Judges: Indications that John Fund might be telling the truth about McCain regarding the Alito issue
By Spiral Posted in 2008 — Comments (49) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
At this point we don't really know whether John Fund or John McCain is telling the truth in this recent dust up over judicial nominations. But we do have a record of McCain taking "maverick" positions on judicial nominations.
Back in April 2005 judicial nominations were a hot issue because the Democrats filibustered several conservative judicial nominees. So, Chris Matthews of MSNBC asked John McCain about the nuclear option and judicial filibusters:
MATTHEWS: The president of the United States gets to pick federal judges. What should be the standard that the opposition applies to whether they let it come to a vote or not?
MCCAIN: I think that they should let them come to a vote, but I also think that before the nominations are formally introduced, the way they used to do it, they would kind of run the traps of the— senators, particularly those on the committee and say, "Are these acceptable or unacceptable?" and if they were unacceptable they wouldn’t send them over and if they were acceptable, then they would move forward.
We used to have this thing called a blue slip, where if it was a judge from your state, you could and if you objected they didn’t take it up. And by the way, when Bill Clinton was president, we effectively, in the Judiciary Committee, blocked a number of his nominees.
MATTHEWS: But bottom line, would you vote for what’s called the “nuclear option,” to get rid of the filibuster rule on judgeships?
MCCAIN: No, I will not.
MATTHEWS: You will stick with the party?
MCCAIN: No, I will vote against the nuclear option.
McCain was basically saying that before he would nominate someone to the federal courts, he would ask Senators whether a potential nominee was "acceptable or unacceptable." This very likely means that if Chuck Schumer, Pat Leahy, Dick Durbin and Ted Kennedy didn't find a potential nominee acceptable and threatened to filiubster, McCain wouldn't go forward with that candidate.
Here's what a spokesman for the National Right to Life Committee said about McCain's announcement that he would vote with the Democrats on this crucial issue.
NRLC’s Douglas Johnson commented, “McCain engages in a ludicrous pretext when he suggests that he wants to preserve the right to filibuster a liberal Supreme Court nominee. The idea that Senator McCain would offend the liberal newspaper editorial boards and the other media-entertainment elites whose approval he so assiduously cultivates, on an issue of that sort, is implausible in the extreme.”
Even though we don't know if Fund or McCain is being accurate on this controversy, we do know that NRLC's Douglas Johnson is correct that McCain values the opinions of liberal newspaper editorial boards and liberal US Senators. So, perhaps we shouldn't assume that John Fund made this whole thing up and we should instead take an open-minded position on this.