In this year’s first senatorial debate, incumbent John Ashcroft promised to support U.S. Supreme Court Justices who interpret the constitution strictly. Governor Carnahan accused his democratic opponent of finding excuses to defeat promising candidates he dislikes. Carnahan also defended his opposition to partial-birth abortion bills in the legislature, saying he would have signed a bill that protected the health of the mother. Ashcroft says the partial-birth bill Carnahan describes would do nothing to stop abortions.