Those darn judicial nominees are just as slippery as snot on a brass doorknob. Have you had trouble keeping up to date on the current nominees and who’s raising fisticuffs? Do you even care? AS Civil Controversy thinks that you not only care about who is nominated, but also encourages you to get your panties in a real good, chafing twist.
C’mon, though. What’s so “supreme” about this court thingy? Wasn’t Roe vs. Wade the last important case that they ruled on? Jessica Tracey, assistant coordinator of Civil Controversy, assured me that this is not the case. She also said that the judges on the Supreme Court are not quite as fun and frolicsome as they seem, “people look at the Supreme Court, and see this benevolent institution. They think that it’s not controversial. In reality, it is.”
Oh, but you’re a very busy college student, with important things on your agenda like adding pictures to the new “my photo” function on facebook and staring at all of the pictures that people have posted of you. There is no time to dig up dirt on some crazy old people! In order to help you along a speedy path to political efficacy, the simplest thing that you can do is attend the CC event entitled, “the Supreme Court and its Impact on You.”
This free event takes place on Tuesday, November 15 in the VU Multi-Purpose Room, and has a panel of Western and Fairhaven professors from different disciplines to discuss different issues related to the Supreme Court.
Huxley professor, Dr. Jean Melious, will discuss the judicial nomination process, the current Supreme Court makeup and how the Supreme Court affects property rights. History professor, Dr. Johann Neem will discuss federalism, original intent and the history behind the founding of the Supreme Court. Political Science professor, Dr. Paul Chen will focus mainly on the Supreme Court’s role in American politics, and may touch on recent judicial nominee, John Roberts. Fairhaven professor, Dr. Teri McMurty-Chubb will discuss the current judicial nominees and privacy rights.
Privacy rights are some of the biggest upcoming issues that the Supreme Court will rule on, and it is sure that everyone in America will have to face the consequences. Dr. McMurty-Chubb will focus on abortion as a privacy issue, but she will also discuss how the development of technology is affecting our privacy: “technology is getting very advanced, and the Constitution is umpteen years old,” said Tracey. Can a document that was written so long ago protect our rights in a very different time?
Tracey mentioned another very fundamental question that will be raised, “should the Supreme Court be [politically] balanced or should it be more affected by popular partisan politics?” Though America is a democracy, it is not considered a pure democracy, as our government was built on a system to balance powers. Its form also keeps “the mob” from functioning as the sole source of decision making.
The Supreme Court’s main function is to judge cases based on the Constitution and federal law. Judicial interpretation of the Constitution is one of the largest factors in a justice’s ruling on a particular case. Polarized partisan justices tend to have very different judicial interpretations; therefore the Supreme Court as a whole could have a very different interpreted meaning of the Constitution if it was strongly partisan in either direction.
Still, why should you care? Other than the justices serving a life term on the Supreme Court, “balance is so crucial,” said Tracey. “There are lots of things that people take for granted in their daily lives that are affected by the decisions of the Supreme Court. Not enough students talk about these important issues. We want people to learn, get informed and develop opinions.”
Even if you just watch the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, you will pick up some information. Lewis Black’s commentary on the judicial nominees included the following gem, “though it pained them to do so, Democrats agreed President Bush’s first Supreme Court nominee, John Roberts set the bar pretty high. Now, though it pains them to do so, Conservatives are saying that Bush’s second nominee, Harriet Miers sets the bar at children’s limbo contest.”
However, if you want very complete information on the Supreme Court in an interesting and easy to understand format, join AS Civil Controversy for this panel discussion followed by a question and answer by both moderator Korry Harvey and the audience. It is free, and takes place Tuesday, November 15 at 7 p.m. in the VU Multi-Purpose Room. For more information, contact the Civil Controversy Office, at (360) 650-2526 or firstname.lastname@example.org.