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McCain's Justice Should Scare Liberals

Conservatives frequently remind their voters that a president's appointments of like-minded jurists to the Supreme Court are a serious consideration on Election Day.

As a counterpoint, voters of a moderate or liberal bent should be equally or even more concerned given the makeup of the current nine justices.

Sen. John McCain, the presumptive GOP nominee, delivered a speech earlier this month that was relegated to many back pages. He told an audience that his nominations to the court would be in the mold of Chief

Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito. Both were named by President Bush.

That should send shivers down the spines of those who have seen Roberts and Alito line up with justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas as a solid bloc of conservative votes.

On the liberal side, Justice John Paul Stevens is 88, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is in fragile health, and Justice David Souter has talked about wanting to return to his home in New Hampshire.

For those concerned about women's rights on abortion, gun control, and the environment for starters, McCain has laid down his guidelines and they should be disturbing to dissenters.

McCain has consistently voted against Roe vs. Wade issues since coming to the Senate. He promised the National Rifle Association last week that it could count on him in the White House.

Of course, nominations to the high court should not be the single issue for voters.

But Senator McCain's reputation for being a maverick and straying from Republican doctrine from time to time does not include the Supreme Court.

He's given us a fair and clear warning.

By John W. Mashek