Our political divisions have progressively widened during the past 20 years and is again affecting the third branch of government — the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court is supposed to be nonpartisan, whose duty is to make sure that legislation and government agency actions are constitutional.
The current politicalization of the Supreme Court accelerated in 2016 when the Senate refused to even grant President Obama’s nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, a hearing and candidate Trump promised to only appoint judges who would overturn Roe vs. Wade.
It was pushed forward in 2017 when Senate rules were changed to allow the closure of debate with a majority vote instead of the previously 60 and reached a new high with the circus — on both sides — surrounding Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation process.
Both parties are using the current process for their own ends. Thus we have set the stage for continued partisan in-fighting over all future nominees unless we step back and make an effort to reduce this rancor.
To start, we need to once again require 60 votes for closure for all Supreme Court candidates. This will require cross-party cooperation and consensus and will help return the Supreme Court to its proper position of being nonpartisan.
After all, the Court’s legitimacy rests on the respect of the people that the Court will take a nonpartisan approach to its decisions.
John Wetzel, Holmen