Friday, February 08, 2008

Deal Hudson Reports from CPAC ...

... at InsideCatholic:
... Between speeches I attended a small reception where I had the opportunity to speak briefly with Sen. McCain about his candidacy and the Catholic vote. Then I turned to see Sen. Sam Brownback, Sen. Tom Coburn, Sen. George Allen, Cong. Dan Lundgren, Gov. Frank Keating, and conservative attorney, Ted Olson.

I had never met Lundgren, a very conservative Catholic, and found him a charming guy who I look forward to knowing much better.

Olson, Brownback and Miguel Estrada are now in charge of McCain's judicial policy. Olson assured me that all of McCain's appointments to the courts would be those who enforce the law rather than make it. He told me that there would be at least 1 or 2 Supreme Court appointments in the next term, along with several hundred to other federal judgeships...


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At 2/08/2008 3:11 PM, Blogger Bender said...

Olson assured me that all of McCain's appointments to the courts would be those who enforce the law rather than make it.

Well, the current law of the land is that abortion is a fundamental right, and a very good argument can be made that judicial restraint requires respect for that rule of law, whereas rejecting and overturning that law would amount to judicial activism and imposing one's own policy preferences rather than merely applying the law.

Rudy was exactly right when he said during his campaign that a judicial conservative could UPHOLD Roe on the basis of stare decisis as easily as he could overturn it upon a reconsideration of the text of the Constitution.

McCain, on the other hand, never addresses this issue of stare decisis.

And if McCain is so concerned about judicial appointments, maybe he will DO HIS JOB as a senator, show up to work at least once this year, and get together with his Gang and push through Bush's nominees. Quit telling us what you are going to do. You are a sitting senator. Do whatever you are going to do NOW.

At 2/08/2008 3:41 PM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...


You make some very good points. I, too, was troubled by the "enforce the law" language that Olson is using. I have emailed Mr. Hudson about the concerns that you raise.

At 2/08/2008 5:13 PM, Blogger Bender said...

Hmm. What to make of these remarks from McCain opposing a federal constitutional amendment protecting marriage --

Let me pose a hypothetical situation to illustrate why we should be reluctant to impose a constitutional remedy to a problem that will probably be resolved in an ordinary, State by State political process, consistent with the respect for federalism we Republicans have long claimed as one of our virtues. Those of us who consider ourselves pro-life would welcome the Supreme Court's reversal of the Roe v. Wade decision that found a constitutional right to an abortion. The result of that reversal would be to return the regulation of abortion to the States, where the values of local communities would be influential. Now, further suppose that abortion rights advocates held majorities in both houses of Congress, and rather than argue State by State for liberal abortion laws, they decided to usurp the States' authority by means of a constitutional amendment protecting abortion. Wouldn't we who consider ourselves federalists loudly protest such a move? Wouldn't we all line up on the floor to quote Mr. Madison from Federalist Paper 45, that:
"The powers reserved to the several states will extend to all the objects, which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement and prosperity of the State."
Yes, we would, Mr. President, yes, we would.

152 Cong Rec S 5450 (June 6, 2006)

If McCain opposes a constitutional amendment protecting abortion on federalism grounds, would he not oppose (if not "loudly protest") an amendment protecting human life on federalism grounds? In other words, if a given state wants to legalize death-by-abortion, that, as someone who considers himself to be a federalist, cannot we conclude that that would be fine by him?

I suppose out of a sense of political realism, a state-by-state protection of life is probably the best we could ever hope for, but is something to be desired?

One MAJOR problem with assessing McCain on life issues is the total paucity of public remarks by him on these issues. One can comb through the Internet in vain looking for many public comments that McCain has made defending life, rather than defending his "pro-life" voting record. Indeed, one can search through the Congressional Record for the last 20 years and find very few occasions where McCain had anything to say at all regarding abortion.


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