Major Election Concern – Supreme Court

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On Monday, the US Supreme Court begins its new term without a full bench. The vacancy left by the untimely death of Justice Antonin Scalia remains unfilled.

President Barrack Obama has put forth a nominee, Merrick Garland. The Senate has refused to consider his appointment, saying the empty seat should not be filled until the next President is elected.

In addition to Scalia’s seat, with the ages of the current Justices, there is a real possibility the next person to fill the big chair in the Oval Office may have the opportunity to appoint up to four other people to the High Court.

At stake is the ideological bent of the Supreme Court, which has been decidedly conservative for decades, to a more liberal persuasion.

Yet on the campaign trail we have heard only a small amount of talk of such an important duty of the presidency.

As the new term begins and the Presidential Election just over a month away, what do voters think of the Court?

In timely fashion, Pew Research has revealed the results of its most recent subject on the highest court in the land and Americans opinions about the Court.

As can be readily seen from this chart, the Justices are viewed much more favorably than the other branches of government. Americans with a 60% sentiment look kindly on the Court.

favorability

But there is a sharp difference in how Republicans and Democrats view the Supremes.

partylinesIndependents and Republicans may have a majority favorable view of the Supreme Court, it is much lower than the opinion of Democrats.

When Americans look at the Court from an ideological perspective, there are diverse ideas.

ideologyAs the chart depicts, Democrats see the Constitution as being a living document and changing with changing times. Republicans tend to interpret the Constitution to say what it means and meaning what it says. Independents tend to be evenly split between the two points of view.

Moderates tend to be evenly split between POVs, while conservatives and liberals are decidedly encamped in opposing perspectives.

How does appointments to the Supreme Court factor into your decision on who should be the next Commander-in-Chief?

Does it have any sway?

Here are five takeaways identified by Pew:

  1. Americans’ opinions of the court hit a 30-year low last year after controversial decisions, but have rebounded after a quieter term.
  2. There is a significant partisan gap in views of the court.
  3. Partisans have starkly different views over how the justices should interpret the Constitution.
  4. Conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats are particularly likely to see court appointments as very important to their vote.
  5. Most Americans disagree with the Republican-controlled Senate’s decision to not hold hearings on Obama’s court nominee.

Get the details: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/09/26/5-facts-about-the-supreme-court/

From the Cornfield, as I continue to evaluate the candidates – Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson, Jill Stein and Evan McMullin – who gets to make these vital appointments to a term for life is a  deciding factor.

But What About The Money?

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Four years ago, everyone and his or her neighbor were dumping on Mitt Romney. Republicans lambasted him in the primaries. Democrats were gleefully mocking him. Independents were aghast wondering how dare he run for President.

What was all the outrage about? Romney was worth $250 million!

He was too rich!

He was out of touch with ordinary Americans and could not understand having all that money. Skip ahead to now, four years later.

We have one billionaire businessman wowing stadiums full of Americans. A billionaire who is held on to the lead in the Republican race for the White House since last summer and looking like a winner.

Then on Sunday we hear another billionaire worth four times the billions of the other billionaire who is thinking of mounting an independent bid for the Oval Office.

The news and social media are salivating. Low income, blue collar workers and the middle class are ready to start dancing in the streets.

While on the other side we have a Democratic Socialist, who is an independent, giving the traditional Democrat shades of 2008 all over again. This man is in his 70s. This man proudly accepts the socialist moniker.

People born after the Wall fell and the Cold War ended are packing arenas for him. His followers have no memory or knowledge of the Red Scare. This candidate wants to spread social programs to the nth degree.

Conventional wisdom this election season has not only been tossed out the window with the baby and bath water, it is if it never existed.

We have the epitome of what Establishment embodies denying she knows what that means.

We other reliable, old-family candidates who are seeing the Establishment reluctantly resigning to back a reality television star.

What’s next – a resurrection of the Bullmoose Party?

Or maybe more appropriately the return of the Know Nothing Party?

I mean the Bullmoosers were progressives after all.

And the Know Nothings opposed immigration and Catholics.

Remember history does repeat itself.

From the Cornfield, what about the money?

What about the purity of American capitalism?

What about political correctness?

What about political dynasties?

In one week from today, we may start finding out the answers to all these questions.