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Election Enthusiasm

Entusiasmo electoral

 

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director of Priests for Life

March 24, 2008

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I can’t wait for November 4, because on that day, by voting, I’m going to exercise a key aspect of my citizenship in the United States and in the Kingdom of God.


In many states, people can vote before November 4, thanks to the provisions of “early voting” – which is a very good idea, given the many unforeseen circumstances that could arise on Election Day to get between us and the voting booth. (To see what the rules are in your state, visit www.priestsforlife.org/states).


Why am I looking forward so eagerly to voting?


Because a lot is at stake. One key example is the makeup of the courts.


The Constitution establishes the Supreme Court, and says that Congress can establish other courts if it so chooses. Now courts are not given the right to create laws; only legislatures do that. Courts are supposed to resolve disputes related to the application and interpretation of laws.


In our day, however, the courts have radically transgressed the bounds of their authority, and have created social policies – such as abortion on demand – to which the people have never consented.


Some politicians think this is just fine, because then they can blame the courts for what has gone wrong rather than take responsibility to fix it. It’s fine with them if judges treat the Constitution as a “living document,” – so “living,” in fact, that it grows new limbs and heads, and can be interpreted to say things that it doesn’t actually say.


Other politicians, however, see the role of judges in a much more accurate and precise way, sometimes called a “strict constructionist” view. The judges are to limit their judicial opinions to what the Constitution and statutory laws actually intend to say, and leave it to lawmakers to change the law if necessary.


These two divergent views of the role of the judge constitute a key electoral issue. When we evaluate candidates, we should not only ascertain their views on the issues of the day, but also their views on the role of judges. Some of these candidates, if elected, will have a role in determining who sits on the courts, including the Supreme Court. The President nominates federal judges and Supreme Court Justices, and the US Senate confirms them. These federal judges normally serve on the court for life.


Courts in the coming years will have much to say regarding the abortion issue, the continuation or demise of Roe vs. Wade, the nature of marriage, the freedom of religion in public life, and much more. Many analysts hold that the replacement of one or two more Supreme Court Justices may pave the way to a reversal of Roe vs. Wade. Those replacements will be in the hands of the next President and Senate.


The choices made on November 4, and during the early-voting weeks just prior to it, will affect our nation and our world for generations. So yes, I’m enthusiastic about this election, and will work like crazy for the best outcome.
 

   
 
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