From the Washington Post:
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., May 6 — Highlighting an issue he plans to use aggressively in the general election campaign, Sen. John McCain on Tuesday decried “the common and systematic abuse of our federal courts by the people we entrust with judicial power” and pledged to nominate judges similar to the ones President Bush has placed on the bench.
The presumptive Republican presidential nominee said that Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. “would serve as the model for my own nominees, if that responsibility falls to me,” highlighting the gap between Republicans and Democrats on the question of who should sit on the Supreme Court. Both justices have established strong conservative records since Bush appointed them, and the appointment of one more conservative to the nation’s highest court could tip the balance on issues such as abortion, discrimination, civil liberties and private property.
The two remaining Democratic candidates, Sens. Barack Obama (Ill.) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.), opposed the nominations of Roberts and Alito.
“My nominees will understand that there are clear limits to the scope of judicial power, and clear limits to the scope of federal power,” McCain told a crowd of several hundred at Wake Forest University’s Wait Chapel, as he stood in front of nine American flags and mock-ups of the preamble to the Constitution.
Later in the day, he announced the formation of a conservative-leaning Justice Advisory Committee, which he said will counsel him on judicial appointments if he wins the presidency. The group, which will be chaired by former solicitor general Theodore B. Olson and Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), is a Who’s Who of prominent conservative legal minds, with members including Princeton University professor Robert George and Rachel Brand, former assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Policy.
McCain made a point of noting that he had voted for Bill Clinton’s two Supreme Court appointees, Stephen G. Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, “because I believed that they were qualified.” He added: “Elections have consequences. One of the consequences is the president of the United States gets to name his or her nominees to the bench.”
When you vote in November, kids, keep in mind that Alberto Gonzales and Harriet Miers might be looking for work! Just a word to the wise. 😉
Remember it’s Wednesday, so visit me over at American Street.