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Can John McCain be trusted to nominate good judges?

By Scott Tibbs, August 20, 2008

When John McCain was asked which current Supreme Court justice he would not have nominated had he been president, McCain responded that he would never have nominated Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, David Souter and John Paul Stevens. I thought that was an interesting answer. It is certainly a smart answer politically, designed to win favor from social conservatives. McCain's voting record does not match his words.

Hmm. What is the term that Republicans used to describe John Kerry changing positions on issues, with his famous statement that "I voted for it before I voted against it"? Let me think...

The argument I hear most consistently from McCain supporters is that it would be disastrous to allow the Democrats to choose the judges who will fill the next openings on the Supreme Court. We can look past McCain's support for stem-cell research, McCain's support for amnesty for illegal aliens, McCain's opposition to the Bush tax cuts, and McCain's efforts to regulate the content of political speech. After all, Supreme Court justices will shape the country long after the next President is out of office.

The reason that I do not accept that argument is that I simply do not trust John McCain so appoint good judges who will strictly interpret the Constitution as written.

"But", some McCain supporters will argue, "McCain might appoint bad judges. Barack Obama will appoint bad judges." That is a familiar "lesser of two evils" argument that Republicans often use to cover for a "moderate" Republican and convince wavering conservatives to come on board. That reasoning is part of why I wound up voting for George W. Bush in 2004 despite reservations, and have come to regret that decision. I am frankly tired of choosing between two bad candidates, because the lesser of two evils is still evil.

No, I am not going to vote for John McCain. I am not going to look back in two years or four years and wish I had voted my conscience. This November, I will be voting for the Libertarian candidate, Bob Barr.