POLITICS
05/27/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Jeff Toobin: McCain Getting Supreme Court Advice From "The Most Extreme Elements Of The Conservative Movement"

Jeff Toobin discusses what a John McCain presidency could mean about the future of the judiciary. Below is a telling excerpt from The New Yorker article.

The question, as always with McCain these days, is whether he means it. Might he really be a "maverick" when it comes to the Supreme Court? The answer, almost certainly, is no. The Senator has long touted his opposition to Roe, and has voted for every one of Bush's judicial appointments; the rhetoric of his speech shows that he is getting his advice on the Court from the most extreme elements of the conservative movement. With the general election in mind, McCain had to express himself with such elaborate circumlocution because he knows that the constituency for such far-reaching change in our constellation of rights is small, and may be shrinking. In 2004, to stoke turnout among conservatives, Karl Rove engineered the addition of anti-gay-marriage voter initiatives to the ballots in Ohio and other states; last week, though, when the California Supreme Court voted to allow gay marriage in that state, only hard-core activists were able to muster much outrage. When it comes to the Constitution, McCain is on the wrong side of the voters, and of history; thus, his obfuscations.

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