The last few days have given many people renewed faith in our system of government with decisions handed down by the Supreme Court (SCOTUS). These decisions effected civil rights (Marriage Equality), human rights (it doesn’t matter which exchange a person uses to buy healthcare) and voter’s rights (keeping intact Arizona’s Independent Redistricting Commission).
Knowing that this bench often issues rulings with 5-4 decisions, any or all of the above could have gone the other way. It would have meant a fractured state of civil rights for the LBGT community – some states permit and recognize same sex marriage, some do not. For those who purchased their health care coverage on the Federal exchange, it would have meant the loss of their health plan subsidies, as well as higher premiums for anyone who has health insurance. And as Arizonans, it would have meant our votes don’t matter as it would have invalidated Prop 106 where we took drawing Congressional lines away from politicians and gave it the Independent Redistricting Commission.
For many Americans and Arizonans, it would have added to the distrust of our system of government. Unfortunately, far too many voters feel disenfranchised and they don’t vote. Our current political involvement as voters is at an all time low in this state, no matter which Party you are aligned with. We haven’t seen such low voter turnout as we did in the last election since World War II, when many people weren’t even in the country to vote!!
So, when people say my vote doesn’t matter, please remember these 9 Supreme Court justices were nominated and approved by politicians who were voted in by someone. When you don’t vote, you give away the one power you still have in our electoral process – your vote. As ungodly sums of money keep pouring into the election process, we still have the ballot to make us all equal. If you don’t use it, others will and you may not like the results.
We certainly liked these decisions as did millions of Americans and thousands of Arizonans. Let’s celebrate these wins for civil, human and voter’s rights and remember this in 2016 when it is time to vote again!