As we wind down the Democratic primary race for the presidency, we are left with a sense of tension and division. It has been a long road with attacks from both parties against each other and a split among the various demographic groups comprising our voting base.

I have accepted at this point that I will not see my dream of a woman president in my lifetime. Just as African-Americans have flocked to Barack Obama in droves that reflect their desire to see one of their own succeed, women, too, have voted for Hillary Clinton to witness the ultimate “glass” ceiling shattered.

The polls indicate that both Obama supporters and Clinton supporters may desert the Democratic party to vote for John McCain. This is a betrayal which cannot be justified. We are Democrats first; then we pick our candidates to support.

But overshadowing our current divisions is the specter that no one seems to be discussing. That is the ability the next president will have to appoint at least one justice and perhaps more. We cannot let that individual be John McCain.

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Justice John Paul Stevens recently turned 88 and has been on the Court since December 1975. Although he was appointed by Ford, he is rumored by court watchers to be delaying his exit until the “right” individual takes office. At close to 90 years old, odds are he will exit during the next president’s term.

Four other justices are either now in their 70s or within a few months of being so. Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 75 and survived a bout with colo-rectal cancer in 1999. Anthony Kennedy and Antonin Scalia were born within a few months of each other in 1936 making them 72 years old. Stephan Breyer rounds out the septuagenarians, turning 70 this summer. David Souter is 68 while Clarence Thomas will turn 60 this summer – a George H.W. Bush appointment in 1991. The two youngest, Samuel Alito and John Roberts are 58 and 53 respectively.

Supreme Court justices serve for life once confirmed. They are selected for their ideological and philosophical views – views that closely match the president responsible for their selection. While a president serves for eight years at the most, Supreme Court justices impact our society and its laws for 20 to 30 years.

Long after the next president is gone, his appointments will be sitting on the bench, making decisions that impact our rights and liberties. Those justices will reflect the views of the next president, and that person cannot be John McCain.

So while I work through my disappointment, I will not lose sight of the fact that I am a Democrat first. And my obligation is to work as hard as possible to ensure that our next president is a Democrat who will appoint justices holding our Democratic values and beliefs.


About Charlotte A. Weybright

I own a home in the historical West Central Neighborhood of Fort Wayne, Indiana. I have four grown sons and nine grandchildren - four grandsons and five granddaughters. I love to work on my home, and I enjoy crafts of all types. But, most of all, I enjoy being involved in political and community issues.
This entry was posted in Barack Obama, Democrats, Hillary Clinton, Supreme Court, U.S. Presidency, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. John Good says:

    Charlotte – You are not only a class act, but you are spot on. After the divisiveness of our primaries, we must focus on the end game. Thank you for the reminder of our common goals.

  2. J. Q. Taxpayer says:

    I vote for the person regardless to the party banner they run under. Being a member of the GOP I did not cross over but I also did not vote for John Mc.

    I know who I prefer coming from the Democrat party for the Novemeber election and time will tell if that works out.

    If every voter held to your system Karen Goldner would never have been elected to City Council. A person I believe you supported.

    With regards to the Supreme Court I do agree that a President does help shape the court rulings far into the future.

  3. J.Q.

    I am expressing my opinion. I am a Democrat. I don’t believe I ruled out ever voting for someone on the other side. It is just pretty near impossible in my eyes to do so. That person would have to be similar in Democratic views and ideals in which I believe.

    I just can’t see myself voting Republican. I don’t have a system as you call it, and I can’t control what others do, so if there are Democrats out there who switch, that has to be their choice.

    I am trying to make the point that election of a president – be it Democrat or Republican – has an impact far in the future from the four to eight years he or she might be in office. I am concerned that those who state they will not vote for the other side and will cross over to John McCain may be doing much more harm than they realize since the next president will select at least one justice and maybe more.

  4. Glen Weybright says:

    Great point on the Supreme Court appointments. I share your view on being a Democrat first. My response to J.Q.Taxpayer is that there is a big difference between someone running for office at the national level vs local. City Council can affect your taxes and pass a smoking ban, but, the Congress and President can put laws in place that affirm or deny the very Constitution of this country. The Supreme Court must be vigilant in its desire to extend the benefits and protections of the Constitution to all citizens. It is well known that the Republican Party, at the national level, is a wholly owned subsidiary of the religious right. It has been for almost 30 years. The destructive nature of this relationship on the constitutional rights of people has been evident during the past 7½ years under Bush and Cheny. Not only with the appointments of Roberts and Alito, but, with the use of presidential vetos and the incredible push for so called “faith based initiatives “. If you believe in the values of the Democratic Party, then the choice this November is easy.

  5. Evan W says:

    Good points all…

    I do feel that someone should point out that one should not vote for party OR person. They should vote on the basis of cause. Support for candidates should be given not because of their religion, party, gender, ethnicity, etc. To clarify and summarize what all liberals and true believers in the American way of life really want to see- it isn’t even really at it’s core most of the other issues in play and in the headlines everyday. It’s stemming the progress of the damage that has been set in motion by the conservative president and former congressional body. I won’t sit here and tell you that Bush and Cheney CAUSED many of the problems Americans are having directly, only that their failure to act in the best interests of the people has cost the global reputation, economic health, and many other intangibles that are all vital to the American ideology. (for more on that see the war in Iraq, handling of hurricane Katrina, Patriot Act, etc.) In short, the next US President will either be John McCain, who will, by his own admission, continue the work undertaken by Bush et al. or ANYONE ELSE! I have been wrong before, though I strongly doubt this is one of those times, but regardless of what the polls say now, the bottom line is people are going to walk into their voting booths in November all across the United States and say to themselves “you know what, it’s better he’s black (or she’s a woman) than another conservative nut-job.”

  6. Glen:

    Thanks for the comments. I am concerned that should McCain get the presidency, we could very well see appointment of two or three justices before he is done. That would be enough to set the course on a conservative trend for 20 or 30 more years. McCain may be considered a moderate Republican, but in order to manipulate the right-wing, he may have to assure them that he will appoint right-leaning justices.

    Since the Senate is basically split as to party lines, the justices may go through.

  7. Hi Evan and welcome back:

    I agree as to voting for causes, but what happens when the causes are connected to a number of different candidates. For example, what if you like McCain’s stand on immigration, but you prefer Obama’s stand on energy development or Clinton’s position on the economy.

    I think at some point you must, of necessity, select one candidate overall. We probably won’t find one that matches all our positions, so we have to pick the one that comes the closest in most issues. If we are adamant about one issue in particular and vote based on that issue, then we become one-issue voters.

    My concern come the fall election is that people may walk into the voting booths and get cold feet at the last minute about voting for Obama.

    This country has an awful lot of rebuilding around the world to do thanks to the dynamic duo.

  8. Jim D. says:

    It seems some people consider the possibility of appointing justices to be somewhat unique to the next President. I looked back in history and almost every President has appointed at least two justices. Is there a reason why it is more important or unique this time?

  9. clint jenkins says:

    Yes, supreme court is very important. All of you liberal look up KELO. Those were not conservatives taking land away from the private sector. And yes I know one was appointed, got cenile, and turned.
    Evan, GW bush is NOT A CONSERVATIVE. He is the worst of the worst. He is a moderate. No backbone. No spine.
    A true conservative would not have spent like he did. Or tried to pass illegals into the country. Remember the hurry up on that.

    The constitution says what it says. If you want to change it do so accordingly.

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