It always surprises me when I hear from friends that they have decided not to exercise their right to vote. Being Canadian, I cannot vote in the U.S, but I have made the choice to become educated on what is going on in the upcoming election.
In all the hype and sensationalism of the 08′ presidency campaigns, some may forget that the political platforms dictate much more then just who wins the presidency; they also determine how the judicial system in the U.S. is run. By this I mean that the future president does have a lot of power, including the ability to pick the justices who sit on the bench of the Supreme Court. When one judge leaves the bench, another is then appointed (for life) by the current President.
Judges are supposed to be free from outside encumbrances when making decisions. It is supposed to be reason without passion after all. But it would be erroneous to assume that judges are free from the same influences that impact us all. A “right,” or “left,” leaning judge does not stay on an equilibrium because they put a robe on. They tend to have certain ideals that they apply to the law. This is not unfair, nor is it unethical. It is what it is.
I hope that everyone who gets the gift of voting this year uses that gift. The repercussions of the decision have far more impact then we could ever imagine, especially on the Supreme Court of the United States. (For a very specific example of the roles judges play, check out Bush v. Gore, 531 U.S. 98 (2000).
p.s. Don’t forget to VOTE!!!