Supreme Court

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With control of the Supreme Court at stake, McCain has praised two of the most ideological justices placed on the recent Court -- signaling a warning that a McCain nomination to the Court would throw the Court even farther right. This movement has already moved the country backward on issues such as the environment, pay discrimination, and a woman's right to choose.


McCain Praised Roberts and Alito - Both Have Moved Court To The Right

McCain Praised Alito And Roberts As Two Of The Greatest Justices In Court’s History. The East Valley Tribune reported that “Furthermore, he commended President Bush’s nominations of John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the high court, calling them ‘two of the greatest’ justices in its history. Both sided with the majority in the abortion case. McCain said he would appoint similar candidates -- those who would strictly interpret the U.S. Constitution and who wouldn’t legislate from the bench.” [1]

McCain Pandered At CPAC: Said He Would Appoint Judges Like Roberts and Alito. McCain, Speaking at the annual CPAC conference, said, “I intend to nominate judges who have proven themselves worthy of our trust that they take as their sole responsibility the enforcement of laws made by the people’s elected representatives, judges of the character and quality of Justices Roberts and Alito, judges who can be relied upon to respect the values of the people whose rights, laws and property they are sworn to defend.” [2]

McCain Led The Gang Of 14’s Deal Which Was Instrumental In Securing The Nominations Of Roberts And Alito. McCain led a group of 14 senators in brokering a deal to avoid the “nuclear option” of ending the filibuster for President Bush’s judicial nominees. [3]

Supreme Court Experts: Roberts and Alito Have Made The Court More Conservative. “On those issues where the Court remains sharply divided, the Court’s rulings are generally more and not less conservative, which is not surprising given Justice O’Connor’s departure from the Court. Moreover, in the short period in which the new Court has taken form – less than two years – the most recently-appointed Justices, have joined with the traditionally conservative members of the Court to shape several areas of law in significant ways, particularly under the First and Fourteenth Amendments.” [4]

Justices Roberts and Alito Voted Together Almost 90 Percent of the Time. “The Justices who voted most often together were the Court’s latest additions: Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito (87.8%).” [5]

Roberts And Alito Provided Key 5-4 Victories, Voting With The Conservative Bloc Of The Court.

“The damage is most visible and consequential at the Supreme Court, where Roberts and Alito have joined Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas to form a solidly reliable right-wing voting bloc. When joined, as they often have been, by conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy, the result has been a series of destructive 5-4 rulings. [6]

In 5-4 Decision, Court Sided With Developers And Bush Administration Over Protecting Endangered Species. According to the Associated Press, “The court ruled 5-4 for home builders and the Environmental Protection Agency in a case that involved the intersection of two environmental laws, the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act. Justice Samuel Alito, writing for the conservative majority, said the endangered species law takes a back seat to the clean water law… Environmental groups, backed by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal, said the administration position would in essence gut a key provision of the endangered species law. The act prohibits federal agency action that will jeopardize a species and calls for consultation between federal agencies.” (National Association of Home Builders v. Defenders of Wildlife) [7]

In 5-4 Decision, Court Sided With Employers In Pay Discrimination Case. “The Supreme Court on Tuesday limited workers' ability to sue for pay discrimination, ruling against a Goodyear employee who earned thousands of dollars less than her male counterparts but waited too long to complain. The 5-4 decision underscored a provision in a federal civil rights law that sets a 180-day deadline for employees to claim they are being paid less because of their race, sex, religion or national origin. Without a deadline, Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the court, employers would find it difficult to defend against claims "arising from employment decisions that are long past."… The decision broke along ideological lines… Ginsburg said in court Tuesday for the dissenters: "In our view, this court does not comprehend, or is indifferent to, the insidious way in which women can be victims of pay discrimination." She noted that Ledbetter's pay started out comparable to what men were earning but slipped over time.” (Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co.) [8]

In 5-4 Decision, Court Limited Women’s Access To Abortion. “The Supreme Court's conservative majority upheld a nationwide ban Wednesday on a controversial abortion procedure in a decision that sets the stage for additional restrictions on a woman's right to choose. For the first time since the court established a woman's right to an abortion in 1973, the justices said the Constitution permits a nationwide prohibition on a specific abortion method. The court's liberal justices, in dissent, said the ruling chips away at abortion rights. The 5-4 decision written by Justice Anthony Kennedy … Kennedy's opinion was a long-awaited resounding win that abortion opponents expected from the more conservative bench.” (Gonzales v. Carhart) [9]

Ginsburg Called Decision An Attempt To “Chip Away At A Right Declared Again and Again By This Court.” In her dissenting opinion, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the decision by the conservative majority, ““cannot be understood as anything other than an effort to chip away at a right declared again and again by this court… Today's decision is alarming.” She said the ruling “refuses to take ... seriously” previous Supreme Court decisions on abortion. She was joined by Justices Stephen Breyer, David Souter and John Paul Stevens.” (Gonzales v. Carhart) [10]

See Also


  1. ^ [East Valley Tribune, 4/29/2007]
  2. ^ [McCain CPAC Speech, 2/7/2008]
  3. ^ [St. Louis Dispatch, 5/24/2005]
  4. ^ [Supreme Court Institute, Georgetown University Law Center, 6/29/2007]
  5. ^ [Supreme Court Institute, Georgetown University Law Center, 6/29/2007]
  6. ^ [People For the American Way, Judith E. Schaeffer, 1/25/2008]
  7. ^ [AP, 6/25/07]
  8. ^ [AP, 5/29/07]
  9. ^ [AP, 4/18/2007]
  10. ^ [AP, 4/18/2007]