The Pres and his nominee this morning.
I like to try to boil these big national issues down to their everyday importance. Here's a down-home example of the way in which the Supreme Court affects us in our lives.
President Bush visits with a delegation from the Boy Scouts of America during the presentation of the annual report by the BSA in the Oval Office Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2003.
Probably most of those who read this blog are not sufficiently involved with the Boy Scouts of America to be fully aware of the Scouts' recent battles with the ACLU. I posted on this at length in August, including the following:
That's why the assault on the Boy Scouts is important for everyone, regardless of whether you, or anyone close to you, are ever associated with the scouts. It's also why it was so important that George W. Bush be elected and re-elected President. Remember: In Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, the U.S. Supreme Court considered the Scouts' policy against allowing openly gay adult Scout leaders to serve. The Scouts won that battle, with the Court deciding that a state may not,through its nondiscrimination statutes, prohibit the Boy Scouts from adhering to a moral viewpoint and expressing that viewpoint in internal leadership policy, and that a decision by the New Jersey Supreme Court therefore violated the Boy Scouts’ First Amendment right of freedom of association.If you're interested in the entire essay, it's here.
The Supreme Court vote in Dale was 5 to 4. There were four justices willing to uphold the New Jersey Supreme Court and prevent the Scouts from setting their own internal policies for adult leaders. If a single justice had voted the other way, the national moral standard would already be changed and the Boy Scouts as we know them would likely no longer exist.
Ask yourself: With one more justice appointed by a President Gore or a President Kerry, how would that decision have come down?
So, do presidential elections and Supreme Court appointments really matter? You bet they do.
So it is welcome news that Samuel Alito has been nominated. We all know he will be vigorously (and probably indecently) attacked now, but my bet is he'll be confirmed as easily as Roberts was, after perhaps a lot more caterwauling by the left. Once he is confirmed, the way he votes will make a difference in the lives of all of us-- whether we are Boy Scouts leaders and parents, or simply don't want nine lawyers in Washington deciding issues best left to the legislature.