Monday, October 31, 2005

One Trick Pony Rides Away

So we have another Supreme Court nominee. His name is Samuel Alito, and he is as American as apple pie, and the death penalty. Conservatives love him, liberals are ready to fight tooth and nail against him, and it's business as usual in that most screwed up of cities, Washington, DC. Minorities are pissed because the guy is as white as I am...well, ok, no one is as white as I am except maybe the Winter brothers, but I digress. The guy has been a judge on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals since 1990, and is reportedly quiet, polite, and even tempered. Not too bad. But then THE ISSUE pops up, and the polarization occurs. He's not a big fan of abortion. [GASP!!] What did people expect from a republican president, the baby eating bishop of Bath and Wales?(rent Black Adder II if you don't get that joke) It seems to me that there are only two issues that get discussed whenever someone is up for appointment/election/selection/cannonization or whatever: abortion and gay marriage. While these are, indeed, important issues, are they really the most important issues facing the nation right now? I am certainly not trying to trivialize these issues, but there is such a complex melange of legislative and political issues facing any high-ranking member of any branch of the government that to distill their effectiveness down to how they feel about two relatively narrow issues is ridiculous.

Roe V. Wade is a done deal, and I really doubt the Supreme Court is going to change it any time soon. Besides, what politician in his right mind wants the issue decided for good? That would be like Columbia lobbying to legalize marijuana. Abortion is not going away, and one justice either way isn't going to change that. And if it gets a bit harder to get one, is that really such a bad thing? I am not big on abortion, but then again I'm a man, and not really qualified to have an opinion on it, but that's never stopped me before. I have no problem with underage girls being required to inform at least one parent, unless of course the parent is the father. And I do think that abortions are legal wayyy too far into the pregnancy, and there is nothing wrong with requiring some form of pre-procedure counseling. But that's where I get out of the debate. I have never had to make the decision, nor can I imagine how difficult it must be for some to take that step. There are some who use it as birth control, and that I object to strongly, but I don't agree with legislating against it, either. It's all about choice. If there is a God, and abortion is a sin, well that will be between the person and The Creator, and it's none of my business.

Gay marriage affects an even smaller percentage of the population, and has absolutely no societal effect beyond allowing a group of people to experience the joys of divorce along with the rest of us. I think it is much more important to find out how a Supreme Court nominee feels about amending the Constitution, or states' rights, or what to do if an election gets so screwed up that no one can tell who won. How do they feel about immigration, both legal and ill, or things like the drinking age, or the draft. The Supreme Court is all about giving the people a final place to be heard, and I want to know how open the ears are on those who sit on that bench. I don't know if this Alito guy will do a good job, although my initial reaction is yes, but I do know that I couldn't care less how he feels about abortion or gay marriage...unless a case arises when these will matter, and then I would hope he'd be as impartial as possible.

Let the political blood-bath continue.



Heather said...

Don't even get me started on how Roe v. Wade is one of the worst Supreme Court opinions ever written...

As far as Alito goes, my only disappointment is that a woman was not nominated for the vacancy. IMHO, I'm being silly and I'll get over it. I'd rather have Alito, with his sterling appelate record than Miers.

You actually missed the 3rd major issue: Gun rights. I think Schumer was going off today about Alito's stance on that. I'm far more interested in that, not because I'm a gun owner, but because it is a true Constitutional issue - something that I don't view abortion or gay marriage to be.

I'll be tuning out most of the confirmation process, since I have an avid dislike of televised news.

Marius said...

I thought about including gun control, but the 2nd amendment folks have been pretty quiet of late, so it didn't bubble as close to the surface as the others. Like abortion, I think that folks should be allowed to own guns, but I also don't object to them being a little more regulated, and harder to get. Shit, it's easier to get a gun than a driver's license.

justin said...

Allow me to end the suspense: Alito's opinions on the issues that concern you are in favour of the powerful elite and against the average joe schmoe citizen. That should tell you all you need to know.

Unless of course you happen to have a ten year old daughter, in which case there's more to it.