For Me, It All Comes Down to the Judges

I don’t know about you, but the constant patter of election rhetoric has worn me out.

The campaigns, the PACs, our friends on Facebook, they’re all telling us what’s really important about this election:  it’s about The Economy, it’s about The War on Women, it’s about The Environment, it’s about The War on Terror.

Here’s a factor that few of them are talking about, but one that will make a huge difference in all of these issues and so many more — The Judges.

The President of the United States nominates judges to lifetime appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court and to the lower federal courts.  And the members of the U.S. Senate vote to confirm those judges.

Four of the nine members of the U.S. Supreme Court are 74 years old or older. Two of them, Justices Breyer and Ginsburg, were appointed by a Democratic president, and two, Justices Scalia and Kennedy, were appointed by a Republican president.

It is highly likely that the man we elect President next month will appoint at least two and possibly four new Justices to the Supreme Court, and in doing so, will determine the future of the Supreme Court.  The winner of this election will also nominate countless additional judges to U.S. Appeals Courts and District Courts.

What effect will these Judicial appointments have? How these judges interpret federal law and the Constitution will define our rights around reproduction, voting, immigration, health care, equality, privacy, speech — virtually every aspect of our lives.

Who will be the judges making these decisions about my rights and my child’s rights? Will Mitt Romney or Barack Obama have that choice?  And who will be the U.S. Senators voting on confirmation of those choices?

These are the questions I’ll be asking myself when I walk into my high school gym on November 6th to cast my vote.  How about you?

~ Kate

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