Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the State of Michigan after a plan to kidnap her and other Michigan government officials was thwarted by state and federal law enforcement agencies. She started by saying thank you to law enforcement and FBI agents who participated in stopping this [...]
Justice Sandra Day O’Connor announced her retirement last week from the U.S. Supreme Court, leaving the court polarized and without its moderate swing voter. In her 24-year tenure she played a pivotal role, often casting the deciding vote in 5-4 opinions on the hot social issues of the day such as abortion, affirmative action, LGBT rights and assisted suicide.
For the LGBT community, her retirement creates a space that will probably be filled by a staunchly conservative nominee who will then decide cases with far-reaching implications in our daily lives. In won’t take long for us to see the impact of the new judge. For example, in the next session to start Oct. 3, the court will hear Rumsfeld v. FAIR (NO. 04-1152) in which the question is whether some law schools may curb military recruiters’ access to their students in protest of the U.S. armed forces “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Equal marriage rights, parental rights for LGBT people, employment non-discrimination policies, immigration laws and a myriad of other issues could come before the court in the next decade.
At a time when other nations are moving to expand the rights of their citizens, especially in Canada and Spain, it is disheartening that we must fight so hard to secure our freedoms here in America. Even though it is tough, we must rise to the occasion and speak out. Even if President Bush is successful in appointing a neo-con justice, we cannot afford to go along with it silently.
Bush will probably announce his choice for the court this week. It will then be up to all of us to let our U.S. Senators, Levin and Stabenow, know that their vote in the confirmation process will impact our lives directly for decades to come. Email Sen. Carl Levin by visiting the Contact Center on his website at http://www.senate.gov/~levin . E-mail Sen. Debbie Stabenow email@example.com.