McCain, the Federalist?
Jonathan H. Adler
jha5 at case.edu
Thu Oct 16 07:20:09 PDT 2008
He did say it, and I think this reflects the fact that in many non-academic
settings "federalist" or "federalism" are short-hand for devolving more
authority to state governments.
Here is the relevant portion of the debate transcript:
SCHIEFFER: Senator McCain, you believe Roe v. Wade should be overturned.
Senator Obama, you believe it shouldn't.Could either of you ever nominate
someone to the Supreme Court who disagrees with you on this issue? Senator
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
SCHIEFFER: But you don't want Roe v. Wade to be overturned?
MCCAIN: I thought it was a bad decision. I think there were a lot of
decisions that were bad. I think that decisions should rest in the hands of
the states. I'm a federalist. And I believe strongly that we should have
nominees to the United States Supreme Court based on their qualifications
rather than any litmus test.
Jonathan H. Adler
Professor of Law
Director, Center for Business Law & Regulation
Case Western Reserve University School of Law
11075 East Boulevard
Cleveland, OH 44106
<mailto:jha5 at case.edu> jha5 at case.edu
From: conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu
[mailto:conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu] On Behalf Of RJLipkin at aol.com
Sent: Thursday, October 16, 2008 10:13 AM
To: CONLAWPROF at lists.ucla.edu
Subject: McCain, the Federalist?
In last night's debate, I thought I heard John McCain describe
himself as a "federalist" when answering the question on abortion. (Rough
paraphrase: "I'm a federalist, I want the states to decide the abortion
issue.") Can anyone confirm this? If so, what does his use of the term mean?
Surely, not the Federalist Party of the early republic? Does it refer to the
Federalist Society? Has the contemporary use of the term "federalist"
acquired a states rights meaning? My question is entirely non-argumentative.
I'm simply inquiring about the use (meaning) of the current term
Robert Justin Lipkin
Distinguished Professor of Law
Widener University School of Law
Ratio Juris, Contributor: http://ratiojuris.blogspot.com/
Essentially Contested America, Editor-In-Chief
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