Whoever wins the presidential election in 2012 will face many pressing issues. Ending the deficit and debt crisis that plague this country should be the first step any president takes. Fixing the American justice system should come close behind. It is necessary for the next president of the United States to appoint originalist Supreme Court justices.
Rick Perry, in his book Fed Up!, argues for the original intent of the Founding Fathers in guiding Supreme Court decisions: “Justice Charles Evans Hughes pointed out in a speech in 1907 (before joining the Supreme Court) that ‘we are under a Constitution, but the Constitution is what the judges say it is.’ Hardly the obvious intent of the Founders, regrettably it is the way of things today. To whom may the people realistically appeal when the Court arrogantly chooses to hide behind the Constitution while it implements its own policy choices?” The answer is, as Perry writes, no one. The president is the only person who can protect Americans from overzealous Supreme Court justices.
Even Mitt Romney criticized Supreme Court justices who set policy from the bench: “The nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court is troubling. Her public statements make it clear she has an expansive view of the role of the judiciary. Historically, the Court is where judges interpret the Constitution and apply the law. It should never be the place ‘where policy is made’, as Judge Sotomayor has said. Like any nominee, she deserves a fair and thorough hearing. What the American public deserves is a judge who will put the law above her own personal political philosophy.”
At a news conference following Justice David Souter’s retirement, the President Obama summed up his judicial philosophy: “I view that quality of empathy, of understanding and identifying with people’s hopes and struggles, as an essential ingredient for arriving at just decisions and outcomes.” President Obama has appointed two justices during his term: Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. Each of these justices has accrued a record that is unimpressive in regards to protecting the American Constitution.
In 2012, voters must decide for whom they will vote: someone who will support the Constitution of the United States as written, or someone who will not.