Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Save our courts!

The Supreme Court is in a precarious position, and will suffer irreparable damage under another Republican administration. While it gets far less attention, the influence of the U.S. Court of Appeals is more broadly felt, and Bush has brought it dangerously to the right as well. Republican-appointed judges, many of them conservative ideologues, now hold the majority in 10 of the 13 circuits. Democratic appointees hold a slim majority in only one.

Republicans decry what they call "legislating from the bench", but it is Bush's appointees who have upheld South Dakota law that forces doctors to inform women that abortions “terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique living human being” — using exactly that language. The dissenters, including both a Reagan and a Bush appointee, called this a sharp change in direction and a violation of the court's accepted standards. They further claim that this decision bypassed “important principles of constitutional law laid down by the Supreme Court.” For more detail, check out the front-page article in today's New York Times.

Our justice system allows a President to influence the nation for a generation. McCain has said that if elected he would appoint "strict Constitutionalists" in the mold of Scalia, Roberts and Alito to the bench. If for no other reason, please vote Obama/Biden next Tuesday!

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