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Thursday, May 28, 2009


"It's all about the Supreme Court!"

Every time people on the left object to the idea of voting for a Democrat who is only marginally distinguishable from his Republican opponent, the cry always goes up: "Don't forget the Supreme Court! Roe v. Wade!" So much for that: During the campaign, Barack Obama said (on his website) that he would make "preserving a woman's right to choose under Roe vs. Wade a priority as president." And how high a priority? This high a priority:
The White House added to the concerns of abortion rights advocates, saying that the president did not discuss the issue with Sotomayor before her nomination.

"The president doesn't have a litmus test, and that question was not one that he posed to her," Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said. Asked whether Obama had not promised to appoint judges who support abortion rights, Gibbs replied: "I'd have to look. I don't remember exactly what he said on that topic."
Actually, what he did say was typical say something while saying nothing (from the 3rd Presidential debate):
Q: Could you ever nominate someone to the Supreme Court who disagrees with you on Roe v. Wade?

McCAIN: I would never, and have never in all the years I’ve been there, imposed a litmus test on any nominee to the Court. That’s not appropriate to do.

OBAMA: Well, I think it’s true that we shouldn’t apply a strict litmus test and the most important thing in any judge is their capacity to provide fairness and justice to the American people. And it is true that this is going to be, I think, one of the most consequential decisions of the next president. It is very likely that one of us will be making at least one and probably more than one appointments and Roe vs. Wade probably hangs in the balance. I will look for those judges who have an outstanding judicial record, who have the intellect, and who hopefully have a sense of what real-world folks are going through.
So there was Obama, pretending he was oh-so-concerned about Roe vs. Wade hanging in the balance, but not actually promising to do anything about it, and indeed, that's exactly what he has done.

For the record, there's a difference between a "litmus test" and even bothering to ask someone their views on a particular question. Both Obama and McCain disavowed the former, but I'll bet anything (impossible to prove, of course) that McCain would have at least asked about it. Obama, not so much.

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