To recap just a few of the highlights from this season’s Supreme Court rulings:
1. It’s OK for the federal government to limit a woman’s right to make serious medical decisions with her doctor (women lose),
2. Women have a very limited time when they can sue their employers for wage discrimination to get money they are owed, because it would be too much of a burden on the employer (women lose),
3. Free speech can be limited for students if the court doesn’t like the message (students lose),
4. But free speech rights won’t be limited for corporations or unions who want to spend millions on political attack ads before an election (big corporate political donors win).
I’m certainly not advocating that high schoolers be allowed to pass the pipe in the classroom, but when the Supreme Court spends an entire term chipping away at our fundamental individual rights, I truly am worried about where will it stop.
What individual rights will slip away next term? And the one after that? Moderate voices and opinions don’t seem to be prevailing these days, and I can only assume by what has happened this term, that there is more to come — and it won’t be pretty.
It’s not just about banners and controversial medical procedures. It’s about what these opinions will lead to. Because these are just the stepping stones to next term’s opinions that can further limit our speech or take away more privacy rights or let the government favor corporations over individuals.
We have a chance to have an impact on the direction of the court — by electing a president in 2008 who will value judges who will preserve our rights and not name people to the court who will take more of our constitutional rights away for the benefit of corporate employers or the government.