McCain discusses judges

July 2, 2008
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The presumptive Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain spoke in Indianapolis Tuesday at the National Sheriff’s Association’s annual conference. Obviously, his speech was geared toward law enforcement and why he is the right candidate for them to elect, but he said some things the legal community would find interesting. He said nowhere is the influence of the president more critical than in the power of judicial nominations.

He brought up the point that the next president of the country will be nominating hundreds of people to the federal courts, and those choices will have far-reaching consequences on Americans, police departments, courts, and juries.

“Yet one badly reasoned opinion, by one overreaching judge, can undo it all. Just like that, evidence of guilt can be suppressed, or a dangerous predator released because of judge-made laws having little or nothing to do with the requirements of the Constitution. Even worse, when such opinions issue from the highest court, they set a precedent for many more injustices, and they add one more obstacle to the work of law enforcement.”

McCain used the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Patrick Kennedy v. Louisiana, in which the high court overturned the death penalty sentence for Kennedy, convicted of raping his stepdaughter. He implied if his Democratic opponent from Illinois, Sen. Barack Obama, is elected president, he would nominate more judges like the ones who overturned Kennedy’s sentence (See the June 26 First Impressions blog post  about that decision).

Even if you don’t agree with McCain’s views about the courts, he raises a good point. The next president of the United States will have to make many judicial nominations, possibly even one or more to the U.S. Supreme Court. It will be interesting to see if the candidates continue to mention the high-profile cases ruled upon by the SCOTUS this year as they campaign, or if judicial nominees will be left by the wayside for topics the general public has more interest in like the economy, gas prices, and health care.
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  1. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  2. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  3. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  4. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  5. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

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