Blake Masters is a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate /photo Gage Skidmore/Fliickr
By KATYA SCHWENK | Phoenix New Times
After an Arizona Mirror article on Arizona’s U.S. Senate candidate Blake Masters’ views on contraception went viral this week, the venture capitalist is now threatening a lawsuit against the outlet.
“If I have any free time after winning my elections then you’re getting sued,” Masters wrote on Twitter on Monday. “Gawker found out the hard way and you will too.” He attached a letter from his attorneys that promised a defamation lawsuit was on its way.
Masters is vying for the Republican nomination in a competitive race for U.S. Senate, in the hopes of ousting incumbent Democrat Mark Kelly. The field of candidates includes several other prominent Republicans, such as current Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich and businessman Jim Lamon.
Over the weekend, Masters found himself in a media firestorm, partly due to a short article by the Mirror on Masters’ views on contraception. The piece, published on May 6, was entitled: “GOP Senate candidate Blake Masters wants to allow states to ban contraception use.”
The Mirror’s reporting was based largely on a statement on Masters’ own website. In a section detailing his position on abortion, Masters announced that he promised to only support federal judges “who understand that Roe and Griswold and Casey were wrongly decided, and that there is no constitutional right to abortion.”
Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey are two cases that deal only with abortion rights. But Griswold v. Connecticut, as the Mirror noted, protected the right to purchase and use contraceptives without government intervention. Like Roe, the case was based on a “right to privacy,” a concept that is not explicitly stated in the U.S. Constitution, but which judges inferred from due process rights.
Masters did not expand on his views on contraception on the website, aside from the sentence claiming the case was wrongly decided. Since the Mirror wrote its article, the section appears to have been revised to remove Griswold from the list, leaving only Roe and Casey.
Attorneys for Masters wrote in their letter to the Mirror that the idea that he supported a contraception ban was “absolutely false.” They also asserted that while “Blake believes Griswold v. Connecticut was wrongly decided,” it did not mean he advocated banning contraception as a policy.
The Mirror’s piece, though, did not outright say that Masters was advocating a total ban — just that he “thinks judges should also take aim at the right to buy and use contraception,” based on his public position on Griswold.