John McCain on Civil Rights
Republican nominee for President; Senior Senator (AZ)
2008 concession: Obama helps country heal racial wounds
Concession speech, Biltmore Hotel, Phoenix, AZ: "I wish Godspeed to the man who was my former opponent and will be my president. And I call on all Americans, as I have often in this campaign, to not despair of our present difficulties, but to believe,
always, in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here. Americans never quit. We never surrender. We never hide from history. We make history."
McCain conceded defeat to Obama in a speech of striking grace and generosity.
His speech paid tribute to Obama's accomplishment of becoming the country's first African-American leader: "Whatever our differences, we are fellow Americans. And please believe me when I say no association has ever meant more to me than that.
It is natural, tonight, to feel some disappointment. But tomorrow, we must move beyond it and work together to get our country moving again." McCain surprised his audience by recognizing that Obama's election would help the country heal its racial wounds
Source: The 100 Greatest Speeches, by Kourdi & Maier, p.187-188
, Nov 4, 2008
Equal pay for equal work case was a trial lawyer’s dream
OBAMA: Sen. McCain and I disagreed recently when the Supreme Court made it more difficult for a woman named Lilly Ledbetter to press her claim for pay discrimination.
For years, she had been getting paid less than a man had been paid for doing the exact same job.
And when she brought a suit, saying equal pay for equal work, the judges said, well, you know, it’s taken you too long to bring this lawsuit, even though she didn’t know about it until fairly recently. We tried to overturn it in the Senate.
I supported that effort to provide better guidance to the courts; John McCain opposed it.
McCAIN: Obviously, that law waved the statute of limitations, which you could have gone back 20 or 30 years. It was a trial lawyer’s dream.
Source: 2008 third presidential debate against Barack Obama
, Oct 15, 2008
FactCheck: Pay discrimination still subject to time limits
The Statement:McCain explained his opposition to legislation that would have expanded the length of time in which a worker can sue an employer for pay discrimination. “That law waived the statute of limitations, which could have gone back
20 or 30 years,” McCain said. “It was a trial lawyer’s dream.”
The Facts:The legislation McCain was referring to was the Lilly Ledbetter Act of 2007. Ledbetter alleged that she had suffered years of unequal pay. Ledbetter’s case was throw
out by the Supreme Court on the grounds that she should have filed suit within 180 days of the first unfair paycheck. The Lilly Ledbetter Act would allow people to sue up to 180 days after the last instance of pay discrimination--not the first, as curren
The Verdict:False. The legislation does not waive the statute of limitations on discrimination suits, as McCain says, but changes the interpretation of when the limitation begins in cases of continuing violations.
Source: CNN FactCheck on 2008 third presidential debate
, Oct 15, 2008
Supports CA Prop. 8: one-man-one-woman marriage
Presidential candidates can command instant national attention when they want it. But John McCain and Barack Obama each took a hushed approach to letting the world know where they stand on the California ballot measure to ban same-sex marriage.
The muted announcements--McCain supports the proposed ban, Obama opposes it--will have little if any bearing on the presidential contest in California, but the ramifications are serious elsewhere.
McCain announced his support last week for the
California ballot measure, known as Prop. 8. “I support the efforts of the people of California to recognize marriage as a unique institution between a man and a woman, just as we did in my home state of Arizona,” he said.
McCain’s case is a tricky one to make; he opposes the proposed federal constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, which Bush promoted in 2004. McCain’s nuanced explanation is that it’s up to the states to decide.
Source: By Michael Finnegan and Cathleen Decker, Los Angeles Times
, Jul 2, 2008
Voted against MLK holiday in 1983; now calls that a mistake
Q: In 1983 you voted against the federal holiday for Martin Luther King. You voted in 1990 against civil rights legislation. Isn’t it going to be hard to reach out to minority groups given your history and the history of the party?
A: Well, let me say in 1983 I was wrong, and I believe that my advocacy for the recognition of Dr. King’s birthday in Arizona was something that I’m proud of.
The issue in the early ‘90s was a little more complicated. I’ve never believed in quotas, and I don’t. There’s no doubt about my view on that issue. And that was the implication, at least, of that other vote.
But I was wrong in ‘83, and all of us make mistakes, and I think nobody recognized that more than Dr. King.
Source: 2008 Fox News interview: “Choosing the President” series
, Apr 6, 2008
Supported CA Prop. 209, canceling affirmative action quotas
On the campaign trail in 1999, when McCain was asked whether he supported California's controversial Proposition 209, a ballot initiative striking down affirmative action quotas, he said: "I support the concept, [but] I thought it was unfortunate we had
to go to a ballot initiative to do so." He elaborated, "In Arizona, we've been able to sit down with our Hispanic citizens and talk about how we can help increase opportunities, help with better admissions into our major universities, and we've made grea
success and we didn't have to go to a ballot initiative to achieve these goals."
Can anyone parse exactly what McCain thinks of affirmative action from that answer? In summing up his views in 2000, the National Journal wrote, "McCain supports
affirmative action, although he's somewhat inconsistent on the subject. He opposed quotas, but has denounced initiatives that attempt to eliminate quotas or racial preferences." "Inconsistent" is one word for such a confusing triangle of beliefs.
Source: Free Ride, by David Brock and Paul Waldman, p.117
, Mar 25, 2008
Pro-Confederacy activist continues as top S.C. adviser
McCain's refusal to reveal his true feeling on the Confederate flag, a key issue in the 2000 South Carolina primary on which McCain changed his view several times, wasn't his only dalliance with retrograde views in the South. One of McCain's key
South Carolina advisers in 2000 was Richard Quinn. As the Nation reported, "Before the primary, Quinn organized a rally of 6,000 people in support of flying the Confederate flag over the statehouse.
Quinn dressed up McCain volunteers in Confederate Army uniforms as they passed fliers to the demonstrators assuring them that McCain supported the Confederate flag." In addition to being a political consultant,
Quinn is the former editor of the neo-Confederate magazine Southern Partisan. Quinn is working with McCain once again on his 2008 campaign as the senator's top adviser in South Carolina.
Source: Free Ride, by David Brock and Paul Waldman, p.119-120
, Mar 25, 2008
Private ceremonies fine, but no gay marriage
His stance on gay marriage famously changed in 2006. "I do believe in preserving the sanctity of a union between a man and woman. I believe that people want to have private ceremonies, that's fine. I do not believe that gay marriages should be legal."
In 2004, he called the idea "antithetical in every way to the core philosophy of Republicans," and because it "usurps from the states a fundamental authority and imposes a federal remedy for a problem that most states do not believe confronts them."
Source: The Myth of a Maverick, by Matt Welch, p.177-178
, Oct 9, 2007
Praised immigrants who join army to advance citizenship
At the end of the third GOP debate, immigration restrictionist and Colorado congressman Tom Tancredo warned that English needed to be made the official language of the country "to hold us together." Then McCain's rival Mitt Romney, former governor of
Massachusetts, slickly evaded a question about how he could support English-only laws while also running Spanish-language commercials. McCain, suddenly looking relaxed for the first time in months, said "Governor, muchas gracias," then uncorked a
moving extemporaneous speech about the Hispanic names "engraved in black granite" at the Vietnam memorial, and the "green-card holders who are not even citizens of this country, who love this country so much that they're willing
to risk their lived in its service in order to accelerate their path to citizenship and enjoy the bountiful, blessed nation." Love or hate the immigration bill, it was an inspiring patriotic soliloquy.
Source: The Myth of a Maverick, by Matt Welch, p. 23
, Oct 9, 2007
Don’t ask, don’t tell is working; don’t tamper with it
Q [to Romney]: In 1994 you were quoted as saying that you advocated gays being able to serve openly and honestly in our nation’s military. Do you still feel that way?
ROMNEY: No, actually, when I first heard of the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, I
thought it sounded awfully silly. I didn’t think that would be very effective. And I turned out to be wrong. It’s been the policy now in the military for what, 10, 15 years, and it seems to be working. This is not the time to put in place a major change,
a social experiment, in the middle of a war going on. I wouldn’t change it at this point.
McCAIN: We have the best-trained, most professional, best- equipped, most efficient, most wonderful military in the history of this country, and I’m proud of
every one of them. There just aren’t enough of them. So I think it would be a terrific mistake to even reopen the issue. The policy is working. And I am convinced that that’s the way we can maintain this greatest military. Let’s not tamper with them.
Source: 2007 GOP debate at Saint Anselm College
, Jun 3, 2007
Confederate flag on top of capitol was wrong; in front is ok
Q: Should South Carolina be free to fly the Confederate flag from state buildings. In 2000, you said yes. You have since called that one of your worst examples of political cowardice. That flag is still flying in front of the Statehouse. Should it come
A: It is not flying on top of the capitol. Yes, I was wrong when I said that I believed that it was up to the state of South Carolina. Now, after long negotiation amongst most parties, there is an agreement that that flag no longer flies on top
of the capitol of the state of South Carolina.
Q: It is flying in FRONT of the capitol now.
A: Almost all parties involved in those negotiations believe that that’s a reasonable solution to this issue. I support it. I still believe that it should not
have flown over the capitol, and I was wrong when I said that it was a state issue. But now I think it has been settled, and I think it’s time that we all moved on, on this issue -- especially the people of South Carolina.
Source: 2007 Republican Debate in South Carolina
, May 15, 2007
Leave gay marriage to the states
Source: RSLevinson.com “All Things Queer”, review of 2008 gay issues
, Jan 1, 2007
- Gay Marriage - Believes it’s an issue best left up to the states. While in the Senate McCain voted “No” on a constitutional ban of same-sex marriage.
- Hate Crimes - While in the Senate,
McCain voted no on extending the definition of hate crimes to include sexual orientation.
- Job Protection - Voted no on prohibiting job discrimination based upon sexual orientation.
John Lewis was as courageous as anyone could ever hope to be
In the summer of 1966, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Congress for Racial Equality recruited white students from northern states to help southern blacks register to vote. They chose to focus their campaign in Mississippi, a bastion
of segregation, where southern bigotry was as obdurately defiant as had been the Confederate defenders. Three white kids from the North were kidnapped and murdered by Ku Klux Klan terrorists. Even the goal of integration was cast aside by some, and in
its place the surer appeal of an easier pride, black separatism, rose to claim popular support. John Lewis was one of the bravest of those who stayed true to the faith. They couldn’t scare the courage out of him. They couldn’t beat it out of him, either.
Writing in The Washington Post, Lewis remembered, “A young man named Jimmy Lee was shot in the stomach when he stepped in to protect his grandfather. He died from his wounds several days later. The plan to march from Selma to Montgomery was our response.
Source: Why Courage Matters, p. 96
, Apr 1, 2004
Fear did not restrain Dr. King to resist repression
Better to suffer for a good cause than live safely without one. Dr. King’s cause was the dignity of his race and the full realization of America’s founding values. He is, rightly, held up as an exemplar of moral courage. He was a believer in nonviolence
who had courage of conscience, the courage to resist repression, to live his moral code. He was murdered for his willingness to act on his beliefs, a fate many of his admirers believe he anticipated and must have feared. Yet fear did not restrain him.
Source: Why Courage Matters, p. 91
, Apr 1, 2004
1994: No Senate hiring discrimination by sexual orientation
In June 1994, McCain continued to define himself on the issue of gay rights. In the wake of going before the antigay Oregon Citizens Alliance to make a speech about tolerance, McCain joined a movement in the Senate that evolved into a public gesture:
As employers, senators would not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. Specifically, 71 senators, McCain among them, signed a statement that pertained to hiring practices on capitol Hill: sexual orientation would not a consideration.
Source: Man of the People, by Paul Alexander, p.166-7
, Jan 19, 2004
1987: 1st Senate committee was Indian affairs, crucial to AZ
McCain's committee assignments would prove crucial to the development of his later political career. Having inherited Sen. Barry Goldwater's seat, McCain soon found himself neatly fitting into two issues that Goldwater had made his own:
Indian affairs and defense. The first was a natural fit for an Arizona politician, for Goldwater had long been a supporter of tribal rights in Arizona. McCain received the political backing of every Arizona tribe.
As a freshman senator and something of a POW celebrity in Washington, McCain also got a seat on the powerful Armed Services Committee, which controlled budgetary appropriations.
McCain's third committee appointment, to the
Commerce Committee, has proved to be the area of his greatest legislative publicity. Tobacco legislation, and his advocacy for telecommunications deregulation, emerged from his role on this committee.
Source: John McCain: An Essay, by John Karaagac, p.153-154
, Sep 20, 2000
Support evangelism but don’t pander to evangelical leaders
Evangelical leaders are changing America for the better. [For example], Chuck Colson, head of Prison Fellowship, is saving men from a lifetime behind bars by bringing them the good news of redemption. Others are leading the fight against pornography &
cultural decline. I stand with them.
Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and a few leaders of the pro-life movement call me an unacceptable presidential candidate. Why? Because I don’t pander to them, because I don’t ascribe to their failed philosophy that
money is our message.
We embrace the fine members of the religious conservative community. But that does not mean that we will pander to their self-appointed leaders. [These leaders] are corrupting influences on religion and politics. They shame our
faith, our party and our country.
Neither party should be defined by pandering to the outer reaches of American politics and the agents of intolerance whether they be Louis Farrakhan or Al Sharpton on the left, or Robertson or Falwell on the right.
Source: Speech in Virginia Beach, VA
, Feb 28, 2000
Inter-racial dating ban is idiotic and cruel
KEYES [to McCain]: What votes have [you] been willing to risk to stand for any principle [such as opposing the ban on inter-racial dating at Bob Jones University]?
McCAIN: Well Alan, I’ve taken a few risks in my life and I’m proud of those risks.
Some of them are the proudest points of my life.
Source: GOP Debate on the Larry King Show
, Feb 15, 2000
I was not invited to attend Bob Jones. I understand that it’s a fine academic school. If I had been invited, I would have gone and I would’ve started by saying, as I have gone to other places that
people are not in favor of me, and I would have said: Look, what you’re doing, in this ban on interracial dating, is stupid, it’s idiotic and it is incredibly cruel to many people. I also happen to have an adopted daughter who’s from Bangladesh.
And I don’t think that she should be subjected to those kinds of things. In fact, I will stand up and fight against those. You’ve got to bring the message to get these people in to the modern times.
Career-long history of supporting Indian causes
Empathizing with the plight of the American Indian is an issue that McCain embraced early in his Congressional career. McCain called the treatment of Indians “one of the darker chapters of the American people.” He described a Sioux reservation in South
Dakota “where people live in the worst conditions of grinding poverty.” McCain criticized some of the tribes for imposing their own rigid bureaucratic rules, “stifling free enterprise” on the reservations. In some cases, entrepreneurs are forced to wait
2 or 3 years to start businesses, he said.
When he arrived in Congress in 1983, McCain said, he was recruited for a slot on the Indian Affairs subcommittee by Mo Udall, a fellow Arizonan who made great strides to support Indian causes.
the position, he won recognition for a tribe in Connecticut that was having trouble getting recognized. “Know which tribe?” McCain asked, then answered his own question. “The Pequot, now the proud owners of the largest casino in the world.”
Source: Boston Globe, p. A27
, Jan 28, 2000
Ten Commandments would bring virtue to our schools
Q: Does posting the Ten Commandments in schools invalidate the religious expression of children who are not in the Judeo-Christian heritage?
A: We begin our proceedings every day in the US Senate with a prayer. Now, it doesn’t have the beneficial
effect that some desire, but it seems to be acceptable for the Senate to do that. Virtues [like telling the truth are] exemplified in the Ten Commandments. They could be and should be taught in every school in America.
Source: GOP Debate in Johnston, Iowa
, Jan 16, 2000
Confederate flag is a “symbol of heritage”
[Regarding flying the Confederate flag at the South Carolina Statehouse,] McCain said last week that many in South Carolina view the flag as a “symbol of heritage.”
That phrase is used by some who want the flag to continue flying over the Statehouse.
Source: Holly Ramer, Associated Press
, Jan 16, 2000
Allow, but not mandate, school prayer
McCain indicates that religious expression on public school property should be allowed. He says, “School prayer or a moment of silence should be allowed but not mandated. Education is a civil rights issue. Education reform, including school choice is
necessary so every student can be prepared for success in higher education, career and life.”
Source: 2000 National Political Awareness Test
, Jan 13, 2000
Would be “comfortable” with a gay president
John McCain said in a telephone interview with Reuters over the weekend that he would be “comfortable with a homosexual as president of the United States.”
Source: Buchanan Interview on “Equal Time”
, Dec 21, 1999
Flying Confederate flag should be left to states
McCain said the controversy over the Confederate flag flying above the South Carolina Statehouse is an issue for the state’s voters.
Source: Bruce Smith, Associated Press
, Sep 4, 1999
1st Amend. not a shield for hate groups
As a result of Congressional mandates and court actions, the government [may be] unable to routinely monitor organizations that foment hate and violence. Certainly, protecting civil rights must remain sacrosanct. However, we must not allow the First
Amendment to be abused as a shield for those who advocate or conspire to commit acts of violence. Organizations who are legitimately suspected of criminal or violent activities should not be shielded from legitimate & vigorous investigation & monitoring.
Source: (x-ref Crime) Letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee
, Aug 13, 1999
Indian gambling OK; lottery is not
McCain urged everyone to read the latest national report on gambling, which warns of its consequences. McCain is a longtime defender of American Indian tribal casinos and supported legislation in 1995 that paved the way for gambling “cruises to nowhere.”
However, McCain also warned of the consequences associated with gambling. And state-run lotteries aren’t any better, he said. “Who buys lottery tickets?” he asked. “When I’m in a Circle K, I know who buys lottery tickets. The lowest income.”
Source: Associated Press
, Aug 3, 1999
Hollywood should voluntarily self-censor sex and violence
McCain called on Hollywood to adopt voluntary standards to limit excessive violence and sexual content in entertainment media. His “Appeal to Hollywood” calls for the entertainment industry to devise a code of conduct modeled after the code the National
Association of Broadcasters followed for 30 years. “Media industry leaders should voluntarily commit to reining in the toxic mix of sex and violence that has come to dominate so many media products which negatively affect our children today,” he said.
Source: Press Release: “Media Violence”
, Jul 21, 1999
Supports Amendment against flag-burning
I support the constitutional amendment to prohibit the physical desecration of the American flag. I believe we have an inviolable duty to protect the right of free speech. I do not believe, however, that guaranteeing respect for our national symbol by
prohibiting “acts” of desecration impinges on political ‘speech.’ As long as citizens are free to speak out on any matter, it does not seem burdensome to me that we accord some modicum of respect to the symbol of those precious freedoms.
Source: www.mccain2000.com/ “Press Releases”
, Apr 28, 1999
We don’t need laws against Spanish language & culture
Spanish was spoken in my state when it was carved from the wilderness. Spanish culture influenced the making of Arizona society. And Arizona society cannot sustain its character, absent that influence today. Yes, we all need to speak English well if we
are to succeed in this country. But no one should have to abandon the language of their birth to learn the language of their future. We don’t need laws that cause any American to believe we scorn their contributions to our culture.
Source: Landon Lecture at Kansas State University
, Mar 15, 1999
Affirmative action OK for specific programs, but no quotas
McCain supports the following principles regarding affirmative action and discrimination:
Source: 1998 National Political Awareness Test
, Jul 2, 1998
- The federal government should continue affirmative action programs only if such programs do not include quotas
- The Federal Government should consider
affirmative action programs if ordered by a court to rectify specific programs.
John McCain on Voting Record
Ban on same-sex marriage is unRepublican; leave it to states
Known for his generally conservative voting record, including opposing legalized abortion, McCain has not towed a typical Republican line. For example, he has called the ban on same-sex marriage “un-Republican.”
The ban “usurps from the states a fundamental authority they have always possessed and imposes a federal remedy for a problem that most states do not believe confronts them,” he said in July 2004.
Source: CNN.com, “Presidential bids”
, Nov 15, 2006
Voted YES on reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act.
Amends the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA) to add or expand definitions of several terms used in such Act, including :
- "culturally specific services" to mean community-based services that offer culturally relevant and linguistically specific services and resources to culturally specific communities;
- "personally identifying information" with respect to a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking;
- "underserved populations" as populations that face barriers in accessing and using victim services because of geographic location, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity; and
- "youth" to mean a person who is 11 to 24 years old.
Opponent's Argument for voting No (The Week; Huffington Post, and The Atlantic):
House Republicans had objected to provisions in the Senate bill that extended VAWA's protections to lesbians, gays, immigrants, and Native Americans. For example, Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) voted against the VAWA bill because it was a "politically–motivated, constitutionally-dubious Senate version bent on dividing women into categories by race, transgender politics and sexual preference." The objections can be grouped in two broadly ideological areas--that the law is an unnecessary overreach by the federal government, and that it represents a "feminist" attack on family values. The act's grants have encouraged states to implement "mandatory-arrest" policies, under which police responding to domestic-violence calls are required to make an arrest. These policies were intended to combat the too-common situation in which a victim is intimidated into recanting an abuse accusation. Critics also say VAWA has been subject to waste, fraud, and abuse because of insufficient oversight.
McCain says, "McCain (R-AZ)"
Reference: Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act;
Bill S. 47
; vote number 13-SV019
on Feb 12, 2013
Voted YES on recommending Constitutional ban on flag desecration.
The Senate voted on a resolution which would recommend a Constitutional Amendment banning flag desecration (not a vote on the Amendment itself). The resolution states:
- the flag of the US is a unique symbol of national unity...
- the Bill of Rights should not be amended in a manner that could be interpreted to restrict freedom...
- abuse of the flag causes more than pain and distress... and may amount to fighting words...
- destruction of the flag of the US can be intended to incite a violent response rather than make a political statement and such conduct is outside the protections afforded by the first amendment to the Constitution.
Proponents of the Resolution say:
- Fifty State legislatures have called on us to pass this amendment. This amendment simply says that "Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States."
- In other words, in passing this amendment, we would give to
Congress the power that the Supreme Court took away in 1989.
- 48 States had anti-desecration measures on the books before 1989. It was then that five unelected judges told those 48 sovereign entities that they were wrong.
Opponents of the Resolution say:
Reference: Flag Desecration Amendment;
; vote number 2006-189
on Jun 27, 2006
- I am deeply offended when people burn or otherwise abuse this precious national symbol.
- I also believe that the values and beliefs that the American flag represents are more important than the cloth from which this symbol was created.
- Prominent among these beliefs are the right to voice views that are unpopular, and the right to protest.
- I oppose this amendment not because I condone desecration of our flag, but because I celebrate the values our flag represents. Flag burning is despicable. However, the issue is whether we should amend our great charter document, the Constitution, to proscribe it.
- Is this a problem needing such strong medicine? Are we facing an epidemic of flag burnings?
Voted NO on constitutional ban of same-sex marriage.
Voting YES implies support for amending the constitution to ban same-sex marriage. This cloture motion to end debate requires a 3/5th majority. A constitutional amendment requires a 2/3rd majority. The proposed amendment is:
Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.
Reference: Marriage Protection Amendment;
Bill S. J. Res. 1
; vote number 2006-163
on Jun 7, 2006
Voted NO on adding sexual orientation to definition of hate crimes.
Motion to Invoke Cloture on S. 625; Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act of 2001. The bill would expand the definition of hate crimes to incorporate acts committed because of a victim's sex, sexual orientation or disability and permit the federal government to help states prosecute hate crimes even if no federally protected action was implicated. If the cloture motion is agreed to, debate will be limited and a vote will occur. If the cloture motion is rejected debate could continue indefinitely and instead the bill is usually set aside. Hence a Yes vote supports the expansion of the definition of hate crimes, and a No vote keeps the existing definition. Three-fifths of the Senate, or 60 members, is required to invoke cloture.
; vote number 2002-147
on Jun 11, 2002
Voted YES on loosening restrictions on cell phone wiretapping.
Motion to table (kill) the amendment that would provide that in order to conduct roving surveillance, the person implementing the order must ascertain that the target of the surveillance is present in the house or is using the phone that has been tapped.
; vote number 2001-300
on Oct 11, 2001
Voted NO on expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation.
Vote on an amendment that would expand the definition of hate crimes to include gender, sexual orientation and disability. The previous definition included only racial, religious or ethnic bias.
; vote number 2000-136
on Jun 20, 2000
Voted YES on setting aside 10% of highway funds for minorities & women.
Vote to table, or kill, an amendment to repeal the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise [DBE] Program, which requires no less than 10% of highway construction projects funded by the federal government to be contracted to 'disadvantaged business enterprises'
; vote number 1998-23
on Mar 6, 1998
Voted NO on ending special funding for minority & women-owned business.
This legislation would have abolished a program that helps businesses owned by women or minorities compete for federally funded transportation.
Status: Cloture Motion Rejected Y)48; N)52
Reference: Motion to invoke cloture;
; vote number 1997-275
on Oct 23, 1997
Voted YES on prohibiting same-sex marriage.
The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA): Vote to prohibit marriage between members of the same sex in federal law, and provide that no state is required to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. Define 'marriage' as 'between one man and one woman.'
Bill HR 3396
; vote number 1996-280
on Sep 10, 1996
Voted NO on prohibiting job discrimination by sexual orientation.
Would have prohibited job discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Status: Bill Defeated Y)49; N)50; NV)1
Reference: Employment Non-Discrimination Act;
Bill S. 2056
; vote number 1996-281
on Sep 10, 1996
Voted YES on Amendment to prohibit flag burning.
Approval of a constitutional amendment which would prohibit desecration or burning of the U.S. flag.
Status: Joint Res. Defeated Y)63; N)36
Reference: Flag Desecration Bill;
Bill S. J. Res. 31
; vote number 1995-600
on Dec 12, 1995
Voted YES on banning affirmative action hiring with federal funds.
Vote to disallow any funds in the Legislative Appropriations bill from being used to award, require, or encourage any Federal contract, if the contract is being awarded on the basis of the race, color, national origin, or gender of the contractor.
Bill HR 1854
; vote number 1995-317
on Jul 20, 1995
Supports anti-flag desecration amendment.
McCain co-sponsored a Constitutional Amendment:
Supports granting Congress power to prohibit the physical desecration of the U.S. flag. Proposes an amendment to the Constitution of the United States authorizing the Congress to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.
Source: House Resolution Sponsorship 01-HJR36 on Mar 13, 2001
Require 90 day delay for compliance before ADA lawsuits.
McCain adopted the Republican Main Street Partnership agenda item:
H.R. 914/S. 872 the ADA Notification Act.
Source: Republican Main Street Partnership Legislative Agenda 02-RMSP8 on May 24, 2002
Republican Main Street Partnership Congressman Mark Foley (FL) introduced this legislation to protect the Americans with Disabilities Act from a growing number of lawyers who are generating huge sums in legal fees for pointing out accessibility violations by business when often simple fixes would bring properties into compliance with the ADA's accessibility standards. This variety of litigation abuse stems from the lack of any notification provision in the ADA. RMSP supports a 90-day delay between notification of an alleged accessibility violation and any legal proceedings. This notification will allow honest business owners to become ADA compliant without added legal expense while freeing up the courts to pursue legal action against bad players.
Limit interstate class-action lawsuits to federal courts .
McCain adopted the Republican Main Street Partnership agenda item:
H.R. 2341/S. 1712 Class Action Fairness Act.
Source: Republican Main Street Partnership Legislative Agenda 02-RMSP9 on May 24, 2002
Class Action suits, most often claiming product defects, have increasingly become fertile ground for unscrupulous trial attorneys. Using jurisdictional loopholes, trial lawyers are suing for enormous sums with little or no payout to injured parties. Multi-million dollar interstate lawsuits filed on behalf of irrelevant plaintiffs, often unaware that a claim has been filed, are filed in state courts. This increases the volume of claims filed, and leads to multiple, expensive, settlements. H.R. 2341, supported by Republican Main Street Partnership Reps. Judy Biggert (IL), Tom Davis (VA), Porter Goss (FL), Melissa Hart (PA), George Nethercutt (WA), and Rob Simmons (CT), eases the burden of addressing interstate claims in federal court. At the federal level, courts have greater resources and uniform rules. This provides a more appropriate venue for such cases and protects legitimate claimants ability to recover losses.
Rated 0% by the ACLU, indicating an anti-civil rights voting record.
McCain scores 0% by the ACLU on civil rights issues
The mission of the ACLU is to preserve protections and guarantees America’s original civic values - the Constitution and the Bill of Rights:
We work also to extend rights to segments of our population that have traditionally been denied their rights, including Native Americans and other people of color; lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered people; women; mental-health patients; prisoners; people with disabilities; and the poor. If the rights of society’s most vulnerable members are denied, everybody’s rights are imperiled.
- Your First Amendment rights-freedom of speech, association and assembly. Freedom of the press, and freedom of religion supported by the strict separation of church and state.
- Your right to equal protection under the law - equal treatment regardless of race, sex, religion or national origin.
- Your right to due process - fair treatment by the government whenever the loss of your liberty or property is at stake.Your right to privacy - freedom from unwarranted government intrusion into your personal and private affairs.
Our ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.
Source: ACLU website 02n-ACLU on Dec 31, 2002
Rated 33% by the HRC, indicating a mixed record on gay rights.
McCain scores 33% by the HRC on gay rights
OnTheIssues.org interprets the 2005-2006 HRC scores as follows:
About the HRC (from their website, www.hrc.org):
- 0% - 20%: opposes gay rights (approx. 207 members)
- 20% - 70%: mixed record on gay rights (approx. 84 members)
- 70%-100%: supports gay rights (approx. 177 members)
The Human Rights Campaign represents a grassroots force of more than 700,000 members and supporters nationwide. As the largest national gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, HRC envisions an America where GLBT people are ensured of their basic equal rights, and can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.
Ever since its founding in 1980, HRC has led the way in promoting fairness for GLBT Americans. HRC is a bipartisan organization that works to advance equality based on sexual orientation and gender expression and identity.
Source: HRC website 06n-HRC on Dec 31, 2006
Rated 7% by the NAACP, indicating an anti-affirmative-action stance.
McCain scores 7% by the NAACP on affirmative action
OnTheIssues.org interprets the 2005-2006 NAACP scores as follows:
About the NAACP (from their website, www.naacp.org):
- 0% - 33%: anti-affirmative-action stance (approx. 177 members)
- 34% - 84%: mixed record on affirmative-action (approx. 96 members)
- 85%-100%: pro-affirmative-action stance (approx. 190 members)
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has worked over the years to support and promote our country's civil rights agenda. Since its founding in 1909, the NAACP has worked tirelessly to end racial discrimination while also ensuring the political, social, and economic equality of all people. The Association will continue this mission through its policy initiatives and advocacy programs at the local, state, and national levels.
From the ballot box to the classroom, the dedicated workers, organizers, and leaders who forged this great organization and maintain its status as a champion of social justice, fought long and hard to ensure that the voices of African Americans would be heard. For nearly one hundred years, it has been the talent and tenacity of NAACP members that has saved lives and changed many negative aspects of American society.
Source: NAACP website 06n-NAACP on Dec 31, 2006
Other candidates on Civil Rights:
John McCain on other issues:
Retiring in 2014 election:
Retired as of Jan. 2013:
Senate Vacancies 2013:
MA:Gomez(R,lost special election)
Senate races Nov. 2014:
Senate Votes (analysis)
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Page last updated: Dec 23, 2013