10/20/2010 04:48 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Jon Runyan On 'Dred Scott': GOP Candidate Can't Name Recent Supreme Court Case (VIDEO)

New Jersey GOP Congressional candidate Jon Runyan has spent a large part of the last 13 years on a football field, and a recent debate response given by the former NFLer might be leading some to believe that he wasn't brushing up on his Supreme Court history in his spare time.

At a debate Tuesday night, Runyan's Democratic opponent, Rep. John Adler, asked, "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?"

"That I strongly disagree with?" Runyan clarified, pausing before considering his final answer.

"Dred Scott," Runyan responded, drawing laughter from the audience.

Adler then posed the question again. Runyan reportedly did not respond.

The inept response comes days after Delaware GOP Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell stumbled on a similar question in a debate with her opponent, Chris Coons.

While O'Donnell asked for a hint, and, in the end, never provided a direct answer, Runyan decided to provide a Supreme Court decision from 1857 as a recent ruling.

The Dred Scott v. Sandford case, however, is at least one that most candidates running for office would be proud to oppose. The 19th century decision upheld slavery and maintained that African-Americans were not citizens and not protected by the constitution.