McCain v. Obama's Effect on Supreme Court
The New York Times compares Barack Obama and John McCain's effect on the Supreme Court.
Mr. McCain has promised the right wing of the Republican Party that he would put only archconservatives on the Supreme Court. Even moderate conservatives like Anthony Kennedy, the court’s current swing justice, would not have a chance.
Mr. McCain, whose Web site proclaims his dedication to overturning Roe v. Wade, would appoint justices who could be expected to lead the charge to eliminate the right to abortion. The kinds of justices for whom Mr. McCain has expressed a strong preference would also be likely to undermine the right of habeas corpus, allowing the government to detain people indefinitely without access to lawyers or family members.
After more examples of the court we'd get under McCain, the Times evaluates Obama's effect: [More...]
As president, Mr. Obama would probably be more inclined to appoint centrist liberals, like Justice Stephen Breyer, than all-out liberals, like William Brennan or Thurgood Marshall.
Predicting vacancies on the court is difficult. But odds are that members of the liberal bloc, like 88-year-old John Paul Stevens, will leave first. That means that if Mr. Obama is elected, he might merely keep the court on its current moderately conservative course. Under Mr. McCain, if a liberal justice or two or three steps down, we may see a very different America.
As I've pointed out repeatedly, if McCain wins it will be because the radical right leapt to his cause once he put evangelical Sarah Palin on the ticket. It is only their enthusiasm that can win the election for McCain. Should McCain win, the radical right will call in its chit and the price will be our Supreme Court justices.
This is the chief danger of McCain-Palin, from my point of view. Congress can pass all the laws it wants, but it is the Supreme Court that decides if they are constitutional. Supreme Court justices can serve 30 or 40 years. What kind of legacy is this to leave our children?
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