Does Barack Obama’s presidential victory represent voters’ dissatisfaction with the federal judiciary, and a desire for less conservative judges?
It does, says Kathryn Kolbert, president of People For the American Way.
In a memo posted on the group’s website, Kolbert said that voters were sending a message: strict constructionists in the vein of Antonin Scalia are out.
“As yesterday’s results make clear, Americans are comfortable with Senator Obama’s vision for the Judiciary, even when it was caricatured as extreme or outside the mainstream,” Kolbert wrote. “At the same time, voters were uninspired by Senator McCain’s frequent repetition of right-wing code words like ‘judicial restraint’ and ‘strict constructionist.'”
According to the group, exit polls showed that the issue of judge appointments was on voters’ minds as they went to the polls. Voters who said the Supreme Court was a factor in their votes broke for Obama 53 to 45, the memo said. Those who called it the most important factor went for Obama 57 to 41.
Kolbert also gave the largest prediction of possible Supreme Court vacancies in Obama’s first term – saying: “there might be three or more vacancies.”