To Gary Johnson Voters, Ron Paul & Other ‘Write-In’ Voters: Supreme Court Consequences

A front view of the four story, marble-clad United States Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C.
Click on photo to enlarge. (Photo – Mark Fischer)

To: Those intent on voting for Gary Johnson, Ron Paul supporters, and other ‘write-in’ voters…

Take a moment to read the following IMPORTANT article from Matthew D. Carling, Esq. He lays out the case for thoughtfully considering the repercussions of your voting choices. For years to come, America’s course will be determined through coming Supreme Court appointees.

Carling’s background:

Matthew D. Carling is an attorney specializing in appellate law in the states of Utah and Nevada. He has previously been a prosecutor for the District Attorney’s Office of Lincoln County, Nevada, has served as a defense attorney, and also as Judge Pro Tempore for the North Las Vegas Municipal Courts. He received both his Juris Doctor and Master’s of Business Administration from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.

(Carling has given permission to reprint his article in full.)

The Purist Vote: How Obama’s Foes Might Extend His Legacy for Decades
November 1, 2012
By Matthew D. Carling, Esq.

(or) The Purist Vote: American Conservatives Playing Russian Roulette

Every four years, American voters eagerly line up to choose their favorite candidate for President. We brim with hope for a leader who sees the world like we do—someone a lot like us. But once our ideal contender is eliminated from the field, disappointment often turns to disgust. Voters by the thousands remove themselves from the political battlefield and refuse to participate further. It’s either my nominee or nothing.

Consoled in the belief that one vote won’t matter, the disenfranchised gently beguile themselves into apathy. Surely four more years of any single administration cannot possibly unravel the rich heritage of our nation. Others withdraw out of a need to take a moral stand, indignant over the flaws they would otherwise feel they are endorsing with their vote. Some even choose strategic revenge, hoping to punish less-pure conservatives with four more years under a stanch liberal president — a small price to pay if the lesson finally awakens such “useful idiots” from their folly. After all, how much damage can one president leave that can’t be undone by his successor?

These might be valid points except for one detail. A president’s most lasting legacy is not usually the bills he signs into law, his executive orders or even the wars over which he presides. It is his unique role in shaping the entire third branch of government, the Supreme Court, which has power to overrule the others. Indeed, his nominations to the bench can alter our society for generations.

Consider George W. Bush. With the retirement of Justice O’Connor and the passing of Chief Justice Rehnquist, President Bush reshaped the Court with his nominations of John Roberts and Samuel Alito, both thoughtful and mostly conservative jurists. Whatever Bush’s faults, these two acts could benefit our nation immensely for generations to come. President Obama, on the other hand, countered by replacing two activist jurists (Souter & Stevens) with two more: Elena Kagen and Sonia Sotomayor, each fully in step with the current Administration’s societal and political agenda. These appointments have not disappointed the progressive left.

How much does this matter? For most people it depends on the issue. Until recently, for millions of Americans in major cities across the nation, owning a handgun was severely restricted if not banned entirely. For decades, Second Amendment advocates had wistfully dreamed of the Supreme Court striking such laws, but were afraid to bring forth a case. What if they lost? Might the Court instead end up nullifying the Second Amendment? On June 28, 2010, with Bush’s appointees the Court finally acknowledged the original intent: that no government, whether federal, state or local, may deny a citizen the right to keep and bear arms.[i] The victory, however, was a narrow one—only 5 to 4. If one more left leaning justice had been appointed, it would have gone the other way. Dissenting, Justice Stevens argued that owning a personal firearm was not a “liberty” interest protected by the Constitution. Likewise, Justice Stephen Breyer stated, “the Framers did not write the Second Amendment in order to protect a private right of armed self-defense.” With a single vote, this suppressive notion would have been the majority opinion.

In just the last decade, this same narrow margin has preserved school choice laws at the state level, but unfortunately tipped the other way and failed to roll back eminent domain abuse. The constitution’s safety in the court is fragile indeed.

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