Monday, July 15, 2013

Justice Roberts' Courts' Decisions

Very little time to write lately.  Sorry.  I can't say I am uninterested in writing, but I also can't say I am excited either.  While there is certainly a plethora of topics to discuss, I guess I am too absorbed in my life to spend the time to sit and blog.  The conspiratorial side of me would say that that is how the powers of be want it for the average working class family.  Keep them too busy to reflect, too busy to opine, too busy to research the topics of the day, to delve into the details of the sound bites that our politicians are so fond of using. 

One topic I do want to touch on is the various decisions by the Roberts' Court.  Before doing so, I would like to pass along the link for the Supreme Court.  It details the actual writings, both for and against, for all the recent decisions, not just condensed versions and/or opinions of the decisions as you are more likely to hear and read about.  It is not easy reading, but it is important to peruse what was actually said, before relying on the opinion of any political pundit who most likely has a biased point of view.

First, I was very disturbed by the prospect of the Roberts Court undoing the social progress made by earlier courts, as well as presenting opinions that laid the groundwork for future problems.  But, in the almost eight years since being appointed Chief Justice, his court's decisions have angered me less and delighted me more than I expected. 

From allowing the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act to the recent tepid decision which declared The Defense of Marriage Act to be inconsistent with the existing understanding that the question of marriage is a states right question, my faith in the logic and reasoning ability of our Supreme Court Justices, and their respect for the Constitution even when that respect seemed to conflict with the party ideology of the appointing president, was rewarded. 

And, despite my horror at the ruling a few years ago which equated freedom of speech with the right to spend money, and the even more puzzling allowance that a corporation might have similar rights as a person, along with the confusing ruling last month that seemed to indicate that the restrictions imposed on the various states by the Voting Rights Act were no longer necessary because they worked, it is clear that I will never experience a time when all Supreme Court rulings are to my liking.  But I accept that as the reality of the range of opinion and perspective that exist in America.

After all, I may not always be correct. 

Sadly, not enough of us remember this simple axiom.  We all accept that no one is perfect, yet we seem to cling ever so tightly to our various beliefs as if they are perfectly correct.

We see this obsession from both sides of the gun control issue, both sides of the abortion issue, both sides of the gay marriage issue, both sides of almost every issue that can be used to energize one half of the electorate.  All or nothing seems to rule the day.

So, again, take some time to access the actual rulings before you repeat the opinions of someone you heard on the radio or saw on TV.  And, if you have the time, read the dissenting opinion from the Supreme Court Justices who did not agree with the majority vote, especially when that dissent disagrees with your perspective. 

Listening to, or reading another opinion might seem a waste of time for those who will not waver, but understanding the logic and reasoning which produced an opinion by a person with an advanced education and practical experiences in applying the laws of our land, might present an angle of the issue that you did not consider.  Then, if you still disagree, at least you understand the best of the opposite argument as opposed to merely saying those that believe unlike yourself hate America as seems to be the state of debate on most of our airwaves today.

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