Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama declared that he would not have nominated Clarence Thomas for the Supreme Court because he was not a “strong enough jurist” for the job.
Appearing at a forum at pastor Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., on Saturday, Obama and Republican presidential rival John McCain were both asked which Supreme Court Justices they would not have nominated.
McCain said, "with all due respect" the four most liberal sitting Justices because of his different judicial philosophy.
Obama said: "I would not have nominated Clarence Thomas. I don't think that he … was a strong enough jurist or legal thinker at the time for that elevation. Setting aside the fact that I profoundly disagree with his interpretation of a lot of the Constitution."
He added that he also wouldn't have nominated Antonin Scalia, and perhaps not John Roberts, “though he assured the audience that at least they were smart enough for the job,” The Wall Street Journal noted in an editorial on Monday.
The editorial continued: “So let's see. By the time he was nominated, Clarence Thomas had worked in the Missouri Attorney General's office, served as an Assistant Secretary of Education, run the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and sat for a year on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the nation's second most prominent court.”
Obama, on the other hand, “isn't yet four years out of the Illinois state Senate, has never held a hearing of note [with] his U.S. Senate subcommittee, and had an unremarkable record as both a ‘community organizer’ and law school lecturer,” The Journal observed.
“Justice Thomas's judicial credentials compare favorably to Mr. Obama's presidential résumé by any measure.”
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