and changed the definition of permanent employment. Now the United States is the only leading industrialized country in the world without a forced overtime limit. Do you agree with these changes? Do you foresee any possibility for abuse concerning these changes?
9.6.2007 12:09pm
Florida Native (mail):
Laws are changing in many states to allow gays to marry, and laws have been changed in the past regarding legalizing interracial marriages, etc. However, many states do not allow male and female partners who are committed to making a life together as husband and wife as legal status in claiming benefits as Social Security when one partner passes away. Florida is one of those states. How do you feel about this issue and do you think there is any chance that this totally unfair legal situation will change?
9.6.2007 12:11pm
When was the last time you read the Constitution of these united States of America?
9.6.2007 12:33pm
List the books (titles, authors) you have read in the lst year.
9.6.2007 12:35pm
lst last
9.6.2007 12:36pm
Much has been said of your divorce (and re-marriage to a younger woman). Is divorce a problem in our society? Do public officials who obtain divorces for reasons of "irreconcilable differences" affect social norms about marriage and divorce?
9.6.2007 12:38pm
Gabriel Malor (mail):
Will you ask the Senate to ratify the Law of the Sea Treaty?
9.6.2007 12:47pm
Thales (mail) (www):
Do you think current intellectual property laws sufficiently protect a robust public domain and an appropriate zone of innovation, or are both stifled? Should copyright terms be shortened, and should the public interest play a more important role in IP policymaking? Do you think the Patent and Trademark Office issues too many patents and under too lax standards (e.g. business method patents, patents of sections of genomes that have been discovered rather than invented)?
9.6.2007 12:47pm
Bob S:
Reportedly you oppose amending the US Constitution to define marriage and/or to ban homosexual marriage. If so, how do you propose to overcome the harms caused by activist judges like the recent case in Iowa, and many earlier ones?
9.6.2007 12:53pm
Doug B. (mail) (www):
Not including any Justice who has served during the 21st century, please name a Supreme Court Justice you respect and admire and the basis for views.
9.6.2007 12:58pm
TDPerkins (mail):
If your campaign slogan is "Security-Unity-Prosperity", where does Liberty fit?

Does your federalism extend to supporting such laws as the Canadian medical marijuana legislation?

Would you direct the ATF to cease prosecuting such infractions as a gun shop accepting a "Y" in place of a spelled out "Yes" as an answer on a gun purchase form?
9.6.2007 1:01pm
TDPerkins (mail):
Does your federalism extend to supporting such laws as the Canadian medical marijuana legislation?

That should say Californian...
9.6.2007 1:02pm
Tflan (mail):
I enjoy growing tomatoes in my backyard. Do you believe the federal government has the power to outlaw homegrown tomatoes because of their affect on tomoatoes that travel in interstate commerce?
9.6.2007 1:27pm
Do you believe that any one or more of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Powell, Hadley or Feith is exempt from prosecution for the war crime of the attack against Iraq?

Since President Bush has acknowledged repeated violations by his administration of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, do you support the appointment of a special prosecutor for the purpose of investigating whether criminal charges should be filed against the government officials who were involved?

How will you decide which acts of Congress you will obey, and which you will ignore?
9.6.2007 1:37pm
U.Va. 1L:
I vote for the questions submitted by Mortimer Brezny and Danielle.
9.6.2007 1:51pm
U.Va. 3L:

Do you believe Lochner v. New York was correctly decided?

Do you believe Griswold v. Connecticut was correctly decided?

If your answers to these questions differ, what is the legal basis for the difference?
9.6.2007 1:55pm
Do you believe that, if elected, your personal views are to be implemented as the will of the People? If not, how will you determine when to take up positions that differ from your personal position?

What would your decision-making process and critera be for vetoing or signing bills?

Do you communicate directly with your G*d/Jesus/etc.?
9.6.2007 2:15pm
Renee E. Taylor (mail) (www):
With the upcoming onslaught of trucks coming in from Mexico under the Mexican Truck Pilot Program, what will you do to keep our highways safe, our trucking jobs secure and ensure that our DoT officers enforcing our laws will not meet the same fate as Jose Compean, Ignacio Ramos and Gilmer Hernandez?
9.6.2007 2:28pm
John A. Fleming (mail):
Presidents can only pursue a few big initiatives during their terms. What's on your short list, and what are the objectives of each?
9.6.2007 2:33pm
Thales (mail) (www):
"Do you believe Lochner v. New York was correctly decided?

Do you believe Griswold v. Connecticut was correctly decided?

If your answers to these questions differ, what is the legal basis for the difference?"

Off topic, but one broad, structural answer is that the Constitution grants Congress greater authority over the economic sphere than over personal liberties (see commerce clause, bankruptcy clause, etc. v. lack of enumerated powers and affirmative prohibitions in Bill of Rights), and that the same difference could generally apply to judicial review of state regulation of putative unenumerated economic v. putative unenumerated personal liberties, as in the Lochner/Griswold apparent mismatch in result.
9.6.2007 2:39pm
Several commentators have speculated about how manly and virile you must smell. Could you share with us what aftershave or eau de toillette you prefer?
9.6.2007 2:48pm
In the war on terror, we do not treat enemy combatants as prisoners of war and the way we currently treat enemy combatants fails to provide them with a fair trial, (as though we have assumed that they are guilty because they were apprehended). Should those accused of terror be protected by the Constitution or held under prisoner-of-war status, and if not either of these choices what legal safeguards should exist to protect them from wrongful conviction?
9.6.2007 3:28pm
MarkW (mail):
The BATFE seems to make law on it's own these days reversing it's prior positions on what firearms and firearms accessories are legal and what are not. I'm sure there are many other Federal agencies that do this as well. Will anything be done to curtail their seemingly unlimited powers?

See the example of the Akins Accelerator ( google it )
9.6.2007 3:28pm
SC Public Defender:
Could you do a post listing the questions you choose to send along. Also, maybe, with commentary as to why you chose those questions? I (and hopefully not just I) would be curious to know.

[DK: Will do. So far, I've decided to definitely include a federalism question, although I haven't picked which particular one. It's a legal topic that's of great interest to the VC bloggers, and, judging by the comments, the readers as well.]
9.6.2007 3:29pm
question for T (mail):
[Serious question]: To what degree do you consider your persona on Law &Order to be your own? That is, to what degree are you acting, and to what degree are you "playing yourself"?
9.6.2007 3:50pm
What do you think of current proposals to enforce network neutrality through federal telecom regulations? If you support any parts of these proposals, can you clearly describe which services would be covered by these?

Do you think the Brand X case, 545 U.S. 967 (2005), was rightly decided? Does the notion of a common carrier have any place in the federal regulation of modern Internet services?

Do you have any concerns about competition in the telecom industry that you think should be addressed by the federal government? Generally speaking, do you think current federal antitrust policy is too aggressive, too lenient, or about right? Why?

Some states have restricted municipalities from providing Internet access, most especially WiFi, as a public utility. Even if you think this is moronic on the part of the states, would it ever be justified for any part of the federal government to intervene?

What does the tenth amendment mean?
9.6.2007 3:51pm
Dave N (mail):
What attributes would you look for in an Attorney General?

Which Attorney General in your lifetime do you most admire? Why?
9.6.2007 3:53pm
Boxer shorts or briefs?

Sorry. I could not help myself. So many serious questions.

Do you play any musical instruments? Which one.

U oh. I slipped up again. Sorry.
9.6.2007 3:55pm
bud (mail):
A recent study showed that Judges tend to rule in the direction that requires the service of a lawyer, and far too many of the laws passed by the Congress could easily be titled "The Lawyers Full Employment Act of 20xx".

Do you recognize this as an issue, and what can you say to overcome my initial take on your candidacy - Do we want yet another @#$%&+! lawyer in the White House?
9.6.2007 4:02pm
Greg M:
What can be done about Federal, state and local seizure laws?
While I can't condone criminals profiting from drug crimes in particular, giving police agencies a profit motive is appalling to me. It can only lead to abuse. I can only imagine our Founders view of current seizure laws.
9.6.2007 4:14pm
Gil Milbauer (mail) (www):
What past or present Supreme Court justices embody the qualities that you would look for in future nominees? And, what are those qualities?

Also, I'd like to echo the questions regarding the War On Drugs. A bold stance against this failed campaign would matter a lot to me.
9.6.2007 4:35pm
Mike O':
What are your ideas on Tort Reform?
Do we need tort reform?
How would you implement that reform?
9.6.2007 4:49pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

A bold stance against this failed campaign would matter a lot to me.
And really upset about 40% of the electorate, while causing another 50% of the electorate to conclude that he was crazy.

I have bad news for you: drug legalization (as a general rule) enjoys about 10% support from the American public--and increasingly, it isn't because the libertarian argument hasn't been presented, but because a lot of people have heard the argument, and have decided that the hazards of legalization are worse than the hazards of keeping them illegal.
9.6.2007 4:58pm
John A. Fleming (mail):
What and how do you propose to forge a compromise, quickly and without damaging political wrangling, over these distracting issues regarding the rights of captured non-state terrorists in American federal jurisprudence; so that your Administration can focus on the more critical task of destroying the terrorist's capacity or will to wage war?
9.6.2007 5:01pm
If legal death is defined on a federal level as the ceasing of brain activity, then why is not "life" defined at the federal level as the beginning of brain activity (which occurs in embryos around the beginning of week 9 of gestation) instead of at conception?

If the above definition of the inception of "life" passed as a federal legal benchmark, should states be allowed to take this legal framework and make it more restrictive, even to the point of banning abortions altogether if passed by public vote? How should more restrictive state laws affect federal public health funding to the states?

Could and/or should this definition of "legally alive" be applied in cases of crimes against pregnant women versus fetus survivability out of the womb?

Should and could this definition of "legally alive" be applied to the timing restrictions on abortions (e.g. late term abortions) and the use of the "morning after pill" without a prescription?

Bonus question: Why did Reagan make such a great figurehead as President? He knew how to ACT LIKE A PRESIDENT!! And I think the line about the Russians in "Red October" is still right on the mark. Go Fred!
9.6.2007 5:32pm
Jane (mail):
Plese explain why you do or do not agree with the legislation known as "McCain Feingold".

If you do not agree with it, what would you like to change?
9.6.2007 5:38pm
Joel McWaters (mail):
Where is it written(and thus accepted) or implied (from the Constitution or any of the Amendments) that someone in our country ILLEGALLY is to be granted all the rights and legal safeguards that are owed to naturalized citizens?
9.6.2007 5:41pm
Kimberly Arras:
Should states (and the federal government, with respect to claims based purely on federal statute) adopt the English system of awarding attorneys' fees, i.e., the losers in civil litigation become obligated to reimburse the prevailing parties for their attorney fees'? If not, why not? If so, why?
9.6.2007 7:57pm
Sheila in Virginia Beach, Va (mail):
As a large family member of Irish imigrants who served in and are currently serving in public offices for their state and gave their lives on forgein soil for many of our wars , who worked hard to become Middle Class law abidding citizens, who faced prejudces and still do, I want to know your solution and opinion on the current immigration problem? How it is different from 50 years ago and what it means for our country and the impact on our country today? I currently have nieces and nephews in California whose parents came from Mexico and they are of the same set of mind, to work hard and make a good life for their families in a free democracy whose government is for the people and free of, "or at one time less free of" scandal and bribery, and passes laws and sets up programs to give a helping hand without slapping that hand or making them dependent on the helping hand. I still belief in the Statue of Liberty and what it represents. When they took God out of the Schools is when the people in government represented themselves and not the people. How can you unite the people, neighbors helping neighbors so the government doesn't have too? The Virginia Tech shootings this year and all the others befor shows that our children need faith and trust , the Kennedy years were called the golden years because of uniting and faith in our Neighbors and government especialy GOD. I believe in you! I support you! Please help America become the great country it once was in UNITY undivided under God. Thank you. Sheila in Virginia Beach
9.6.2007 8:00pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
As Chief Minority Counsel to the Senate Committee investigating Watergate, you learned quite a lot about the abuse of executive power. Many Americans are now very concerned about this issue in light of allegations relating to the Bush Administration. What are the most important lessons did you learn about the abuse of executive power from your service during the Watergate era, and how will you apply these lessons if you are elected?
9.6.2007 8:56pm
pat cosgrove (mail):
What are your thoughts on abolishing real estate taxes? After all, shouldn't we OWN our property after it is paid for, or have to pay the government (rent) after it has been paid for? Take a look at how this tax affects seniors. While at it, consider ousting personal property taxes...

Thank you.
9.6.2007 10:56pm
Andy Haynes (mail):

I'm 31, married, with two kids. I am also a type 1 (juvenile) diabetic. My kids are a little younger than your youngest 2, so I'm looking to a long and happy future with them. In the event that doesn't happen, I can't afford much in the way of life insurance. How do we trust the future will be better for the next generation, especially when we can't always insure it?


9.6.2007 11:26pm
Randy R. (mail):
and of course, the most important question of all:

Boxers or briefs?
9.7.2007 1:46am
Outside of immigration, what really separates your policies from Bush's? Because as far as I can tell, there's no separation. You'll implement the same policies outside of religion, especially in Iraq, and Iran, won't you?
9.7.2007 2:44am
Oh, and if you had the chance to engineer a reversal of Lawrence V. Texas, would you?
9.7.2007 2:46am
Mark F. (mail):
I have bad news for you: drug legalization (as a general rule) enjoys about 10% support from the American public--and increasingly, it isn't because the libertarian argument hasn't been presented, but because a lot of people have heard the argument, and have decided that the hazards of legalization are worse than the hazards of keeping them illegal.

So, that makes the majority correct, Clayton? What's your point? Obviously, many libertarians are aware that we aren't making much headway here. Those promoting the abolition of slavery probably felt the same way in 1840.
9.7.2007 3:03am
Mark F. (mail):
Why do you oppose the abolition of the Income Tax, unlike Ron Paul?
9.7.2007 3:05am
Sturm ruger (mail) (www):
Senator, you were strong in your support of Scooter Libby and said that you would pardon him. As president, would you also pardon former border control agents Jose Compean and Ignacio Ramos, who were convicted and imprisoned for shooting an illegal alien who was smuggling illegal drugs?
9.7.2007 1:29pm
Ilya Somin:
"Do you believe Lochner v. New York was correctly decided?

Do you believe Griswold v. Connecticut was correctly decided?

If your answers to these questions differ, what is the legal basis for the difference?"

Off topic, but one broad, structural answer is that the Constitution grants Congress greater authority over the economic sphere than over personal liberties

Both Lochner and Griswold dealt with state laws. Issues of congressional power are therefore irrelevant to those cases.
9.7.2007 5:04pm
K. Asaj:
1. what is your position on the status of jerusalem as the official capital of Israel

2. what is your position on the Death Penalty.

K. asaj
9.7.2007 7:38pm
The Drill SGT:
Dave, ask him one more.

Why does he think that US citizens who perform valuable services for the government while employed by private firms are ineligible to participate fully in politics?

His www site says this

Confirm Your Eligibility By checking this box, I certify: You must certify your eligibility before proceeding

I am a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident;
I am not a federal government contractor;
this is my personal credit card and this contribution is made from my own personal funds, not corporate, foreign national or labor union funds;
I will not be reimbursed by anyone for this contribution;
and my contributions to Friends of Fred Thompson Inc. will not aggregate in excess of $2,300 per election.
9.7.2007 8:38pm
mariner (mail):
Is possession really 9/10's of the law?

Not according to the DEA.

(couldn't help myself)
9.7.2007 8:40pm
Ray White (mail):
Senator Thompson:
How would you close Nationwide Loopholes that OUTRAGEOUSLY, Legally allow children as a passenger on a Motorcycle, or to operate a Powerboat without any Licensing or Training?

Common Sense dictates that New Law, CRIMINALLY prosecuting such Negligence by the vehicle's Owner; should be IMMEDIATELY LEGISLATED with Severe Penalties when resultant injury/death occurs,Ignoring the obvious financial interests of both the Trial Lawyer and/or Insurance Lobbies,and Preventing these Unbelievably common, Clear examples of Child Endangerment!

Flower Mound, Texas
9.7.2007 11:16pm
Factory Rat (mail):
Glad that you made your entry in the campaign official!
I am a factory worker from rural Wisconsin and I have a few questions for you.
What will you do to protect American jobs from being exported? The Chinese import fiasco brings into question the wisdom of outsourcing jobs when Americans can build a better quality,safe product. Also,would you support/enforce any laws regarding the "Point of Origin" labels for imported food?
I think as an American consumer I have the right to know where potential food purchases originated.
9.8.2007 12:12am
Ray White (mail):
Senator Thompson:
Why is "Eminent Domain" Law not used to build Federal and State Prisons?

Wardens of Overcrowded Jails continue to grant Known Felons "early release", often contrary to Judicial Order, (Illegal Alien or not) risking the Public Safety we deserve and indeed expect-DAILY.

Eminent Domain Law was designed to promote the "Good of the Public", not to assist the Rich, Private Land Developer to force empoverished Citizens from their property, for Corporate Financial gains.

Vast Desert or otherwise uninhabited State and Federal lands are appropriate "Build Sites" for such Long Overdue facilities, engineered to be both "Green" AND Profitable.

New Jails, intstead of new Condos, much more effectively address the best interests of ALL the People of the United States, simultaneously creating Thousands of new jobs in Numerous categories, related both to their Construction, and to the huge Supply Chain associated with their typical deployment and Operations.

Common Sense, don't you agree?

Flower Mound, Texas
9.8.2007 12:33am
Mr. R. White:

My brother was killed in a boating accident. had he not died, maybe, two teenage girls would have.

And your suggestion, I oppose.

What's next, licensing for bicycle riding?

If you want the nanny state go back to the north-east. You cannot be from Texas.

Houston, Texas
9.8.2007 9:51am
Jmtlaw (mail):
I'm very excited you are in it for real now! I am a conservative law student at night and I also teach 4th grade in the public school system for my full-time employment.
My question is not about a legal concept, but...
I would like to know how I can get Fred Thompson to speak to the Republican student organization at my law school (Univ. of Detroit-Mercy School of Law)?
9.8.2007 3:12pm
R. White (mail):
Reply to Jam (Jaime) Houston

Lake Lewisville in North Texas is just one Local example of numerous boating death cases NATIONWIDE.

Comparing that an unsupervised 14 year old, driving Daddy's $200,000, 1400 Horsepower, 80 MPH, 40 foot Powerboat, with Zero Training, poses no more danger to others than operating a bicycle, causes my guess that you must have Failed Math and Physics, perhaps due to poor teachers. (NO OFFENSE INTENDED)

Such a boat has Tenfold the Mass and Explosive Fuel capacity of a car, has NO BRAKES, NO Airbags, and NO Seat Belts...FURTHER, one cannot DROWN on the street from a temporary loss of consciousness either.

There is a REASON that cars, trucks, motorcycles and aircraft operation requires training and licensing. Commercial Watercraft operation also requires a Captain's License.

Similarly, the interaction of Mass, Inertia, Acceleration, Velocity and Gravity forces, can easily overpower the strength and therefore the ability; for ANY Motorcycle passenger to avoid falling off and being run over, not to mention a child, whose arms are obviously shorter and weaker than those of an adult.

Simple Common Sense should guide even those folks who don't understand the Math and Physics.

Jaime, you may (now) want to THINK YOUR OPINION THROUGH a little further. I am sorry to hear about your Brother.


All replies welcome. (Especially Fred's...)
9.9.2007 2:57am
I have thought about it and continue to think about such things.

I do understand mass and inertia. I grew up in water and sailboats, so to speak. I have watched doctors ram their newly acquired yacht against piers not knowing how to control the interaction of mass (which you claim I do not understand), speed, wind and the behavior of floating objects on a liquid.

My answer is still, I do not want nanny state.

I look at what my children are not longer able to do, without breaking some law, because of stupid fears of accidents.

All you accompish is the training of people to behave in government approved ways.

And, no thanks for the insult.
9.10.2007 1:36pm
bud (mail):
RW - a couple of points:

Capitalization of common nouns within a sentence, although de riguer a century or two ago, is not standard usage today. Without touching on ad hominum, that's as much as I'll say.

Since Fred is running for national office, I don't see what the nexus with Texas state law is. Oregon prohibits the operation of powered motorcraft of more that some maximum horsepower (something like 5HP, IIRC) without a valid boater's lincense. Why Texas cannot do the same is beyond me. This issue is certainly much below the radar of a presidential candidate.

If, as you claim, the "interaction of mass, inertia, acceleration, velocity and gravity forces" can cause ANY motorcycle passenger to fall off, why did I see four motorcycle passengers yesterday nonchalantly riding along, with none of them flying into the air to be cruelly dashed on the pavement? I think you misunderstand the interaction of those factors. Add in friction and the ordinary strength of the human body, and the explanation of what I see is clear. As to the applicability of those same factors to children, remmenber that inertia is very much a function of mass, and the human strenth necessary to resist forces that would be applied to an adult body is not required of a child, only the strength of the forces applied to a child's body.

Which is why my children and my grandchildren rode on the back of my motorcycle from about age 7, when their legs were long enough to touch the pegs. None of them ever flew off, nor has my passenger wife, who can't even bench press 50 pounds. Without superhuman strength, she manages to hold on during some spirited riding involving lean angles enough to scrape pegs and speeds well above the posted limit (only with clear roads and sight lines, of course... especially sight lines for Officer Friendly).

I don't know what the source of your antipathy toward motorcycles is, but I have to correct your misunderstandings, lest others are led into error.
9.10.2007 7:35pm