No Runny Eggs

The repository of one hard-boiled egg from the south suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (and the occassional guest-blogger). The ramblings within may or may not offend, shock and awe you, but they are what I (or my guest-bloggers) think.

The judicial nail in McCain’s coffin (R&E part 2 – confirmed and bumped)

by @ 0:38 on January 31, 2008. Filed under Lawgivers-In-Black, Politics - National.

Revisions/extensions part 2 (12:38 am 1/31/2008, H/T – Allahpundit) – Since Robert Novak has double-blind-sourced this (triple-or-more sourced assuming those two sources weren’t lying about not being John Fund’s source), this thing is back on the top after an initial posting at 1:53 pm 1/28/2008.

I had been unwilling to bring John Fund’s assertion that John McCain would not have nominated Justice Sam Alito to your attention, mainly because, like Bull Dog Pundit, I was concerned that it was unsourced and uncollaborated. However, since Kathryn Jean Lopez has collaborated it and Rich Lowry notes that the Straight Double Talk Express response doesn’t exactly deal with the charge, it’s time to toss it all out there:

More recently, Mr. McCain has told conservatives he would be happy to appoint the likes of Chief Justice John Roberts to the Supreme Court. But he indicated he might draw the line on a Samuel Alito, because “he wore his conservatism on his sleeve.” (John Fund’s column)

(Steve) Schmidt (of the McCain camp) was a major player in the Alito confirmation fight, and says this: “It’s absolutely false. Sen. McCain was instrumental is helping confirm Justice Alito. We relied on him a great deal during the confirmation process to reassure the American people that Alito was the kind of justice America needed. John McCain was a warrior to get Alito on the bench.” (McCain camp’s response per Rich Lowry)

The non-denial denial isn’t exactly selling. Bryan Preston sums it up best (as usual):

…Second, is Alito really too conservative by McCain’s lights to be a SCOTUS nominee under a McCain presidency? McCain needs to answer this immediately. Different types of conservatives vote based on many things, but judges have to rank in the top five for nearly all of us. While most conservatives have soured on the Bush presidency either because of spending or immigration or this or that policy, most of us still consider Bush’s SCOTUS nominees (minus Miers) to be reason enough to consider his presidency, on balance, worth support and certainly better than the alternatives that were available in 2000 and 2004. If McCain won’t appoint nominees similar to Bush’s, no speech at CPAC will help him repair the rift with conservatives, and conservatives don’t have much reason to support him if he’s the GOP nominee.

If McCain truly does consider Alito to be too conservative, then on judges even Rudy Giuliani is to McCain’s right and would make a less problematic GOP nominee than McCain.

I do take issue with the assertion that Giuliani would be better than McCain on the issue of judges. While Giuliani has said that he would appoint “strict constructionists”, he also signaled that he would reject any potential nominee that does not believe in stare decisis, specifically with regard to abortion.

Revisons/extensions (2:18 pm 1/28/2008) – Byron York got some face time with McCain and asked him point-blank about this:

“Let me just look you in the eye,” McCain told me. “I’ve said a thousand times on this campaign trail, I’ve said as often as I can, that I want to find clones of Alito and Roberts. I worked as hard as anybody to get them confirmed. I look you in the eye and tell you I’ve said a thousand times that I wanted Alito and Roberts. I have told anybody who will listen. I flat-out tell you I will have people as close to Roberts and Alito [as possible], and I am proud of my record of working to get them confirmed, and people who worked to get them confirmed will tell you how hard I worked.”

“I don’t get it,” McCain continued. “I have a clear record of that. All I can tell you is my record is clear: I’ve supported these guys. I went to the floor of the Senate and spoke in favor of them. It’s in the record, saying, ‘You’ve got to confirm these people.'”

I asked whether McCain had ever drawn any distinction between Roberts and Alito. “No, no, of course not,” McCain said.

I asked about the “wore his conservatism on his sleeve” line. “I’m proud of people who wear their conservatism on their sleeves, because they have to have a clear record of strict adherence to the Constitution,” McCain told me. “Remember, in all my remarks, I’ve said, look, we’re not going to take somebody’s word for it. You have to have a clear record of adherence to the Constitution, a strict interpretation of the Constitution. I have said that time after time after time.”

On this issue of the quote/non-quote, the ball is back in Fund’s (and Lopez’s) court. McCain went on to defend the Gang of 14, and gave a piss-poor defense of that. It really is an issue for another post, but it reinforces the basic objections I have with McCain regarding conservative judges.

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