A McCain Court Would Find McCain Unconstitutional

In a speech before the National Sheriffs’ Association today, John McCain tried to pin the Supreme Court’s decision on child rapists to Barack Obama, even though Obama has said he disagreed with the decision. McCain’s argument was essentially that Obama’s ideal Supreme Court justice would take the position that Obama disagrees with:

MCCAIN: My opponent may not care for this particular decision, but it was exactly the kind of opinion we could expect from an Obama Court.

McCain has said his “model” Supreme Court justices are John Roberts and Samuel Alito. Is McCain is now willing to adopt all these right-wing justices’ opinions as his own? Roberts and Alito are at odds with McCain on the only two important issues where he claims to break with the right-wing:

Environment: McCain has stated he wants to tackle global warming. In Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the court ruled that the EPA must reconsider its decision not to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases as pollutants. The case was decided 5-4, with Roberts and Alito dissenting.

Campaign Finance: McCain’s name is on the most important campaign finance law in 30 years. But in Davis v. Federal Election Commission (FEC), the court overturned the ‘millionaire’ amendment to the campaign finance law McCain-Feingold. The case was decided 5-4, with Roberts and Alito in the majority. The Alito opinion in Davis provides some hints that “major shifts in constitutional understands about campaign finance restrictions will follow from this new opinion.”

In short, McCain has made clear he would appoint nominees at odds with two of the central positions he claims to take — two positions that are at the core of McCain’s claim to be a “moderate.”

A report by the Center for American Progress outlines other areas where a new appointee could signal a great shift in the court.

Lee Fang