Sen. Brown's ‘Model’ Justices: Scalia, Kennedy, Roberts and Sotomayor

By Jon Street | October 8, 2012 | 11:54 AM EDT

Republican Massachusetts State Sen. Scott Brown. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

( – When asked to name his “model” Supreme Court justice, Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) named four: Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, John Roberts and Sonia Sotomayor.

Scalia is consistently seen as one of the court's, and so too was Roberts until he voted to uphold Obamacare and its individual mandate. Kennedy is often perceived as the court's swing vote, siding with the conservatives sometimes and its liberrals other times. Sotomayor, an Obama appointee, is seen as a member of the court's liberal wing.

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During the Massachusetts senate debate on Oct. 1, NBC’s David Gregory asked Brown, “Who’s your model Supreme Court justice?”

Brown responded, “Um, let me see here. That’s a great question. I think Justice Scalia is a very good judge. Justice Kennedy is obviously very good, and Justice Roberts. Justice Sotomayor. I think they’re very qualified people there who actually do a very good job.”

Acknowledging the philosophical differences between the justices, Gregory said, “Scalia and Sotomayor don’t exactly--”

Brown said, “Well, you know what? That’s the beauty of being an independent.”

Gregory then pressed Brown to name only one justice, “If you had to pick one?”

“Listen, I don’t need to pick one,” said Brown. “We have plenty of justices up there and I’m proud of the ones we have.”

Moderator David Gregory then asked Brown’s Democratic opponent, Elizabeth Warren, “Miss Warren, who would be your model Supreme Court justice?”

Warren said, “I think it would probably be Elena Kagan.”