LOLnuts on the Federal Judiciary

The [Occasionally] Federalist Society brings us this online debate featuring Republican presidential candidates waxing hyperbolic and idiotic on the federal judiciary and the sort of people a president should appoint thereto. Although the debate features some delightful commentary from Willard “Mitt” Romney, Mike “6000-year-old universe” Huckabee and Ron “I give daily thanks to the Free Market that I was born white” Paul, I’d like to focus on the statement of John “Walnuts!” McCain. After all, beyond entertainment value, he’s the one who’s actually relevant on the Republican side nowadays.

McCain says all the right things. Really. His statement has it all: “legislat[ing] from the bench”, “usurp[ing] the role of the people and their representatives”, “faithfully apply the law as written”, “judicial fiat”, “liberal judicial activists”, “abortion and the definition of marriage”, “stance of active hostility toward religion”, “respect[ing] the proper role of local and state governments”, “respect[ing] the lawmaking powers of Congress, and the powers of the President”, etc., etc.

He even throws in some non-standard verbiage about how judges should be “humbled” by their role in the system. Why that’s the case I’m not sure. Seems to me that an abundance of riches with regard to humility is neither necessary nor desirable when your “role in the system” consists solely of acting as a rubber stamp for whatever a state or federal executive official or legislative body chooses to do. Better that such abundances be possessed by the legislators and executive branch officials operating sans any meaningful judicial oversight. But hey, whatever.

McCain closes with:

That is why I strongly supported John Roberts and Samuel Alito for the Supreme Court and that is why I would seek men and women like them as my judicial appointees. (Emphasis added.)

Really? Not always, at least according to Republican hack and pretend journalist Robert Novak. During an informal discussion involving McCain and a couple of Republican lawyers in April 2007, the following exchange took place:

“Wouldn’t it be great if you get a chance to name somebody like Roberts and Alito?” one lawyer commented. McCain replied, “Well, certainly Roberts.” Jaws were described as dropping. My sources cannot remember exactly what McCain said next, but their recollection is that he described Alito as too conservative.

Oh, dear. Alito too conservative!? You can’t say that shit even in private if you’re running for the presidency as a Republican.

And so LOLnuts has become a born again “strong[] support[er]” of Justice Alito. McCain isn’t the first candidate to sacrifice courage of conviction on the altar of political expediency, and certainly won’t be the last. Even so, it’s been disheartening to watch a man for whom I once had considerable respect reduced from relative independence to being a $5 whore for the wingers.

The funny part: the wingers still hate his guts.

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