The importance of SCOTUS in the presidential election

By Sarah Stubbs

If you’re on the fence about who to vote for on Nov. 8 because you’re fed-up with this election and the whole political process, like many Americans currently are, please don’t just take a rain-check. If you’re not pleased with either candidate, I encourage you to think about the future of our Supreme Court and vote in accordance to the kind of law you want in America.

I’m 21 years old and over half of the SCOTUS justices were appointed before I was born. For those who don’t know, Supreme Court justices do not have term limits. They serve until they decide to retire or pass away. That being said, three current justices are over 80-years-old (S/O to RBG) or are getting close to that age. This means that the next president of the United States has the potential to appoint possibly three Supreme Court justices, creating a Supreme Court that favors hers or his ideology immensely.

Currently, Senate Republicans are making things awfully difficult for President Obama to fulfill his constitutional right to appoint a justice to replace Antonin Scalia. His nominee, Merrick Garland, a moderate, cannot even get a fair shot at the position because Republicans are so fearful of a left-leaning SCOTUS.

Trump, should he be elected, would appoint extremely conservative justices. Not only would this establish precedents that most Americans wouldn’t agree with, it would also have the potential to put our country back several years socially and culturally.

If Hillary Clinton is not elected president, we can kiss certain freedoms and rights goodbye.

Universal healthcare 

Trump wants to completely repeal Obamacare. The Clinton campaign recognizes that we need healthcare reform, but believes that entirely repealing the Affordable Care Act would put us behind because then we would have to start from square one. Obamacare is not perfect – but thanks to it, millions of Americans have healthcare now that didn’t have it before. If you believe healthcare is a human right, and think Obama’s efforts in this arena have been useful and progressive, vote for Clinton.

Reproductive rights 

Roe v. Wade – the 1973 landmark case on abortion – could possibly be overturned under a Trump presidency. Trump has said that he would only appoint justices that are pro-life. He also said once in an interview that he believes there needs to be some sort of punishment for women who get abortions. If you want to keep abortion safe and legal, and let Planned Parenthood continue to provide reproductive healthcare for women, do not vote for Trump.

Marriage equality 

Trump has gone on the record and denounced the historical SCOTUS decision to rule that gay marriage was legal in all 50 states. His running mate, Mike Pence, has a track record of making homophobic decisions in government such as the infamous Religious Freedom Act, wanting to divert HIV funds to conversion therapy, and serving on an affiliate of the anti-gay group Focus on the Family. Marriage

equality passed by a close vote of 5-4 by SCOTUS, even one or two conservative justices could completely strip the marriage rights away from many Americans. If you support equality, vote HRC.

Money in elections 

For me, this is one of the biggest issues. When Trump and Clinton were asked about what their prospective Supreme Court justices would look like, Clinton included that she would appoint justices who would overturn Citizens United v. FEC. Campaign finance must be reformed and Hillary Clinton will fight for a possible constitutional amendment that would limit how much money corporations are allowed to spend on elections. Corporations are not people and therefore should not have the same influence or rights as the individual. If you agree with that, vote HRC.

These are just some of the many issues and landmark cases that are at stake with a conservative Court. If you want to move our country forward, together, I encourage you to vote for Hillary Clinton.

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