Right about now, the Senate should be voting on confirming Samuel Alito as the newest Supreme Court Justice. I don’t need to tell you what this means to the country. In much the same way that many Americans thought it was no big deal to vote for George W. Bush the first and second times (what’s the worst that could happen?), and are now finding out exactly what that vote meant for America, it will take some time before America realizes how serious the ramifications are of having this guy in the Supreme Court.
As a friend of mine pointed out, it is Bush’s right (as the semi-president) to nominate whomever he wishes to the position. The problem with this nominee is that he is not only Bush’s second choice — meant to appease the right-wing, which went on the attack after Harriet Miers was nominated first — but that his appointment swings the balance of the Supreme Court to positions which most Americans oppose.
This statement by Senator Ted Kennedy puts this nomination in perspective, both from a present-day standtpoint, as well as an historical one.
The Supreme Court has been the last refuge for many causes throughout the past several decades. It has been responsible for pushing the country forward toward equality and justice when America as a whole considered tradition more important that those two qualities. With the appointment of Samuel Alito, a justice who has shown a desire for chipping away at civil rights hard-earned through blood, America has entered a very dark era. The balance has shifted, most likely for the next twenty or thirty years. I’m going to try to keep an open mind, but as I look around at my co-workers and at the people simply going about their day, I wonder if they realize what has happened today? It might seem like only a pebble thrown into a pond right now… We’ll have to wait to see how large the waves become. My fear is that two decades from now we’ll look back and clearly see the beginnings of a tsunami that devastated what was once a shining symbol of justice and hope in the world.
I sincerely hope I’m wrong.