Democrats: Voting Rights Act Under Attack
The election of our new president, Donald Trump, is frightening for many Americans. Marginalized groups in the U.S. such as Muslim Americans, undocumented workers, and members of the LGBT community are especially worried. Calls for a Muslim registry, the deportation of millions of people, and the building of a wall on our southern border have
(rightfully) brought alarm to many households across the country. The most worrisome part of a Trump presidency, however, will be the justice he nominates to the Supreme Court.
While Trump will only be in office for four or eight years, Supreme Court justices generally stay on the bench for the entirety of their lives. As it stands, the Supreme Court is widely regarded as being split, with four liberal-leaning justices and four conservative-leaning justices. The death of Antonin Scalia earlier this year left a vacancy on the bench. President Obama appointed a nominee to fill the vacancy, Merrick Garland (a fairly moderate and qualified judge). Senate Republicans, however, have refused to even hold a hearing for Garland. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell stated Republicans would not even consider a replacement for Scalia, before President Obama ever made his nomination.
The result of the Presidential election have all but put an end to the hopes of appointing Garland. President-Elect Trump will have the opportunity to select a judge that is heavily conservative; and with a Republican-controlled Congress at his back, there will most likely be little opposition to the person he selects. Now with a five to four advantage in the Supreme Court, and more potential vacancies in the coming years, irreparable damage can be done to the rights of many Americans. Important decisions such as Roe v Wade are now on the table to be overturned (Trump has already said women should face a punishment for having abortions, and has promised to appoint a justice who will overturn the decision). The Voting Rights Act will also most likely remain under attack (Section Four was gutted by a conservative SCOTUS in 2013), and many other landmark cases could also be in jeopardy.
Should Trump appoint justices that will endanger the rights of Americans, it is the duty of both Democrats and Republicans in Congress to oppose them. It is also our duty as citizens to be active in the political arena, and ensure that our voices are heard. As constituents, we should be contacting our members of congress to make sure our rights are protected. With Trump winning the election, the job of protecting our progress in human rights is more important than ever.
—Sam Jackson is a sophomore at USU, studying political science. Originally from College Park, MD, this is his second year in Logan. He is the vice president of the USU College Democrats, and is a member of the Government Relations Council on campus. Outside of debating politics,
Republicans: Finding Balance of the Court
In the thick of all the hoopla and fallout of the recent election, President Elect Donald Trump has now turned his attention to preparing to take the office of the President of the United States at noon on January 20. In preparation, he is constructing his cabinet and top advisors that will assist him in steering the ship for the next 4 years. He is well on his way, having already filled many key positions with plans to soon fill the remainder of those slots. One particular matter on the agenda is not however a cabinet appointment, and many consider it to be even more critical. The Supreme Court.