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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

October 5, 2008 at 5:13 PM

Race for the White House

What about the Supreme Court?

Thank you for your recent full-page story listing presidential candidate positions on major issues [“Obama vs. McCain on the issues,” Politics & Government, Sept. 27].

What is the point of elections if not to understand how each candidate would shape our future? However, I noticed the omission of candidate positions with respect to the Supreme Court. This matters.

How many people are aware that in the current Supreme Court, seven of the nine justices were appointed by Republican presidents? John Paul Stevens (Ford), Antonin Scalia and Anthony Kennedy (Reagan), David Hackett Souter and Clarence Thomas (George H.W. Bush) and Samuel Alito and John Roberts (George W. Bush.) Only two justices (Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Stephen Breyer) were appointed by a Democratic president (Bill Clinton).

The Supreme Court is intended to be balanced. It would be a matter of great discussion if 78 percent of either major party occupied either the U.S. House or Senate.

If McCain needed to appoint replacements for the only remaining Democrat-appointed positions (these two justices are now in their 70s), the entire Supreme Court would be Republican-appointed.

This year, both the makeup of the current Supreme Court and presidential positions with respect to it are relevant.

— Susan Temple, Bellevue

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