John McCain Promises Supreme Court Judges With Restraint on Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 6, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

John McCain Promises Supreme Court Judges With Restraint on Abortion

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 6
, 2008

Washington, DC ( — In a speech at Wake Forest University today, eventual Republican presidential nominee John McCain promised to appoint Supreme Court judges who will show proper restraint.

Although he didn’t mention abortion specifically, McCain’s kind of judges would be the ones most likely to support an effort to overturn the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that resulted in unlimited abortions.

McCain told students at the North Carolina college that he’s upset by the lack of judicial restraint on the part of federal judges. Though he covered other cases where courts have overstepped his bounds, his words were applicable to Roe.

"With a presumption that would have amazed the framers of our Constitution, and legal reasoning that would have mystified them, federal judges today issue rulings and opinions on policy questions that should be decided democratically," he said.

"Often, political causes are brought before the courts that could not succeed by democratic means, and some federal judges are eager to oblige," McCain explained.

"Assured of lifetime tenures, these judges show little regard for the authority of the president, the Congress, and the states," he added — echoing the concerns of pro-life advocates about courts arbitrarily overturning pro-life legislation.

McCain said the only remedy for the problem is to "find, nominate, and confirm better judges."

He said the role of the judiciary has become one of the top issues in the presidential election and the kind of judges McCain seeks have the judicial temperament pro-life advocates prefer.

"I have my own standards of judicial ability, experience, philosophy, and temperament. And Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito meet those standards in every respect," he said.

"I will look for people in the cast of John Roberts, Samuel Alito, and my friend the late William Rehnquist," McCain explained. "They would serve as the model for my own nominees if that responsibility falls to me."

"My nominees will understand that there are clear limits to the scope of judicial power, and clear limits to the scope of federal power," he added.

McCain said his view on judges differs strongly from Obama and Clinton — who have promised repeatedly to only appoint pro-abortion judges to the Supreme Court.

"My two prospective opponents and I have very different ideas about the nature and proper exercise of judicial power," he said. "We would nominate judges of a different kind, a different caliber, a different understanding of judicial authority and its limits."

"They want federal judges who will push the limits of constitutional law," he said.

"Senators Obama and Clinton have very different ideas from my own," he added, appearing to refer to abortion. "They are both lawyers themselves, and don’t seem to mind at all when fundamental questions of social policy are preemptively decided by judges instead of by the people and their elected representatives."