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Who Would Mccain Appoint To The Court?

John McCain's recent comments on Supreme Court appointments seemed worth a blockquote:

McCain mentioned that Sam Brownback would play an advisory role in helping decide who he should nominate for the Supreme Court. As models of who he would select, John McCain pointed to Justices Samuel Alito and Antonin Scalia.

The idea that McCain would let Sam Brownback do the honors of picking John Paul Stevens's replacement is terrifying, but not unexpected. People like Jacob Weisberg have occasionally suggested that, despite McCain's zero rating from NARAL and his vote to confirm Robert Bork in 1987, the man really has moderate views on, say, abortion and gay rights and wouldn't actually elevate Janice Rogers Brown to the Supreme Court. But, no. Even if McCain is a social moderate deep down inside (and I doubt it), the chance that he'll buck Brownback and friends on judicial nominees has always been unlikely.

Update: To keep this thread going, here's what John Fund reported earlier today:

More recently, Mr. McCain has told conservatives he would be happy to appoint the likes of Chief Justice John Roberts to the Supreme Court. But he indicated he might draw the line on a Samuel Alito, because "he wore his conservatism on his sleeve."

Now, the distinction between Roberts and Alito looks pretty paltry to me (and anyway, McCain was downright gushing when Alito was nominated), but the National Review folks didn't like where this was all heading, so McCain's spokesman first had to deny that any such blasphemy was ever uttered, and then McCain had to cobble together a conference call where he solemnly swore to appoint Alito-like judges. As a groveling bonus, McCain assured conservatives that he'd be perfectly fine nominating a justice who would strike down McCain-Feingold... That last bit almost had me feeling sorry for him. Almost.

--Bradford Plumer