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Julie Barrett is a freelance writer and photographer based in Plano, TX.

Weekend Assignment:: The SCOTUS Choice

Fresh (almost) daily from Julie Barrett


Recently, Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens announced that he will retire, at the end of his term, later this year, leaving the position open to be filled by President Obama. As you know, Obama has chosen Elena Kagen as his nominee. I would like to hear your thoughts about this. Good choice? Bad choice? Indifferent? Who would you like to see appointed to the high court? Are you happy with the justices currently serving, or do you believe they leave something to be desired?

Actually, I'm kind of neutral on this one.

What bothers me, however, is the increasing level of vitriol I've seen surrounding her nomination. Hey, I have no problem with anyone who wants to question her legal or judicial qualifications for the job, but to paint her as gay based on her appearance is just plain wrong. Then there are the types who utterly dismiss anything that comes out of the president's mouth. It's wrong now just as it was during the last administration and the one before that.

And you know what? I don't care if she's gay. There, I've said it. Ethnic background and gender are no longer bars to serving in the highest court in the land, and so neither should sexual orientation. No jurist, though, should go to the bench with an agenda, nor should they be subject to a political litmus test.

(As an aside, people ask where I was during the last administration, when people were dissing Bush right and left, calling him evil names. The same place I am now. This journal has a handy search function.)

I'm not sure I'm happy with all of the current justices, but I don't ever expect to be. Each judge is a reflection of both the era in which they were appointed and the particular administration that appointed them. In the long run this makes sense. It's part of our system of checks and balances. And in these politically polarized times, it keeps the court from swinging wildly one way or the other. Like other facets of our government, it's not perfect. But it's better than having them stand for election. Just ask a Texan how that works out.

Extra Credit: Write one paragraph about a Supreme Court decision you felt strongly about either positively or negatively. I would have to say Roe v. Wade. See my addendum to this entry for my longish explanation.

Tags: Weekend Assignment

Filed under: Weekend Assignment   Politics         
5/27/2010 8:31:59 AM
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