Have you ever heard a Democratic candidate talking about appointing activist judges to the bench? Of course not, we have too much respect for a neutral, third branch of the government. The judicial cannons require judges not to pre-judge cases, but McCain is promising to appoint activists to the bench who will do his bidding.
McCain, in a speech in Winston-Salem, promised to support judges like Alito and Roberts. This is nice code language for ignoring previous case law and deciding cases the way the religious right wants. McCain has previously said he would appoint judges like Scalia and would Sen. Sam Brownback (R - KS) help pick the judges. Under Altio & Roberts, the decisions have all been focused on a erosion of civil liberties. McCain bashed various opinions, bashed the entire 9th Circuit and said there is systematic abuse by our federal judges. Lest he forget, Alberto Gonzales made it his #1 priority to appoint right wing judges to the bench. For the last 8 years, Bush has been packing all levels of the federal bench with ultra-conservative judges. Are they the systematic abusers McCain is talking about?
Here's the real deal - the religious right doesn't trust McCain. The religious right has been focused on taking over the Supreme Court. Here's how the Houston Chronicle puts it:
By speaking about judges, McCain offered an olive branch to the Christian right, which as been deeply suspicious of McCain.
He has clashed with its leaders and worked against them on issues like campaign finance reform. He also joined the "Gang of 14," a group of senators — seven Republicans and seven Democrats — who avoided a showdown over judges by agreeing to preserve the minority party's right to block President Bush's nominees with the filibuster.
At the time, Republicans held majority control of the Senate; today, they are in the minority. McCain told reporters Monday he would be hard-pressed to find a Republican opposed to the deal "now that the numbers have changed."
Despite his rocky relations with the right, McCain's record on their top priorities — cultural issues like abortion — is very conservative.
McCain doesn't want judges who will apply the law, he wants activist judges who will side with the religious right, regardless of the Constitution, precedent or the law.