McCain to Go After Obama on Judges

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: May 06, 2008 8:40 AM

I'm in Winston-Salem, N.C. this morning waiting on a speech by John McCain on judges. He'll also be joined by Fred!, Sen. Richard Burr, Sen. Sam Brownback, and Ted Olson. The line to get in stretched the length of the quad on both sides.

There was a small group of protesters outside the Wake Forest University campus setting up signs that said, "We don't need more bad Bush judges." Silly protesters. These would be bad McCain judges. I kid. I kid.

Fred gave a preview of what's to come yesterday on the Glenn and Helen Show.

In this excerpt from the campaign
, McCain goes after Obama on the issue (emphasis mine):

Senator Obama in particular likes to talk up his background as a lecturer on law, and also as someone who can work across the aisle to get things done. But when Judge Roberts was nominated, it seemed to bring out more the lecturer in Sen. Obama than it did the guy who can get things done. He went right along with the partisan crowd, and was among the 22 senators to vote against this highly qualified nominee. 

And just where did John Roberts fall short, by the Senator's measure?  Well, a justice of the court, as Senator Obama explained it -– and I quote -– should share "one's deepest values, one's core concerns, one's broader perspectives on how the world works, and the depth and breadth of one's empathy." 

These vague words attempt to justify judicial activism -– come to think of it, they sound like an activist judge wrote them. And whatever they mean exactly, somehow Sen. Obama's standards proved too lofty a standard for a nominee who was brilliant, fair-minded, and learned in the law, a nominee of clear rectitude who had proved more than the equal of any lawyer on the Judiciary Committee, and who today is respected by all as the Chief Justice of the United States. 

Somehow, by Sen. Obama's standard, even Judge Roberts didn't measure up. And neither did Justice Samuel Alito.  Apparently, nobody quite fits the bill except for an elite group of activist judges, lawyers, and law professors who think they know wisdom when they see it –- and they see it only in each other.

I have my own standards of judicial ability, experience, philosophy, and temperament.  And Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito meet those standards in every respect.  They would serve as the model for my own nominees if that responsibility falls to me.
McCain has clearly forgotten Obama's uplifting and transcendent explanation on Fox News Sunday of how his his vote against Roberts was actually evidence of his ability to work with people on the other side of the aisle.

He'll undoubtedly address the Gang of 14, which I know still rankles conservatives, but you gotta admit (and McCain will point it out) it uncorked the confirmation process nicely.