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The impact of this election on the Supreme Court

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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.

posted on Jun, 18 2008 @ 06:39 AM
reply to post by jhill76

Well JHILL, I hope that this next President that we get actually uses His powers for good things instead of what Bush jr. has used his for, making people rich..This time I am personally affected because many of the justices that he has put in our court system are pro insurance company, and right now, I am fighting a disability insurance carrier, namely, (MetLife) that has after 12 years decided to stop my benefits so they can increase their benefits for their investors..Now, I'm not the only one, as I've researched this year, as of December of 2007 when they called me up and said they were terminating my benefits, they had also called 120 thousand other individuals that are disabled, and have Social Security Disability like myself, and cut them off also.. Now, after having proven to our US government that I and many many others are disabled , (mine was from a work accident in 1995) and it did take me 6 years to prove to them solidly that I am disabled, I thought (naievely) that I would then be left alone by my insurance company because I had proven without a shadow of a doubt that I not only meet the criteria of being disabled, but my condition exceeds it immensely, but due to the fact that I will now have to fight them in court probably in the next 6 months, I will have to contend with 130 different judges, and over 45% of them are pro Industry carrier (insurance company) instead of remaining indifferent to the ruling itself..I have been given a list of judge names that I hope I do not get when I do finally take this case to court, ( I am in the middle of appeals right now) and I pray that I don't get any of them, because if i do, then I can kiss my income goodbye, and I might as well write myself off too, if you understand what I mean..

So, next elections choices do mean a lot to many people, and the WHY, is just as important as the WHAT..Have a great day..

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