Is Affirmative Action important to you?
Do you believe in the legality of same sex marriage? Do you think same sex couples are entitled to the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples?
What about voting rights? Did you know that the Voting Rights Act requires state and local governments with a history of racial and ethnic discrimination to obtain advanced approval from the Justice Department or the federal court in Washington before making any changes that affect elections? Did you know that the law applies specifically to the states of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and certain specific counties in other states? Did you know that in 2006 Congress and George W. Bush extended this provision of the act for 25 more years? Does that seem right to you?
Do you believe in a women’s right to choose? Do you believe that gays should be able to serve openly in the military? Do you believe in the separation of church and state? Do you believe that doctrine should apply to prayer in our public schools? Do you believe that wealthy Americans and corporations should be allowed to donate unlimited sums of money in support of political candidates?
These are just some of the weighty issues that the Supreme Court is expected to adjudicate over the next four years. Although several of these issues have been the law of the land for years they are expected to be resurrected for debate once again by the call of partisan politics.
Given the importance of these issues it is only natural that the voting record and composition of the Court be a frequent topic of conversation within the media; especially given the very real possibility that three or four members of the Court may retire during the next administration.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 79 years of age. Justice Anthony Kennedy is 76. Justice Antonin Scalia is 76 and Justice Stephen Breyer is 74. If any or all of them choose to step down, either Barak Obama or Mitt Romney will be appointing their successor. And those appointments will shape the Court for decades.
It is also noteworthy that the United States Senate, charged with confirming the presidential appointments to the Court, has thirty three seats up for re-election this November.
So as you head to the polls this November consider the questions posed above. Understand that you are not just voting for the office of president or senator. You are voicing your opinion on these important issues. You are helping to create the very fabric of our society.
No matter where you stand on the important issues of today…vote!