Written by Frank T. Scruggs
One of the things important to African Americans and other Africans across the Diaspora is to pay close attention to the U.S. Supreme Court. The U.S. Supreme Court is one third of the governmental power of the U.S. and often while we reflect on presidential elections we need to remember that the Supreme Court has the power of judicial review or the power to declare any law passed by Congress or Executive Order issued by the President as unconstitutional. Only the Supreme Court has this power which balances out the power of the Executive and Legislative Branches of Government.
The Presidential selection is important to us as a people since the President is responsible for choosing and appointing Justices to sit on the Supreme Court when a vacancy occurs. The Justices selected is a reflection of the degree of conservativity or liberality of the President and his/her political party at any given time.
The Justice selected by the President reveals the true ideology of a President and the political party they lead. In the United State’s winner-take-all system, political apathy in any area results in tacit approval of all public policy legislation generated and the willingness or unwillingness of the Supreme Court to review the Constitutionality of these issues ranging from abortion to gun control and from civil rights to education. All too often politicians and bureaucrats take it upon themselves (and often without input from ordinary citizens affected) to decide how the moral values underlying the Court’s various opinions will be enforced and delivered to the public.
Each and every citizen in reality can through political participation affect the decision making process engaged in by the Supreme Court Justices whom many think are above political motivations…nothing can be further from the truth. Supreme Court Justices do engage in politics based on their party preferences and affect public policy they favor (based on party preferences) by upholding such policy and declaring public policy they disfavor as unconstitutional.