What You Should Base Your Vote On ….

The real impact of the Presidential election, the impact that will have an effect on our lives in a long-lasting and meaningful way won’t come from whether taxes are lowered or raised, won’t come from decisions regarding health care and won’t come from what happens with the war in Iraq.

The real impact will come from who seats the next Supreme Court justices.

I’m writing about this because it’s an area that is underweighted by people who don’t understand how the Supreme Court works, how much power these 9 people have and how that power affects our lives.

I only understand this myself because I had hopes of clerking on the Supreme Court after law school.

I didn’t get there, but I did clerk for a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals judge, just one layer below the Supreme Court.

Here’s the thing, Supreme Court Justices are not elected. They are appointed. For life. Their judgment is unreviewable and cannot be overturned by anybody. No law, no elected official, not even the President can overturn a decision of the Supreme Court.

The next President to be elected will likely replace one or more of the Supremes.

The import of that goes far beyond Roe v. Wade and abortion rights. The impact reaches into your rights to privacy, your rights to free speech, and many other rights that you aren’t even aware you have, but you will be if they are taken away and you can’t get them back.

If you value these rights, like I do, your vote will not be based on how you feel about the war, taxes, redistribution of wealth, or anything else. Because at most, any decision the President and our Congress make can be changed four years later. The only decision that cannot be changed is who our next President appoints to the Supreme Court.

Vote tomorrow! Your vote will make a difference.


  1. alexisneelyMonday, November 3, 2008 at 6:44 pm 

    This is a test comment.

  2. CarrieMonday, November 3, 2008 at 6:46 pm 

    Thank you! All arguments for the candidates aside, when I’ve discussed this issue with people, this is the point I keep trying to make. It maddens me that so many don’t understand, or don’t think it will matter. It matters to me – a lot.

  3. brianmarkMonday, November 3, 2008 at 6:49 pm 

    Nice post, but it didn’t help me decide. You’d need to tell me who each candidate is likely to appoint and the pros / cons of each of those people. I don’t know much about the supreme court… educate me.

  4. CorinaMonday, November 3, 2008 at 7:24 pm 

    Thank you so much for pointing this out. I think this is a greatly overlooked aspect of this election, and one of great importance.

  5. KAteMonday, November 3, 2008 at 8:31 pm 

    Roe v. Wade was bad law, and I am pro-choice. The Supreme Court has been abused because people don’t understand its proper function and hence support judges like those who made that decision and like those who will be appointed by Obama

  6. James KurtTuesday, November 4, 2008 at 7:36 pm 

    You are right! The president is a figurehead who gets way too much credit when things go right and way too much blame when things go wrong.

    I’m guessing that instead of 4-8 years of Hillary as president that we’ll be seeing her for a lifetime as a justice.

  7. brianmarkMonday, November 9, 2009 at 12:10 pm 

    Nice post, but it didn't help me decide. You'd need to tell me who each candidate is likely to appoint and the pros / cons of each of those people. I don't know much about the supreme court… educate me.

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