Will the Federalist Society succeed where the North Vietnamese failed?

In a characteristically overwrought piece, Dahlia Lithwick looks at John McCain’s recent adventures in jurisprudence and concludes that McCain has sold his soul to the Federalist Society. Liberals like Lithwick will be spinning out variations on this theme constantly during the next nine months, as they attempt to transform McCain’s image from maverick to captive of the far right. Lithwick must have particularly enjoyed developing this theme in the context of her obsession with the Federalist Society.
Lithwick fails, however, to make her case. She bases it on a narrative which starts with McCain getting himself in hot water following credible reports that he had distinguished between John Roberts and Samuel Alito. Reportedly, McCain viewed the former, but not necessarily the latter, as his kind of Supreme Court Justice. To quell the roar of disapproval from conservatives, McCain relied on Ted Olson and Federalist Society co-founder Steve Calabresi. Both assured conservatives that McCain was sound on judicial nominees and, indeed, on judicial philosophy generally. McCain then provided similar assurances in his speech to CPAC. ( Mickey Kaus thinks that this speech leaves McCain an escape hatch, but the statement McCain posted on the Federalist Society


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