Supreme Court Benched in this Race

Washington Matters

Supreme Court Benched in this Race

Who would have thought the future of the Supreme Court would have meant so little to the presidential campaign and be discussed only minimally by the candidates, voters and debate moderators? There's much at stake, though -- whether you can name a recent court case or not...

Either Barack Obama or John McCain will almost certainly have the opportunity to nominate replacements for the high court and the choice could tip the balance in what has been a legacy of 5 to 4 decisions.

The Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion in all states is one case, and the one that gets the most coverage. A challenge to Roe is almost inevitable in the near future.

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There are several other issues in commerce and social policy that could be affected by even a slight change in the court --l business law, labor protections, property rights, federal intelligence gathering, church and state separation, consumer rights and more on legal treatment of foreign prisoners suspected of terrorism, to name some


Erwin Chemerinsky of the UC Irvine School of Law has a timely op-ed today in the LA Times on why the Supreme Court should be more central in the presidential race and with voters than it is.

It could be that the dire economic straights of late is sucking the oxygen from other issues, including the court. Still, the future of the court is at stake, and its impact on our society will last much longer than most of the  other issues and non-issues dominating the campaign.