John McCain just told Byron York the following:
I asked whether McCain had ever drawn any distinction between Roberts and Alito. “No, no, of course not,” McCain said. I asked about the “wore his conservatism on his sleeve” line. “I’m proud of people who wear their conservatism on their sleeves, because they have to have a clear record of strict adherence to the Constitution,” McCain told me. “Remember, in all my remarks, I’ve said, look, we’re not going to take somebody’s word for it. You have to have a clear record of adherence to the Constitution, a strict interpretation of the Constitution. I have said that time after time after time.”
To be fair, I would also add that McCain has consistently voted in favor of conservative judges, including Robert Bork.
And Quin, as emotionally satisfying as it might have been to some conservatives to use the nuclear option to ram through judicial appointments, I honestly don’t see what was so bad about the “Gang of 14” compromise in hindsight. Not only did conservative judges such as Janice Rogers Brown get confirmed, and Justices Roberts and Alito make it to the Supreme Court, but now that Republicans are in the minority, they still have the filibuster as an option. Do you really want to see a President Clinton or Obama with a rubber stamp for their judicial nominees, something that would have happened had conservatives gotten their way with regard to the nuclear option?