Port: Doug Burgum’s embrace of federalism is like a breath of fresh air


MINOT, N.D. — For decades, pro-life conservatives argued that the U.S. Supreme Court, in the Roe v. Wade decision, had usurped state sovereignty by inventing a right to an abortion in the national Constitution.

So when Doug Burgum answered questions about a possible national abortion ban fired at him by the press corps covering his nascent presidential campaign, he took the position that’s consistent with conservative tradition on both the abortion issue, specifically, and the relationship between the states and the federal government, generally.

“I think the decision that was made returning the power to the states was the right one,” he said during a CNN interview yesterday.

“The best decisions are made locally,” he added.

Abortion is not a question many people in politics are capable of being nuanced about. Pro-lifers tend to support the maximum amount of restriction, and their pro-choice opponents the opposite. There are undoubtedly many who find Burgum’s principled answer to be unsatisfying, but it’s also the correct one. At least from a conservative, federalist point of view.

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