GOP Prez Candidate Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) vows to appoint good conservative judges if elected:
John McCain made a play to the GOP's right wing yesterday, vowing to appoint conservative judges like Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. and Justice Samuel Alito and blasting Democratic rivals Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton for voting against them.
In a speech his campaign billed as a major address on the judiciary, McCain delivered a harsh critique of "judicial activists" who over step their Constitutional bounds. He also lambasted Democrats for blocking GOP nominees to the bench by turning the confirmation process into a "gauntlet of abuse."
Never forget: John Roberts played Peppermint Patty in his high school production of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, which should have disqualified him from something.
reason's Damon Root on why some libertarian activism on the high court can be a good thing:
A principled form of libertarian judicial activism—that is, one that consistently upholds individual rights while strictly limiting state power—is essential to the fight for a free society….The real legal challenge facing libertarians isn't judicial activism; it is defending individual rights from the liberals and conservatives who seek to take our liberties away.
Why the Supremes don't really reign so supreme, according to legal scholar Mark Tushnet:
If you're trying to chart the direction of the country–and I'll make up a number here–95 percent of it is due to changes in culture and politics. The Court can have some influence on the margins, pushing things a little further in the direction that they're already moving or sometimes retarding the direction. But 10 years down the line, the society's going to be pretty much where it would've been even if the courts hadn't said a word about it. I've used a metaphor from sound engineering. It's "noise around zero."
And given we started off talking about John McNasty McCain, for Zod's sake, buy reason editor in chief Matt Welch's essential guide to the straight-talking expresser, McCain: The Myth of a Maverick.