Candidates: Please include a notecard of recent Supreme Court decisions in your debate notes? Because when you're asked, as congressional candidate Jon Runyan was yesterday, which decision of the last 10-15 years you disagree with, 1857's Dred Scott won't fly.

Runyan, a former Philadelphia Eagles football player who just retired last year, is running as a Republican in a New Jersey district represented by freshman Democrat John Adler. The candidates were able to ask each other questions, and Adler had a winner. Via the Asbury Park Press:

"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?" Adler asked.

"That I strongly disagree with?" Runyan asked, pausing for a moment to consider the question. "Dred Scott."

There was some laughter in the audience.

"I said 10 or 15 years. . . . Dred Scott was the 1850s," Adler said, referring to the 1857 decision in which the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the practice of slavery. Runyan did not answer the question.

The video is pretty painful. There is more than "some laughter," and Runyan kind of looks around with a "What's so funny?" expression. On the other hand, at least he thinks Dred Scott was a bad decision.

[via TPM via commenter afterabe in #tips]

Update: As many have noted in the comments, pro-life candidates mentioning "Dred Scott" is said to be code for a candidate who wants to overturn Roe v. Wade. I think you are all giving Jon Runyan way too much credit in this case — it's a local debate and he made himself look like a national idiot in response to the question asked — but okay. (Double-mega update: He's pro-choice anyway.)