• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • It's the Judiciary, Stupid

    Does the Supreme Court matter for the 2012 election? It certainly should.

    A President’s ability to appoint Supreme Court justices is a lasting legacy that can shape the course of our country for years in the future. The Supreme Court may appear to be a group of robed academics, but the justices tackle issues that impact the everyday lives of citizens, including whether the Second Amendment protects an individual right to own firearms, Miranda and other safeguards afforded to criminal defendants, what role race may play in college admissions, and whether Congress can force Americans to engage in commerce.

    The next President may have the opportunity to appoint three justices—and possibly more. And the addition of even one new justice can shift the direction of the Court for decades. Five justices have been on the Court for nearly 20 years. Over the past 50 years, the average length of service is around 19 years.

    And each one of the nine votes is crucial. In fact, per SCOTUSBlog’s annual Stat Pack, roughly 35 percent of cases from 2005 to present have been decided 5–4 or 6–3.

    The public should scrutinize whether the presidential contenders will nominate constitutionalist judges in the next four years. As legal writer Gregg Nunziata recently wrote:

    It is vital that the next president appoint justices committed to the original, enduring vision of the Constitution. To do so, he must select individuals with long track records demonstrating that commitment—and be willing to fight for their confirmation if opposition develops. “Stealth” candidates will not do.

    Moving into the fall, all eyes may be on the economy, but Americans should consider whether our country is better served by judges who would legislate from the bench, straining the text to recognize new rights or derive new meanings, or by those who would apply the Constitution as written.

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to It's the Judiciary, Stupid

    1. Bobbie says:

      We certainly do need reputable constitutional judges. I thought that's all America allowed! Until the last 10 years…

      It's only right to have judging of the rule of law and not from the bench of biases, bureaucrats and/or bigots of the law. Everyone becomes accustom to America's customary rule of law that is non discriminating and remains that way in America's land of equal protection under the law!

    2. Lloyd Scallan says:

      This is exactly why every justice on the Court should be term limited. The law that allows any justice to be impeached and removed is pie in the sky. Just look at how good it worked with Bill Clinton.

    3. Mike, Wichita Falls says:

      If Obama has the nerve to appoint…

      …a person who said the addition of a "wise latina" to the high court would be good and whose lower court opinion involving firefighter testing was overturned by that same court,

      …and a person who manipulated a scientific report regarding abortion in federal court and failed to recuse herself from Obamacare for which she advocated,

      then what kind of people will he appoint in a second term? It may be Breyer or Ginsburg that he replaces, making the court not much worse off, but his replacements for Scalia, Kennedy or Thomas would add another nail in the coffin of the Republic.

    4. neal r says:

      If Obama is reelected, look for Eric Holder to be nominated. That would be very bad.

    5. Tom RKBA says:

      Why does everyone think the Supreme Court will save us? They will not. They have repeatedly ruled in favor of Federal power.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×