John McCain on Judges - More of the same…

May 7, 2008 10:41 am posted by Jason Rosenbaum

Today at Wake Forest University, John McCain laid out his theory on Supreme Court Justice appointments:

I will look for accomplished men and women with a proven record of excellence in the law, and a proven commitment to judicial restraint. I will look for people in the cast of John Roberts, Samuel Alito, and my friend the late William Rehnquist — jurists of the highest caliber who know their own minds, and know the law, and know the difference. My nominees will understand that there are clear limits to the scope of judicial power, and clear limits to the scope of federal power.

McCain has said he will do more than just appoint judges “in the cast of” Roberts and Alito, he has said he wants to appoint “clones of Alito and Roberts.” 

Continuing on, McCain uttered something many may find familiar:

Federal courts are charged with applying the Constitution and laws of our country to each case at hand. There is great honor in this responsibility, and honor is the first thing to go when courts abuse their power. The moral authority of our judiciary depends on judicial self-restraint, but this authority quickly vanishes when a court presumes to make law instead of apply it. A court is hardly competent to check the abuses of other branches of government when it cannot even control itself.

Why familiar? In a presidential debate in 2000, George Bush said something remarkably similar:

“I’m the only one on the stage who’s appointed judges,” Bush said. ”And my judges strictly interpret the Constitution. And that’s what I hope all of us would do when we appoint judges, to put people on the bench that strictly interpret the Constitution and do not use the bench as a place from which to legislate.”

John McCain’s supports the Bush appointed justices Roberts and Alito, he wants to appoint “clones” of Roberts and Alito, and he has the same theory about “activist” judges that Bush holds.

While some believe John McCain retains his “maverick” mantle, his proposed choices for the Supreme Court - modeled after Bush’s choices - would be anything but moderate. Under the leadership of Chief Justice John Roberts, the Supreme Court has taken a decidedly rightward tack. The swing was so sudden it caused Justice Stephen Breyer to exclaim, ”It is not often in the law that so few have so quickly changed so much.”

Doesn’t sound maverick-like to me.

And on the issues at stake, McCain again fails to live up to his “independent” title. Over his entire legislative career - more than 25 years - John McCain has received a zero from pro-choice groups NARAL and Planned Parenthood. He’s also consistently voted for anti-choice judicial nominees.

The situation couldn’t be clearer: In his words, his actions, and his votes, John McCain resembles George Bush in every way. 

Post a Comment | Trackback | Follow Comments via RSS

One Response to “John McCain on Judges - More of the same…”

  1. NYT Editorial Board: McCain = Bush - The Seminal :: Independent Media and Politics Says:

    [...] friends in the blogosphere and I have spent weeks now pointing out just how disastrously similar a John [...]

Leave a Reply