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Supreme Court debate divides nation

Danny Kilrea, Copy Editor

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On April 10, Neil Gorsuch was confirmed to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. There was a long battle over this nomination since former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s death on Feb. 13, 2016.

Both Republicans and Democrats were eager to claim the seat. Former President Barack Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland, a centered choice, but was shot down by Republicans. One year later, after President Donald Trump nominated Gorsuch, Democrats tried to do what was done to Garland. However, they failed due to a Republican majority in the Senate. Both judges were very qualified and by both sides refusing to confirm their president’s choice is an embarrassment to our country.

This situation glorifies the new partisan divide in the United States. The divide and hostility between both parties in this country is as bad as it’s ever been. There are still protests against the president, there are still partisan games in the Senate and there is hypocrisy all around. Both parties need to work together if we want this nation to preserve its democratic values.

Republicans started this mess when they immediately refused to give Judge Garland a chance. While Scalia’s death was near the end of Obama’s term, a fair hearing should have been given with open minds. Although, he was given no hearing at all.

However, Democrats should have more class and not engage in childish games by doing the same to Gorsuch. They engaged in a filibuster to stop Gorsuch’s confirmation. They knew that Republicans would turn to the “nuclear option” and change the rules of the Senate to only require a justice nomination to receive 51 votes rather than 60, but engaged in the filibuster anyways. As a result of a Republican majority in the Senate, they were able to so. The partisan divide has destroyed a key aspect of the Senate as the minority will never be able to stop a nomination again. Think about that: Is that the direction our country wants to head in?

While Republicans started the judge confirmation hearing debacle, Democrats started the “nuclear option” debacle. In 2013, they changed the number of votes for cabinet nominees to be 51 votes, rather than 60 votes. Many of the Democrats touted their victory, like Senator Elizabeth Warren. However, they’re not liking it now. The hypocrisy from both sides of the spectrum is never ending and it emphasizes how divided our parties are.

There is a certain danger to our parties being so divided. Even on issues that should be partisan, the parties will pit against each other to prove a point. This makes it incredibly hard to get something done. Individual lawmakers should not vote which way they think their party should vote but what they feel the right thing to do is. Congress Members are afraid to vote differently from their party because of backlash, which should not be the case. The partisan divide needs to be amended and both sides need to ensure a better America for us all.

While the Supreme Court fight is the most recent event that has highlighted how bad politics has come to be in America, it has been around for some time. It leads to an unproductive Congress and a shaky America. For the wellness of all, it’s time to not look at party identity but come together and walk hand in hand, united, towards a better America.

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The voice of Lyons Township students for more than 100 years
Supreme Court debate divides nation