Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II suggested over the weekend that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia might not be conservative enough for his taste, the latest window into the legal world view of the Republican candidate for governor.
At the annual gathering of the conservative National Review Institute, held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, Cuccinelli appeared on a panel discussing the topic, “Does the Constitution Have a Future?” During the session, he criticized President Obama, suggesting the president had a malleable vision of the meaning of sin and of the Constitution.
“And really the way to fight back, given the governmental structure we have, the primary way is to get good judges who don’t accept what is wrong as right after a while,” Cuccinelli said, according to a video clip of the discussion. “Justice Scalia is in this category: ‘Well, we’ve been doing it wrong for a while, so now it’s part of the Constitution.’ I don’t buy that. I don’t buy that. And that needs to be reflected in the judges selected by the president, not this president, but the president generally, and approved by the Senate. They need to take that a lot more seriously than they do.”
Cuccinelli’s campaign declined to comment on his remarks.
Cuccinelli is in the midst of a deadlocked gubernatorial race against businessman Terry McAuliffe (D), and Democrats are eager to portray the Republican as too conservative to effectively represent an increasingly moderate Virginia, highlighting his stances on contraception, climate change and a host of other issues.
While many liberals view Scalia as far too conservative, this is not the first time Cuccinelli has expressed reservations about Supreme Court justice for the opposite reason. Before the Supreme Court decided the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, Cuccinelli said he was worried Scalia would vote to uphold the measure. (In the end, the court majority found the law to be constitutional but Scalia dissented.)