COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - On a swing through conservative western Iowa, Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani pledged to appoint judges who would strictly interpret the Constitution on gun rights and other issues.
His promise is aimed at reassuring conservatives nervous about his more liberal stands on gun control, abortion and other issues. As an example, he lauded a federal court ruling that overturned a 30-year-old ban on private ownership of handguns in Washington, D.C.
"The Second Amendment says people have a right to keep and bear arms. Judges interpret the Constitution; they should not be allowed to make it up," Giuliani told an audience of about 100 people Wednesday morning at Woodrow Wilson Junior High School in Council Bluffs.
He said he would appoint judges like Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, two President Bush appointees who were embraced by conservatives for their views on abortion and other issues.
Giuliani mentioned former President Reagan more than half a dozen times, reminding the crowd about how he served as a senior Justice Department official during the Reagan administration.
"He did a very, very good job of, much more often than not, selecting really good judges who would interpret the Constitution in a way that will protect your rights and my rights," he said. "They're there to interpret things, not to change things. You have legislators to change things."