posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 08:52 PM
Robin Lee has posted a little essay titled: "Reason Number 1 Why Barack Obama Must Win in November." I found it under the group heading
"Barack's Vice-President and Cabinet." The essay discusses some recent rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court, which narrowly struck down some of the
Bush administrations attempts to subvert the Constitution. Readers will appreciate that Robin's writing is more concise than mine, but I would like
to add a few observations of the subject...
Basically, four of the nine total justices on the Court, including the three who are by far the youngest, are virtually guaranteed to give President
Bush a blank check to abuse his authority in any way he chooses. Among the other justices, the youngest, David Souter, will be 69 in September.
Justice Stevens is 88, and the others are in their early to mid seventies. The president we elect this coming November will almost certainly have at
least two vacancies to fill among the five justices on the Court who are now willing to rule that President Bush is not above the law. If the next
president is reelected in 2012, he will almost certainly be able to create a substantial makeover of the Supreme Court.
There are some good Republican appointees on the Court. Justice Stevens was appointed by President Ford. Justice Kennedy was appointed by President
Reagan. Justice Souter was appointed by President Bush Sr. These men are not political liberals, but they are good judicial conservatives in that
they largely leave their personal politics at the door when they are listening to and deciding cases. Unfortunately, the three most recent Republican
appointees (Thomas, Roberts, Alito) have been political right wingers who have reliably voted (along with Justice Scalia) to advance right wing
political causes. I am not questioning their credentials, nor would I necessarily object to any one of them being on the Court. What I find
dangerous, however, is having political right wingers becoming a majority of the Court.
President Bush has demonstrated both ignorance of the Constitution and contempt for the law. He has said, in effect, that as commander-in-chief, he
can do anything he wants, without any legal restraints, as long as he can plausibly claim the motive of protecting national security. Four of the
nine members of the Supreme Court, including the two that he appointed, fully back him up on this. While I do not believe that John McCain, if he
becomes the next president, would abuse his authority in the same manner as the current president has, I did not think that President Bush would,
either. In addition, Senator McCain has basically pledged that, if elected, he would appoint right wing judges to the federal courts at all levels,
including the Supreme Court. In effect, while "President McCain" might not trash the Constitution and the law the way President Bush has, he will
be giving himself license to do so, whether he exercises it or not.
Had Senator Clinton won the Democratic nomination, I would not have been happy about voting for her in the general election, but I would still have
voted for her. If nothing else, I think it is extremely important that the next few Supreme Court vacancies are not filled by right wing judges. It
is obvious that many Clinton supporters are upset that their candidate did not win the Democratic nomination. Many of them expressed an intention of
voting for McCain, or sitting out this presidential election. While I fail to see that Senator Obama did anything improper toward Senator Clinton in
their contest for the nomination, I can understand the disappointment on the part of Clinton supporters.
To those Clinton supporters who refuse, or at least are reluctant, to support Obama in the general election: think about the Supreme Court. The next
president will be either John McCain or Barack Obama. The winner of this election will likely be a major influence on the Supreme Court (and the
courts in general) for the next 30 years. In many ways, the rights of ordinary Americans are at stake. Remember this in November.