Pastor Rick Warren asked each Presidential candidate which Justices he would not have nominated. Mr. McCain said, "with all due respect" the four most liberal sitting Justices because of his different judicial philosophy.
Mr. Obama took a lower road, replying first that "that's a good one," and then adding that "I would not have nominated Clarence Thomas. I don't think that he, 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." The Democrat added that he also wouldn't have appointed Antonin Scalia, and perhaps not John Roberts, though he assured the audience that at least they were smart enough for the job.
Op-ed here. Justices Thomas, Alito, and Chief Justice Roberts, of course, all joined Justice Scalia's majority opinion in D.C. v. Heller, ruling that the Second Amendment is an individual right, and striking down Washington, D.C.'s total ban on operable firearms. Senator Obama, as you may recall, supported the D.C. gun ban. And while Senator McCain indicates he would not nominate liberal activist judges like Justice Souter, Ginsburg, Stevens, and Breyer, well ... talk is cheap, especially for a politician. In addition, the next president will likely face a Democrat-controlled Senate.
For those interested, CNN has video of the Obama / McCain responses at the Saddleback Forum here.