Monday, October 01, 2012

This 2012 Election Is STILL About The Supreme Court

As much as the pundits will try to make this election about the economy, I submit this election is about a far more important factor the aren't talking about in terms of the Supreme Court.

I bring this subject up because in a few hours another term of our nation's highest judiciary body starts and runs through June 2013.   Just as in the last term, there will be some contentious subjects such as Section V of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, same gender marriage, Prop 8 and affirmative action that come up to be argued in front of the 5-4 conservative leaning Roberts Court.

It hasn't escaped my attention that there are four justices who are over 70 years of age.  Clinton appointed Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg (77) and Stephen Breyer (71) are past that age on the liberal progressive side.

Reagan appointed Supreme Court Justices Anthony Kennedy (73) is a predominately right leaning swing vote, and reliably conservative Antonin Scalia is 74.    

The next president (and I pray it's a second term President Obama) could possibly get to appoint three and possibly four Supreme Court justices during his next term  and shape the direction and political orientation of it for the next thirty to 40 years.  

For you people who claim there's no difference between the two parties, nowhere does your rhetoric look more delusional and politically clueless than when it comes to what person is in the Oval Office picking Supreme Court justices and judges for the federal judiciary.

The last thing I want is a President Romney (yecch) advised by Robert Bork picking those justices.

I would rather have it continue in the liberal-progressive direction of being diversified as the trend has been under President Obama.  

We have already seen President Obama's first two picks be women in terms of Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. 

I'd also like to remind people there has never been an African-American woman, an Asian of any gender, a Latino male or a Native American jurist of any gender selected to serve on the SCOTUS.

As a matter of fact President Obama's judiciary picks have been leaning heavily towards women and persons of color.   He has had appointed and confirmed a record 72 women to the federal judiciary in his first term with 29 of those women being non-white ones.   31 of President Obama's judicial picks were African-American, three were openly gay and there is no reason to doubt that pattern won't continue in a second Obama term

With a gridlocked Congress, the federal judiciary will become more important to advancing our human rights agenda.  With 90 federal judicial vacancies and four potential ones at the Supreme Court level diversity in the federal judiciary not only improves the quality of the decisions rendered by federal courts, it's a trend I want to see continue.

It's not only about the economy stupid, it's about the federal judiciary. and especially the political orientation the Supreme Court will take for the people in my generation for the rest of our lives.

Ponder that point as you enter the voting booth on November 6 or whenever during this month you get to cast your early voting ballots.

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