Of all of Palin's gaffs in response to Katie Couric, probably the most frightening is her answer on Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruling that found that states could not deny women the choice of their own health care procedures based on an unenumerated right to privacy being implicit in the Constitution.
A lot has been made about Palin's inability to name any Supreme Court case, which is terrible enough. Forget the obvious cases (e.g. Brown v. Topeka Board of Education, the Dredd Scott case, Bush v. Gore): earlier this year, the Supreme Court recently reduced the damages Exxon had to pay for the Valdeez spill in Alaska, which Palin spoke out against. Forget the fact that every U.S. high school student could have answered this question.
What's really appalling to me is that she doesn't understand the Roe v. Wade decision. Now, I totally respect someone, sitting in their armchair, saying nothing more than that they disagree with Roe v. Wade and don't approve of abortion. But I don't respect a national candidate showing a complete lack of knowledge about the issue or condemning the Supreme Court's ruling without the high school basics about what that ruling was about. It's not enough to say, based on your gut, "I disagree with this." There are real arguments involved, this is the Supreme Court, and you have to examine why people came to their decisions in order to disagree. It's important, if you have any respect for being right at all, to examine the specific logic involved. It doesn't matter the issue involved: I can't stand people who opposed the Iraq War just based on their gut, with a similar lack of logic. Abortion is one of the major issues of our time, and it's not enough to say, on the national level, that you just don't like it -- and to repeat talking points about states' rights, especially without knowledge of how states' rights work Constitutionally and the history of that argument.
Arguably even worse is Palin's suggestion that she would, as V.P., be in a position to change those decisions which she sees as opposing states' rights. How exactly can a V.P., or even a President, make such a change -- outside of proposing a Constitutional amendment? It's doubtful that she's arguing in favor of executive orders or signing statements -- she might not oppose them, but she doesn't seem to have the understanding necessary to know what they are. The only other option, which is really frightening, is that she doesn't understand the role of the executive branch.
As it turns out, this was only the first of many comments that Palin would make suggesting that she doesn't understand the U.S. Constitution.