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What This Election Is Really About: An Obama Supreme Court Vs. A Romney Supreme Court

by David Badash on September 17, 2012

in Legal Issues,News,Politics

Post image for What This Election Is Really About: An Obama Supreme Court Vs. A Romney Supreme Court

The 2012 presidential, House, and Senate elections all come down to one big, huge, life-changing, generation-affecting issue: who sits on the Supreme Court and which way it leans. (Inconceivably, on a related note, Black Pastors have begun telling their mostly Democratic congregants now to not vote, to sit the election out — possibly ensuring, were they all to listen, a Romney victory and a Romney Supreme Court that will create a society that takes America back 100 years.) More than any single, short term claim to job creation or same-sex marriage or foreign policy, crafting the composition of the U.S. Supreme Court is one of if not the most important task — and legacy — a president has.

Do you want to hand that over to Mitt Romney?

The Center for American Progress Action Fund’s report, released today, “An Obama Supreme Court Versus a Romney High Court,” details just what’s at stake.

“If former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney wins the presidential election in November, this Republican dominance will only be solidified,” the CAP report notes. “Moreover, as four of the Supreme Court’s current members are over the age of 70, Gov. Romney will likely be able to shift the Court even further to the right. If President Barack Obama should win a second term, by contrast, he could replace Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, or another member of the Court’s conservative bloc, potentially giving the Court a progressive majority for the first time since the early days of the Nixon administration. ”

Writing about Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito, both George W. Bush appointees, Ian Millhiser at the Center for American Progress notes:

In their first full term together, both justices joined an opinion overruling a very recent abortion precedent because “some women come to regret” their own choices when they are allowed to make them. They claimed that a plan to desegregate public schools violates Brown v. Board of Education. And they infamously cut back on women’s right to equal pay for equal work in the Ledbetter decision that was later overturned by an Act of Congress.

In later terms, the Court’s conservatives pushed to immunize corporations from state consumer protection law. They expanded corporations’ ability to force consumers to sign away their ability to enforce their rights in a court of law. And they massively expanded wealthy interest groups’ power to use their substantial fortunes to influence elections. They are widely expected to end, or at least dramatically roll back, affirmative action in public university admissions this coming term. And in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the conservative justices reached far beyond the question presented to them in order to sweep away decades of law prohibiting corporate efforts to influence elections. So much for “focus[ing] on the matter that is at hand” and “not speak[ing] more broadly.”

Bottom line, anyone who claims their vote doesn’t count has not been watching recent election, where decisions are now being made by counting absentee ballots, and many races are coming down to single or double-digits, literally less than a percentage point one way or another.

And one way or another is where the Supreme Court will go in the next four years. The choice is yours.

Image via Think Progress

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