So Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died this weekend. While I try to stay away from anything political here, it is such an enormous event, it’s impossible not to acknowledge it. Particularly as I am a former attorney.
I know that most of my posts are about the small things, the close things. The day-to-day living things. And believe it or not, Justice Scalia’s death impacts exactly those things.
If his dissenting side had won the Obamacare decision, I probably wouldn’t have health insurance right now. Why? I’ve actually used my health insurance this year, and in the past, before the health care act, in the Wild West of the individual health insurance market, my insurer could have dropped me just for the risk that I might actually obtain services in exchange for my premiums. Any health problem — even an abnormal pap smear — could be used as a reason to deny coverage. The law may not perfect, but it’s better than what was.
Friends of mine can make the most intimate decision and marry the person they love now. Again, not because of Justice Scalia, but in spite of him. They can decide what their families will look like and receive equal treatment under the law.
The concept of the Court seems so remote for most people. It seems lofty, as though it has nothing practical to do with us.
But in reality, the Court has enormous power to dictate to us the minutiae of our day-to-day existence, or give us the room to simply live our lives. It is the Supreme Court that decides whether money is speech, how much religion is permissible in public life, what “privacy” means and how much of it you can expect from your government. It is the Supreme Court that decides what is fair when you are accused of a crime and what is fair if you’ve been convicted of one. It is the Supreme Court that can determine whether the way you have sex is legal.
No really. Michigan just passed an anti-sodomy law, despite a Supreme Court ruling finding them unconstitutional. You’d think Michigan would have other things to worry about (uh water), but there it is.
So while what is likely to be an epic fight over Justice Scalia’s replacement gears up, please don’t tune out. Don’t glaze over, don’t shrug your shoulders and dismiss this as politics as usual. It isn’t.
This choice could literally change your life.
Check out my full-length novels, Her Cousin Much Removed, The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!