[Guest post by DRJ]
Matthew J. Franck at NRO’s The Corner is not generally impressed with McCain’s Gang of 14, his votes for Ginsburg and Breyer, or his recent speech on the judiciary. But when he compares McCain’s position on judges to Obama’s, he thinks the choice for McCain is easy.
Here are excerpts from Obama’s July 2007 speech to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. First, Obama claims the Supreme Court is rolling back abortion rights and discusses how he would stop it:
“Some people argue that the federal ban on abortion was just an isolated effort aimed at one medical procedure—that it’s not part of a concerted effort to roll back the hard-won rights of American women. That presumption is also wrong.
With one more vacancy on the Court, we could be looking at a majority hostile to a woman’s fundamental right to choose for the first time since Roe versus Wade and that is what is at stake in this election.
I have worked on these issues for decades now. I put Roe at the center of my lesson plan on reproductive freedom when I taught Constitutional Law. Not simply as a case about privacy but as part of the broader struggle for women’s equality. Steve and Pam will tell you that we fought together in the Illinois State Senate against restrictive choice legislation—laws just like the federal abortion laws, the federal abortion bans that are cropping up. I’ve stood up for the freedom of choice in the United States Senate and I stand by my votes against the confirmation of Judge Roberts and Samuel Alito [Applause]
So, you know where I stand. But this more is than just about standing our ground. It must be about more than protecting the gains of the past. We’re at a crossroads right now in America—and we have to move this country forward. This election is not just about playing defense, it’s also about playing offense. It’s not just about defending what is, it’s about creating what might be in this country. And that’s what we’ve got to work together on.”
On other Supreme Court cases that Obama views as threats to the rights of women:
“We know, we know it’s not just one decision. It’s the blow dealt to equal pay in the Ledbetter [v. Goodyear] case, it’s the blow dealt to integration in the school desegregation case, it’s an approach to the law that favors the powerful over the powerless—that holds up a flawed ideology over the rights of the individual. We don’t see America in these decisions—that’s not who we are as a people. We’re a country founded on the principle of equality and freedom. We’re the country that’s fought generation after generation to extend that equality to the many not restrict it to the few. We’ve been there before and we’re not going back.”
Obama concludes by pointing out that people may not agree on the details but they can agree on the big picture. Thus, people may not agree on whether parents should have notice of their daughters’ abortions or whether there should be partial birth abortions, but all Americans agree they want their daughters to have the “same opportunities as their sons.”
Obama’s goal is to focus on common ground, on the big picture, that we all ultimately want good things for our families – while refusing to yield on the details. Details like how the law should be written or whether men like Roberts and Alito make good nominees.
EDIT: Obama makes it clear that his idea of a good Supreme Court Justice is Ruth Bader Ginsberg.