In the past when a Republican or a Democratic president had the responsibility to appoint a Supreme Court justice, the primary criteria was the appointee’s proven experience and commitment to interpreting the U.S. Constitution. Use of a litmus test was frowned upon. While the interpretation of our Constitution requires knowledge, discernment and wisdom as to what the founders of our country had in mind when they wrote it, it further requires the ability to apply it to our current society. At the time the Constitution was written people of color and women could not vote. Only male property owners could vote. In several cases, as societies’ values evolved, the Supreme Court over time reversed some previous decisions. In many ways the moral fiber of our country has evolved to better represent the country our founding fathers intended.
In our upcoming election the presidential candidates want the electorate to focus not so much on their abilities, judgment and temperament to govern, but rather on who they may appoint to the Supreme Court. If this happens we have undone the very fabric of what our country stands for and the checks and balances on which our country was founded.
Robert Gehrke, Pocatello
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