How the Supreme Court Impacts Our Daily Lives

How the Supreme Court Impacts Our Daily Lives

Sometimes it’s really hard to “get” the importance of the Supreme Court. Nine justices are supposed to interpret the law impartially without interjecting their own opinions. However, that’s not always the way it happens.
It was talked about frequently during the presidential election, and it’s been a huge media focus this week with President Trump nominating Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the seat of Justice Antonin Scalia, who passed away last year.
The balance of conservatives and liberals on the the court is critical. We can’t always see the impact of their decisions and rulings until years, and even generations, later. In 1973, most of us couldn’t have foreseen the impact of Roe vs. Wade. That landmark case changed the entire culture in America when it came to human sexuality. Women no longer faced the consequences of an unplanned pregnancy. In fact, they felt liberated by it, making “casual sex” the norm. Today, those who believe that abortion is against moral principles are quickly ostracized by the group that believes that women have the right to choose when it comes to their bodies.
It’s pretty amazing to think about the gravity of the decisions these nine people make.
It was because of the Supreme Court that your employer can’t just pay you whatever he wants. He has to pay at least the minimum wage. It was because of these nine people that the government could no longer sterilize you for committing a crime or being mentally disabled (oftentimes without your knowledge or consent). It was because of these nine people that you no longer attend schools that separate whites and blacks, and force blacks to use separate water fountains and bathrooms.
The point is, these nine individuals have the ability to change all of our lives in dramatic ways, for a very long time, with just a few strokes of their pens. That’s one of the reasons President Trump was elected. He vowed to voters that if they elected him president, he would replace Justice Scalia with a fair-minded conservative to bring some common sense back to this august court.
He seems to have really delivered with his pick of Judge Gorsuch. A strict constitutionalist who doesn’t believe in “legislating from the bench,” he is pretty much a conservative’s dream for a Supreme Court Justice. But that’s sure not the case for the Democrats.
The progressive Democrats on the extreme left are getting pounded by their bases right now to fight like hell. Really, what this decision comes down to for them in the end is, “What can I do that will most likely get me re-elected in 2018?” Sad, but true. The Democrats can’t change the inevitable outcome. If they try to filibuster, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will just use the nuclear option (a majority vote vice 60%). It won’t be pretty. But that’s just the way things work when the conservatives own the congress.
There’s not much that supporters of Trump/Gorsuch can do at this point, but just sit back and watch the Democrats’ show. It promises to be loud and ugly. We can only hope Gorsuch has the mettle to survive the attacks of the Democrats and focus on what’s really important… like getting the country back on track.