POLITICS
09/16/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

McCain: I Would Not Have Nominated Nearly Half The Supreme Court

Earlier in Saturday night's values forum, Sen. Barack Obama was asked which Supreme Court Justice he would not have nominated. He responded by saying Clarence Thomas, though he raised objections to some of the other, conservative justices.

Later in the evening John McCain was asked the very same question. And he responded by naming nearly half the court.

"With all due respect [I would not have nominated] Justice Ginsberg, Justice Breyer, Justice Souter and Justice Stevens," McCain told pastor Rick Warren. "I think that the President of the United States has an incredible responsibility in nominating people to the united states of Supreme Court. These are lifetime positions. There will be two or maybe three vacancies. This nomination should be based on the criteria of proven record of strictly adhering to the constitution of the United States of America and not legislating from the bench. Some of the worst damage has been done by legislating from the bench. And by the way, justices Alito and Roberts have been some of my most recent favorites. And I'm proud of president bush for nominates them."

Several things should be noted about this answer. First, the crowd generally loved it, cheering much louder than when Obama made his remarks. Secondly, Souter was appointed by George H.W. Bush, a Republican president, though he has been a disappointment for Republicans. As has Stevens, who was appointed by Gerald Ford. Finally, McCain voted for every one of these justices - though, to be fair, that surely doesn't mean he would have nominated any of them.