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Given the more liberal tendencies of Rudy Giuliani on abortion and guns, conservatives have expressed serious misgivings about his run for the nomination. However, the main effect that a President can have on these issues involves his or her outlook on the judiciary. The federal court system has been the main battleground for both issues, with Roe specifically precluding any kind of legislative action. Court nominations have become one of the essential considerations for presidential contenders -- and it may be more important for Giuliani than any other Republican candidate.
Giuliani has hinted that he would nominate jurists in the mold of Antonin Scalia and John Roberts. Today, at a visit with the South Carolina GOP Executive Committee, an audience member pressed him for his position. His campaign office has supplied us with the transcript of his answer:
On the Federal judiciary I would want judges who are strict constructionists because I am. I'm a lawyer. I've argued cases in the Supreme Court. I've argued cases in the Court of Appeals in different parts of the country. I have a very, very strong view that for this country to work, for our freedoms to be protected, judges have to interpret not invent the Constitution. Otherwise you end up, when judges invent the constitution, with your liberties being hurt. Because legislatures get to make those decisions and the legislature in South Carolina might make that decision one way and the legislature in California a different one. And that's part of our freedom and when that's taken away from you that's terrible.
President Bush has the great model because I think as the President he did appointed some really good ones and both of them are former colleagues of mine - Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito. Justice Scalia is a former colleague of mine. Somebody that … I think Chief Justice Roberts is a great chief justice and he's young and he can have a long career and that's probably the reason the President and Vice President chose him. I think those are the kinds of justices I would appoint – Scalia, Alito and Roberts. If you can find anybody as good as that, you are very, very fortunate.
It sounds as if Rudy has what could be an unbeatable combination. His personal views trend to the center and perhaps even liberal on these issues -- but he wants to nominate jurists that will return these questions to the legislature and stick to the explicit text of the Constitution.
Will that satisfy the Rudy skeptics? I guess we will soon see.Sphere It View blog reactions
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