Why the Supreme Court is the Most Important Issue for Voters

We have a supreme choice to make.

By Anita Staver Published on October 19, 2016

During this supercharged election season, where every news cycle brings salacious distractions from the mainstream media, voters tend to focus on the candidates instead of their policies. But whether Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are kind or rude, decent or vulgar, charitable or greedy, and healthy or weak, will never matter as much as their Supreme Court nominations. The next president will select one, and possibly three, justices during the next term, and this one act will transform the Court for the next 30 years or more.

The selection of future Supreme Court justices is the most critical issue of this election. One justice can drastically alter years of American legal jurisprudence. The Senate has not filled the seat vacated by the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia, leaving that crucial task to the next president.

In the past, the Court has decided many crucial cases by a 5-4 vote. For example, the Court’s opinion was determined by one vote in the following cases:

  • Gonzales v. Carhart — The federal law banning partial-birth abortion does not violate the constitution. Partial-birth abortion involves a gruesome process of killing a baby during the birth process while only its head is inside the mother.
  • Town of Greece v. Galloway  Opening a town meeting with prayer does not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
  • Kennedy v. Louisiana — Subjecting a convicted child molester to the death penalty for the rape of a child who did not die from the vicious assault, was “cruel and unusual punishment” because of public opinion on the death penalty.
  • Kelo v. City of New London — The Constitution does not prohibit the government from taking private property from a landowner and giving it to a corporation for private development.
  • Clapper v. Amnesty International USA  A challenge to government monitoring under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was dismissed by the High Court for lack of standing.
  • Boumediene v. Bush — Suspected terrorists who are held at the U.S. Naval Base in Cuba have the constitutional right to due process.
  • Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission — The government cannot regulate the amount of money corporations spend on political speech, but can ban contributions from corporations to candidates and require disclosure of advertising sponsors.
  • Barnes v. Glenn Theater — Local government officials can place reasonable restrictions on nude dancing.
  • Michigan v. E.P.A. — The Environment Protection Agency must consider the cost of compliance when regulating power plants.
  • Miranda v. Arizona — The prosecution was prohibited from using the confession of a defendant who was not advised about his Fifth Amendment rights with specificity.

Important issues that impact many Americans  including religious freedom, self-defense, marriage, bathroom privacy, equal access for Bible clubs, forced funding of abortion, Obamacare exemptions, school vouchers, online child pornography and the public acknowledgement of God  all hang by one vote.

In addition to the Supreme Court, 98 federal court vacancies will be filled by the next president and Senate. These lifetime appointments will determine the direction of this nation for many years. Perhaps we deserve to have the United States fail because we haven’t selected righteous and moral candidates. However, our children and grandchildren do not deserve to suffer the results of our bad choices.

During the next four years, America could be transformed into a safe and prosperous home for future generations. Or our precious liberties could be decimated by a single black-robed individual with the stroke of a pen.

We have a supreme choice to make. We must support the candidate who will make the best nominations to the Supreme Court.

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