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Bench Memos

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The Choice Is Easy



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I am more in the neighborhood of Shannen Coffin than of Gerry Bradley when it comes to John McCain’s speech on the judiciary the other day.  I was particularly unpersuaded by the reasons McCain gave for his role in the Gang of Fourteen deal (which did nothing for the confirmations of Roberts and Alito), and for his votes for the confirmation of Ginsburg and Breyer (which rests on an insupportable “deference to the president” principle that is a favorite of people who are–or want to be–president).

But when I see what passes for arguments from McCain’s academic critics such as Geoffrey Stone (debunked by our Ed Whelan) or Sheldon Goldman (see this NYT story), my misgivings turn into mere quibbles.  And when I have a gander at what Barack Obama has said on the Constitution, my quibbles are converted into outright enthusiasm for John McCain.

What, you ask, has Barack Obama, that former “distinguished lecturer” at the University of Chicago, said on the Constitution?  Have a look at this speech given last July before the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, brought to my attention by the ever-alert Joe Knippenberg at NLT.

Compare these two speeches.  The contrast is clear.  The choice is easy.



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