The Real Cost of the 2012 Election

Today is the day that millions of Americans will cast their vote for the next President of the United States, for members of congress and thousands of other state and local issues. And as with any election, the most important thing you can do is get out and make an educated vote for the candidate and issue that matters most to you. That being said, here is something I meant to tweet out today but realized would not fit into 140 characters.

I’m going to keep this as short as possible but here’s the gist of it. Remarking only on the presidential election, here is why I am voting to re-elect Barack Obama as President. I would list the accomplishments of his first term but The Washington Monthly already did that. Read that.

My argument for Obama isn’t all the great things he has done and it isn’t all the great things he will do. It’s also not just because I can’t stand to stand for the ever changing ideals of Governor Romney or ignorant beliefs of Paul Ryan. Yes, those are incredibly important factors, however there is something of great consequence that will out-last his presidency and many more that follow. The Supreme Court.

  • Anthony Kennedy (Reagan) – 76 years old
  • Antonin Scalia (Regan) – 76 years old
  • Clarence Thomas (George H. W. Bush) – 64 years old
  • Stephen Breyer (Bill Clinton) – 74 years old
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Bill Clinton) – 79 years old
  • John Roberts (Chief Justice) (George W. Bush) – 57 years old
  • Samuel Alito (George W. Bush) – 62 years old
  • Elena Kagan (Barack Obama) – 52 years old
  • Sonia Sotomayor (Barack Obama) – 58 years old

There are of course nine justices on the Supreme Court. President Obama was given the opportunity to appoint two in his first term, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. He elected two of the only four female justices in history.

Four of the current Surpreme Court Justices are 74 years or older and it is expected that two, and even perhaps all four, will be replaced through retirement or for health reasons by the end of 2016. If Obama does not get re-elected, this gives Conservatives up to four more Supreme Court justices on their side of the issues. Two of the four potential retirees were appointed by Bill Clinton. The rest (excluding Sotomayer and Kagan) were appointed by President Reagan, President George H. W. Bush and President George W. Bush.

That means, if Mitt Romney wins the election, he will be given the opportunity to replace as many as half of the Democrat-appointed justices with Conservatives. That means the 5:4 split we currently have could become a 7:2 split.

What does a 7:2 split mean? It means Marriage Equality would be dead for 15-30 more years. That Roe v. Wade could likely be repealed. It means horrible legislation like Citizens United will stand. That immigration reform and dozens of other civil rights issues will be dust in the wind. That healthcare reform would be repealed.

I’m voting for President Barack Obama’s reelection because I want to get married. Because I respect my female friends and family. I’m voting for President Barack Obama because without healthcare reform, I cannot get insurance.

I’m voting for President Barack Obama because I’m afraid of what would happen to my rights and the future of civil rights for decades to come should Mitt Romney win.

4 thoughts on “The Real Cost of the 2012 Election

  1. I’m voting for Barack Obama to protect my rights to make my own decisions about my body, and so that my friends and family can have the opportunity to marry those that they love.

  2. Hear hear! This is probably the single most moving and passionate blog post I’ve read about this election cycle. Best wishes!

  3. meghankrane Exactly. Let’s just hope enough people in Virginia, Florida and Ohio feel the same way. The popular vote is a statistical tie while the electoral vote seems to be heavily in President Obama’s favor. I just hope that stat analysis becomes reality.

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