Justice Kennedy is Retiring

July 17, 2018

Justice Kennedy is retiring.  This hits me, and many others, like a ton of bricks.

 

Within this same week, we had a picture of Clarence Thomas posing with the President in the Oval Office with a nice message from the President.  We also had the Senate Majority Leader tweet a nice congratulatory message on the decision that the most recent appointed judge made that strengthened Gerrymandering, minimized the importance of women’s health, and weakened union membership. 

 

On a daily basis, there are decisions being made around the country from US Attorneys and Federal Judges.  Within one year, Trump has confirmed more federal judges than previous presidents.  The Senate Judicial Committee has expedited these hearings to the point that Trump has selected 87 federal judges and 92% of them are white.  There has only been one black male and one Hispanic who received a nomination to the bench.  There are less than 10% of these appointments are women.

 

We are looking at an almost all white, male judicial governance within this country.  The consequences are dominating.  We are shifting the world backward as we are going to lack diverse viewpoints.  These differences matter because these judges can control the lives of individuals who go before the court.  They also help shape policy, as they have judicial review.

 

Our current Supreme Court decisions are indicative of denying the necessity of diversity.  As we hope to look forward to the next election, the Supreme Court had a blow to this as well with strengthening the capacity of gerrymandering that is found in Texas.  It is making it easier for states to draw district lines to keep Republicans in power, while ignoring demographic changes in their district. 

 

Living in California, our laws are much more liberal and the protections are much more comforting.  Yet, there are many Americans that live in other places around the country that lives will be changed and shifted.  Decisions like Roe v. Wade can be overturned.  This is a much loser reality.  The Supreme Court didn’t really rule on Gay Marriage, but said that the group “protecting” marriage didn’t have standing.  Gay Marriage is in the balance.  There could be a further weakening of Civil Rights protects, as there is a strengthening of the First Amendment (Free Speech and Freedom of Religion). 

 

If there is anything comforting about this week, then it is in the Travel Ban Supreme Court decision.  We should be happy that the Supreme Court finally overturned Korematsu v. United States (1944) decision through explicitly stating that the President cannot order individuals based on country of origin to be held in internment camps. 

 

It is through this election of Trump that we have changed the face of all levels of the Federal Court System for one whole entire generation.  Ponder that as we go to the voting ballot.

 

For me, Dianne Feinsteinis on notice.  I cannot afford a compromise anymore, as minorities and women are being excluded in higher numbers than before the Civil Rights Movement.  Black women have not earned one appointment in the Federal Court System.  The significance is life changing, and I cannot support a Democrat that will ignore the generational consequences of federal judges appointments.

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