Patterico's Pontifications

6/8/2008

L.A. Times Employs Typical Scare Tactics Regarding McCain and Judges

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 2:13 pm



In an editorial that generally argues the similarity of McCain’s and Obama’s policy positions, the editors of the L.A. Times choose liberal orthodoxy over fact in this passage:

McCain, though, is an outspoken abortion opponent who wants to see Roe vs. Wade overturned and would appoint Supreme Court justices who share that view. Obama is pro-choice.

First of all, there is no guarantee that McCain “would appoint” a Roe opponent, when the Senate will be dominated by Democrats.

But even as a discussion of aspirations, the statement is without factual foundation.

McCain has said that he wants to appoint justices in the mold of Roberts and Alito. As I recently explained, there is no basis for believing these justices will vote to overturn Roe.:

There are, as we speak, two clear votes for overturning Roe. And Roberts and Alito aren’t either of them.

In the most recent major abortion decision, Gonzales v. Carhart, Justice Thomas wrote a concurrence that stated his opposition to Roe:

I write separately to reiterate my view that the Courts abortion jurisprudence, including Casey and Roe v. Wade, 410 U. S. 113 (1973), has no basis in the Constitution.

He was joined by only one Justice: Antonin Scalia. To the disappointment of Roe opponents, Justices Alito and Roberts pointedly refused to sign on to that concurrence.

The editors’ statement might have been an accurate statement as applied to George W. Bush, who wanted to appoint justices in the mold of Scalia and Thomas. But even he had to settle for Alito and Roberts — and that was when Republicans held the Senate.

The editors’ claim is a scare tactic, nothing more.

26 Responses to “L.A. Times Employs Typical Scare Tactics Regarding McCain and Judges”

  1. Especially since part of the reason that justices like Roberts and Alito were nominated was McCain himself.

    The LA Times knows it is making up stuff in this instance.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  2. Also, the Times equates McCain’s view on the legal question with Obama’s view on the policy question, to wit:

    McCain, though, is an outspoken abortion opponent who wants to see Roe vs. Wade overturned and would appoint Supreme Court justices who share that view. Obama is pro-choice.

    You believe that Roe was wrongly decided and should be overruled and still be pro-choice.

    Paul S. (489eeb)

  3. Sorry, that should say, “You can believe that Roe was wrongly decided and should be overruled and still be pro-choice.”

    Paul S. (489eeb)

  4. no one knows what mccain believes this election cycle.

    WORST. CANDIDATE. EVER.

    and that includes Ford and Dole

    chas (12a229)

  5. #4 No, some of us think Urkel Obama is worst candidate/empty suit/marxist ever.

    How do liberala actually much more than abortion on demand as a talking point if Roe were overturned. Abortion issue would revert to the states to make up their own individual minds.

    Yes, I know Obama’s death for fetuses is a litmus test for many libs. Even late term or live births are deemed abortion worthy at all costs. Actual criminals who murder people and are convicted are worthy of our understanding and mercy. Society is guilty of making some people choose wrongly and killing others. Only abortion and euthanasia can be rationalized as a worthwhile snuffing of life. I suppose when socialized medicine is the rule, the libs will have boards to decide who gets life support or transplants and who should just die already.

    madmax333 (64624c)

  6. i didnt think i had to specify i meant for the republican party. i dont care what or who the dems nominate. obambi might just be the worse candidate they have ever nominated.

    chas (12a229)

  7. I love how you can tell what the reporter believes in just by what he says.

    Pro-choice and anti-abortion, instead of pro-abortion and pro-life.

    Leftists are all secretly convinced that if Roe is overturned, somehow this will make abortions illegal and start back up the ‘alley-abortions'; of course in most states, abortion (except for rare occurrences) would probably become illegal, but that would be the will of the people

    Lord Nazh (9a408b)

  8. #7 I think you are right to be harsh on McCain.

    At least these four things from him suck big time…open borders and mass legalization of illegals
    no drilling in anwr or attempt to ameliorate our dependency on OPEC

    McCain-Feingold campaign financing

    the bogus pc AGW

    remind me what the other are.

    madmax333 (7dcab4)

  9. Lets not forget that Chief Justice Rhenquist hated RvW, and yet was in the majority that struck down the attempt by congress to outright ban abortion…

    Just because the justice doesn’t like it doesn’t mea n they will ignore the law and precident…

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  10. Just how many qualified judge nominees languished, uncomfirmed because of McCain and is extra-consitutional “Gsng of 14″?

    Both Parties are doing their damnedest to commit suicide. Which would be fine if they weren’t insistent on taking the counrty with them.

    Peter (c36902)

  11. The premise is that that the LA Times says McCain won’t suck at appointing justices and some conservatives insist..”yes, he will apoint crappy justices, so vote for McCain”.

    j curtis (c84b9e)

  12. Scott, what are you talking about? Rehnquist always fought to overturn Roe. He never struck down any act by Congress to prohibit abortion.

    Alan (0cf397)

  13. By the way, chas, thank you for posting the link to McChurian’s duplicity on this issue. I thought I was the only person here who ever heard of it. But apart from me, you’re probably the only one who cares.

    Alan (0cf397)

  14. The premise is that that the LA Times says McCain won’t suck at appointing justices and some conservatives insist..”yes, he will apoint crappy justices, so vote for McCain”.

    Alito and Roberts are crappy justices? That’s the type of justices he wants to appoint.

    Sure, they haven’t voted to overrule Roe. But I respect them greatly and think they are fantastic justices — albeit not quite as good as Scalia or Thomas.

    Patterico (cb443b)

  15. 14

    If Alito and Roberts are truly opposed to overturning Roe, that would be a negative mark against the two, and it is that negative that you seem to be promoting as a selling point to vote for McCain.

    j curtis (c84b9e)

  16. 14 – i think you are way too trusting. mccain wont appoint any judge/justice who might overturn any of his signature legislation. but what he says wont matter when he faces a dem congress who wont let him get away w/ it. he’ll appoint a souter type and claim he couldnt get anyone better thru. like his claim to support making the tax cuts permanent, even though he voted against them and sure didnt work to make them permanent when the repubs controlled congress. if we have a president pressing for legislation for global warming, hating on corporations and trying to swing open the border lets let it be a dem, 4 years of obama would be bad but 4/8 years of mccain and the republican party will be way far left and very hard to pull back right.

    chas (12a229)

  17. Anyone who thinks that electing the Marxist Obama will be better than the center-right McCain is, well, to be polite, an utter fracking loon.

    The LA Times’ purpose in this editorial was two-fold: to convince independents that Obama was a centrist, and to remind them that McCain’s against abortion. That’s about one and a half lies, near as I can tell.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  18. McCain might appoint someone who upholds the (already upheld) McCain-Feingold, but Obama would appoint folks who’d uphold speech codes, “human rights commissions”, reparations, pure racial quotas and bans on handguns and private medical care. He’d make Ginsberg look like a centrist. Maybe even put Lani Guinier and her race-weighted voting ideas on the court.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  19. Some schlock who must have gone to school in Cleveland wrote:

    Just how many qualified judge nominees languished, uncomfirmed [sic] because of McCain and is [sic] extra-consitutional “Gsng [sic] of 14″?

    None, though plenty did in spite of it. On the flip side, just how many qualified nominees who otherwise would have languished “uncomfirmed” ended up on the Supreme Court because of McCain and “is” extra-constitutional “gsng?” At least one, possibly two.

    Xrlq (b71926)

  20. Kevin Murphy wrote: McCain might appoint someone who upholds the (already upheld) McCain-Feingold, but Obama would appoint folks who’d uphold speech codes, “human rights commissions”, reparations, pure racial quotas and bans on handguns and private medical care. He’d make Ginsberg look like a centrist. Maybe even put Lani Guinier and her race-weighted voting ideas on the court.

    Eggszactley. That sounds like the type of “change” that B-HO will claim America mandated by putting him in charge, and the kind that Michelle had in mind when she said she was finally proud of her country as an adult.

    L.N. Smithee (a0b21b)

  21. #19 – the gang of 14 is another example of mccain turning his back on the party. and now he expects the party to provide a united front for him? not gonna happen! and there are those who disagree on whether the gang was a success or not.

    but without a doubt its one more example of mccain being too willing to go left and never being able to get anyone on that side to come right. its a one-way street he is too willing to go down. he’s not a rino, he’s a scoop jackson democrat at best. certainly not a republican.

    chas (12a229)

  22. Chas, there are also those who disagree on whether or not the earth is round. That such people exist is not evidence that their position is correct. Did you actually read the Hugh Hewitt article you linked? Try this part:

    To put it as bluntly as possible: No candidate who thinks the Gang of 14 was a good thing for the Constitution, the judiciary, or the GOP is going to win the GOP’s nomination.

    To put this as bluntly as possible: Hugh Hewitt is full of crap for writing this, and so are you for quoting him. At least Hewitt has an excuse: his article was from November, 2006, when a lot of Republicans (myself included) were furious about the deal who have since gotten over it. I don’t know if Hewitt has or not.

    Levin, by contrast, is not just wrong about the Gang of 14, but about life in general. Sometimes I wonder if the guy is for real, or if he’s a spook on George Soros’s paycheck to discredit the right.

    1. What if John McCain had actually worked with Bill Frist and the Republican leadership as they sought to gather support to change the Senate rule preventing the filibustering of judicial nominees?

    Two possible outcomes, neither of them good. The more likely outcome is that the nuclear option would have failed, and the filibuster party that preceded the deal would have gone on unabated. Roberts probably would have made it onto the court, but Alito almost certainly would not have. The named individuals? Fuhgeddabouit.

    The less likely, but not completely implausible possibility is that Frist, McCain et. al might have succeeded where others have failed, got RINOs like Specter on board, and actually succeeded with the nuclear option. In that case, all the idle speculation about President Obama nominating Hillary Clinton to the Supreme Court would be 10 times more frightening than it is now. At least we can filibuster the nomination if it happens (assuming, of course, that enough Republicans can hold on to their seats to make a filibuster possible).

    2. To say that Roberts and Alito would not have been confirmed but for the Gang of 14 is complete speculation. Roberts received 78 votes. Alito received 58 votes. In fact, four of the seven Democrats in the Gang of 14 voted against Alito – Lieberman, Inouye, Landrieu and Salazar, and one of the Republicans — Chafee. Obviously, a few Democrats who were not part of the Gang of 14 voted for Alito.

    Obviously, that means jack shit. 58 votes is not enough to break a filibuster. It’s nice that the five Gang of 14 members voted for the deal, but it doesn’t follow that the same five would have necessarily voted for cloture in Alito’s case individually if no such deal had been in place.

    3. And it’s not at all clear that Lindsey Graham, John Warner, and Susan Collins — three of the seven Republican gang members — would have voted against changing the Senate rule if the Gang of 14 hadn’t been cobbled together. Would they have voted with the Democrat leadership and against changing the filibuster rule if it meant preventing confirmation votes for Roberts and Alito? We don’t know, but I seriously doubt it.

    Graham? Probably not. RINOs like Warner and Collins? Why not?

    4. The Gang of 14 may have resulted in a few important confirmations. But it also stopped the confirmations William Myers, Henry Saad — which the Gang would not endorse. It also left others in the lurch, who remain there to this day.

    Bullshit. The Gang of 14 deal didn’t “stop” anyone’s confirmation. It helped the named individuals more than others, obviously.

    And now that the Democrats run the Senate, where is the Gang of 14? Where are the nominees? What happened to comity?

    The deal was for the 2004-2006 term. It’s not in effect now. Besides, what does Levin think the deal is supposed to do for us when the Democrats are in power, when filibusters are more likely to help us than them?!

    but without a doubt its one more example of mccain being too willing to go left and never being able to get anyone on that side to come right.

    Before you embarrass yourself further, I’d suggest you read up on the Gang of 14. Hint: there’s a reason why it’s not called the Gang of 7.

    Xrlq (62cad4)

  23. FWIW, I think the Senate has behaved very well when it comes to giving Supreme Court nominees an up or down vote. I believe Abe Fortas was the only one whose nomination was “tabled” — not even hearings — in a “Gang of Fourteen” way, and every other nominee has had a floor vote regardless of the Judiciary Committee’s recommendation. Bork and Thomas most recently — Bork was voted down but Thomas was confirmed by the whole Senate despite being voted down by the Judiciary Committee(?)

    nk (4bb2be)

  24. Abortion issue would revert to the states to make up their own individual minds.

    Madmax333, if this is McCain’s view, why does he vote for every federal abortion regulation that comes down the pike?

    XLRQ: Nice to see someone on the right who actually understands the political dynamic of the Gang of 14.

    djw (404356)

  25. Xrlq,

    that’s a lot of crap your write to essentially say you dont agree w/ levin or hewitt. but guess what? they got more cred than you and your opinions on what may have happened w/o the gang are just that. you spin and spin for mccain but nothing changes the fact that john is more dem than repub. he got rolled on the gang, as one of my links pointed out where is the gang now? the dems have control and they arent working w/ anyone. mccain is a useful idiot at best.

    chas (12a229)

  26. oh and one more thing,

    Before you embarrass yourself further, I’d suggest you read up on the Gang of 14. Hint: there’s a reason why it’s not called the Gang of 7.

    dont be so goddamn condescending to me. nothing i posted or linked is embarrassing in least, well not when compared to an arrogant statement like that. i dont know you but that sure makes you sound like a pompuous prick. but maybe you are.

    chas (12a229)


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