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The Irrefutable Case for Barack Obama's Second Term: Supreme Court Appointments

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There may well be a hundred reasons for progressives questioning whether President Barack Obama deserves a Second Term, ranging from all of the issues on which he has caved in (think: Bush-era tax cuts for the very wealthy); all of the issues which he has tried to sweep under the rug (think: BP oil spill and its aftermath); and all of the issues on which he has acted like a sleazeball (think: reversing his stance on taking SuperPac money.)  Even so, there is one overriding issue which makes an irrefutable case for an Obama Second Term: think, Supreme Court Appointments!

Consider that there would really be no SuperPacs were it not for that recent horrendous Supreme Court decision that "corporations are people" and "money is freedom of speech."  We are already being haunted by the consequences of that wongful decision; the last time I looked, the United States Constitution did not turn mega-corporations into natural people, it was the present Supreme Court which did that. America is already being deluged with unlimited SuperPac funds which give the rich and super-rich even more control over the rest of us.

Of course, were it not for another wrongful Supreme Court decision in 2000, the one which ordered Florida voting authorities to stop counting ballots and award the election to George W. Bush rather than to Al Gore, who should have become President, our nation and the world would be in much better shape than they are today.  Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a Reagan appointee and the longest reigning member with twenty-five years on the Court, is very proud of how he "persuaded" his colleagues to stop the vote counting in Florida. He keeps telling America to "get over it."  This particular American will not "get over" that stolen election until Scalia is off the court, and probably not even then, as he helped change the course of history, making it much the worse.

Besides Scalia, three other Supreme Court Justices are in their 70s, and will near or exceed eighty-years-of-age during a second Obama term of office.  The worst of the right-wingers, Scalia, Kennedy, and Thomas, will each have served well over twenty years on the Court.  Some have known health problem, and there are probably other hidden problems too.  While there are no guarantees, Barack Obama should get to make some more Supeme Court appointments during his second term, even if there will be a struggle in the Senate over their confirmation.

While we are often overwhelmed with vital short-run considerations ranging from getting our economy moving again to resolving a host of pressing issues, we progressives must never lose sight of the long-run factors which will ultimately determine the fate of this nation.  Nothing could be more important than having a decent, competent, caring Supreme Court which actually promotes the Constitution, with a real focus on "liberty and justice for all." 

President Barack Obama's appointments to that Court during his first term, Justices Sotomayor and Kagan, have been quite impressive. My fondest wish for his second term would be: four more years, four more Justices.  But, I'd even settle for fewer than that; one or two might even do.

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Author's Biography Eugene Elander has been a progressive social and political activist for decades. As an author, he won the Young Poets Award at 16 from the Dayton Poets Guild for his poem, The Vision. He was chosen Poet Laureate of (more...)

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