Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Which Supreme Courts Justices Would You Not Have Nominated?

From the WSJ comes a good question asked by Pastor Warren:

Rev. Warren asked each candidate which Justices he would not have nominated. McCain, who interviewed after Obama, answered that, “with all due respect,” the four most liberal Justices.

For his part, Obama said, “that’s a good one,” and then explained: “I would not have nominated Clarence Thomas. I don’t think that he, I don’t think that he was a strong enough jurist or legal thinker at the time for that elevation. Setting aside the fact that I profoundly disagree with his interpretation of a lot of the Constitution.” Obama added that he wouldn’t have appointed Justice Scalia, and perhaps not John Roberts, either.

Here is the transcript. It says:
Which existing Supreme Court Justices would you not have nominated?

MCCAIN: With all due respect, Justice Ginsburg, Justice Breyer, Justice Souter, and Justice Stephens.

WARREN: Why? Tell me why.

MCCAIN: Well, I think that the president of the United States has incredible responsibility in nominating people to the United States Supreme Court. They are lifetime positions, as well as the federal bench. There will be two or maybe three vacancies. This nomination should be based on the criteria of proven record, of strictly adhering to the Constitution of the United States of America and not legislating from the bench. Some of the worst damage has been done by legislating from the bench. (APPLAUSE).

And by the way, Justices Alito and Roberts are two of my most recent favorites, by the way. They really are. They are very fine. (LAUGHTER). And I'm proud of President Bush for nominating them.
Obama's transcript is in a different file. [September 23: In light of the first comment below, I've deleted the excerpt from Obama's transcript, as it might be misleading.]

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Blogger Evan T. Burchfield said...

Hello friend! I was looking for this transcript online and was led to your blog.

Thought you should know that your Obama transcript is incorrect, watch the video:

The "I'm getting the cues" bit was Obama's response to Warren trying to cut him off; he didn't get to his "specific instance" because Warren was trying to move on.

I'm a Reformed and Orthodox Christian with leftist politics, so I have no idea how McCain can justify saying that liberals like Ginsburg, or moderates like Souter, should not have been nominated. Is this simply because they have tended to support a woman's right to choose abortion? Despite my general disdain for the act of abortion, its legality is a constitutional question: the only Justices willing to rule against it at this point are those with personal moral or religious convictions, and those who hold to "originalism," which is to me an intellectually dishonest way to force the Christian worldview on the rest of the country.

I'm glad Reagan appointed at least a couple moderates, as did Bush 41. Clinton's nominees aren't all that moderate, but their positions are in my opinion intellectually defensible, unlike Scalia or Thomas' no-nonsense, up-or-down originalism.

September 24, 2008 5:57 PM  

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