McCain Shifts Attack to Supreme Court

The McCain campaign wants voters to believe "that Mr. Obama’s judgment about his associates [Rezko, Ayers, and Wright] shows that he cannot be trusted to pick justices for the Supreme Court." An ad to that effect will begin running this week. John McCain's association with Charles Keating, Phil Gramm, and a brigade of lobbyists is apparently irrelevant to McCain's judgment. At least it won't be mentioned in the advertising.

Conservatives are particularly exercised that Barack Obama described his ideal judge in human terms:

“What I do want is a judge who is sympathetic enough to those who are on the outside, those who are vulnerable, those who are powerless, those who can’t have access to political power and as a consequence can’t protect themselves from being — from being dealt with sometimes unfairly, that the courts become a refuge for justice,” said Mr. Obama, who taught constitutional law for years at the University of Chicago.

[more ...]

Several conservative observers of the court said they interpreted those remarks as code for Mr. Obama’s intention to select "liberal activist judges."

For instance, Neomi Rao at George Mason University Law School says: “When I hear about a judge who rules on the basis of empathy, I think of an activist judge.” That's funny. When I hear about a judge who has no empathy for ordinary people, I think of a judge who will be a pro-business activist, the kind who will look for any excuse to rule against an employee in a discrimination suit or a victim in a civil rights suit. The kind of activist judge that President Bush, his father, and President Reagan dumped onto the judicial bench for 20 of the last 28 years.

The Supreme Court is important but it hears a handful of cases each year. Equally important are all the lower court judges who preside over trials and the first appeal. The public gives little notice to judicial appointments (other than the Supreme Court) and is likely to pay scant attention to the conservative aversion to compassion as a judicial quality. When people are losing their houses, their jobs, and their health insurance, a bit of compassion doesn't seem like a bad thing. This just isn't a good year for the conservative hatred of all things kind to take root.

< McCain's New Attack Speech | McCain: Erratic, Angry And Desperate >
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    When I hear the term (5.00 / 0) (#1)
    by litigatormom on Mon Oct 06, 2008 at 02:59:27 PM EST
    "strict constructionist," I hear someone who wants to rollback constitutional rights that have already been recognized by the Supreme Court, except for the President and Vice President of the United States.

    Constitutional Fundamentalists (5.00 / 0) (#2)
    by andgarden on Mon Oct 06, 2008 at 03:00:18 PM EST
    Not really much more to it than that, as far as I'm concerned.

    hm (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by connecticut yankee on Mon Oct 06, 2008 at 03:04:42 PM EST
    I wonder how many attack themes they think they can sustain? At some point it just becomes white noise.

    jeez (5.00 / 0) (#5)
    by sarany on Mon Oct 06, 2008 at 03:08:06 PM EST
    is he shooting at everything, or what?  

    I think that this rapid fire, scattergun, let's-try-this-one behavior is only going to cement the growing perception that this guy is the original loose cannon.  And a desperate one, at that.

    Thankfully (5.00 / 0) (#6)
    by Steve M on Mon Oct 06, 2008 at 04:17:06 PM EST
    conservatives never, ever talk in code about the kind of judges they would appoint.

    Mr. Smith goes to SCOTUS. (none / 0) (#4)
    by oculus on Mon Oct 06, 2008 at 03:04:53 PM EST