Democrat Phil Weiser is seeking another term as Attorney General in 2022, and he’s making it very clear where his policy priorities stand on several key issues.
Weiser was a guest on “Colorado Matters” with Colorado Public Radio interviewer extraordinaire Ryan Warner today. The incumbent AG left no doubt that he plans to protect the rights and interests of Coloradans through the rest of his term and if re-elected in November.
Here’s Warner and Weiser on the issue of abortion rights:
WARNER: Anti-abortion activists are looking for ways to prevent patients from crossing state lines to access care. Missouri, for instance, is considering a bill that would penalize organizations and doctors helping people travel out of state. Since Colorado stands out in the region for its access, what role do you see for yourself as attorney general?
WEISER: Our role is on multiple fronts. The fundamental point is we will defend the right to reproductive healthcare here in Colorado for Coloradans, for those coming to our state, and for doctors practicing medicine. We are aware, as has been threatened, that some states may say, “We’re not going to allow patients to travel. We’ll criminalize that activity,” or even try to criminalize doctors in Colorado. We will fight them all the way up to the Supreme Court. [Pols emphasis] And I would note, Justice Brett Kavanaugh in his concurrence, underscored the interstate right to travel remains, and that patients have a right to access healthcare here in Colorado from wherever they come from.
Weiser says that under his direction, Colorado would protect the right to “interstate travel,” which is supposed to protect Americans who travel through states that might have different laws on specific issues. His analogy at the end is a great way to explain the issue:
Weiser: Our role would not be representing the patient as their personal lawyer. Our role would be representing the state of Colorado’s sovereign interests in reproductive healthcare, which means if there’s litigation, we could get involved to defend Colorado’s rights not to have interstate travel infringed. This is something we haven’t seen before. It would be like Nebraska saying, “We’re going to criminalize someone who goes to Colorado and buys and uses marijuana in Colorado.” That’s a legal activity in Colorado. That’s the interstate right to travel. [Pols emphasis]
Weiser also made it clear that he would fight any local government efforts to create their own abortion-specific laws:
WARNER: What do you make of the fact that Colorado is becoming something of a safe haven in this regard? Certainly those who oppose abortion and who live here might think that’s not what they want their state known for.
WEISER: Colorado, a few years ago, decided a question, whether or not to ban abortions after 22 weeks. 59% of Coloradans rejected that abortion ban and listened to the stories that were told during the course of that conversation. Our legislature passed a Reproductive Health Equity Act, which makes it very clear that any local effort to curb a woman’s right to choose violates Colorado law. That means my office and the state has an interest here that we have to enforce, even if that means taking a local government to court. [Pols emphasis] If people in Colorado don’t like any of that, they have elections. Those who are anti-choice could win elections, could try to change public policies.
At the end Weiser makes it clear that he is doing what he thinks a majority of Coloradans already support — drawing a line in the sand with his General Election opponent, District Attorney John Kellner.
On the issue of gun violence, Weiser did not mince words about where he would stand:
WEISER: I’m going to defend gun safety protections, like our red flag law, like our background check law…
…The gun safety measures like our magazine capacity limit have been attacked in court, and we know that. We have to defend those laws. We have to enforce those laws. [Pols emphasis] The red flag law in Colorado, I believe, has been a real success. There’s been reporting recently that a number of those counties that were skeptical about it, have in fact used it and have seen it as an effective law enforcement tool. We’ve been working to provide guidance on how to use it. I don’t know for sure that we’ll see an attack based on the Second Amendment, but we’re going to be prepared.
We’d encourage you to read the entire interview at CPR. Unlike what we’ve seen and heard from mealy-mouthed Republican politicians such as
Hiedi Heidi Ganahl and Joe O’Dea, Weiser is direct and to the point in telling voters what he will continue to do if re-elected in November.
We’d tell you what Kellner thinks about all of this, but we have no idea because he hasn’t said. He’s been too busy lately sneaking into photo ops for drug busts performed by federal agencies.