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LeBron James Gets Appointed To The Supreme Court

July 2, 2018

Oh sure, I know he went to the Lakers, but it might have gone the other way.

Since the end of June we’ve been waiting on two important decisions here in the United States. Who will LeBron James pick to play basketball for, and who will President Trump pick to sit on the Supreme Court.

It would be easy to venerate the one decision and deride the other. But, both are important for different reasons.

Let’s start with the easy one. LeBron James is a great basketball player. The greatest of his generation and one of the greatest of all time. (Sorry, it’s Jordan for the top spot, but if you disagree you’re welcome to try to explain your wrong choice.) He announced a few days ago he’s leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers and then yesterday announced his new home with be the Los Angeles Lakers.

Who cares, right? I mean in the grand scheme of things, does it matter where a superstar athlete chooses to throw a round ball through a steel hoop?

I think so.

I lived in Chicago back in the 1980’s. It’s been almost 40 years. Many of the details are fuzzy. But, it was the year the Bears won the Super Bowl.

In fact, I moved from Chicago to Orange County California, the home of the LA Rams on a Thursday and the Rams played the Bears in Chicago the following Sunday.

I took my daughter to her first baseball game when she about 7. I can’t remember exactly, but it was the year the Mariners first went to the playoffs.

Many people in society mark time by sports events. Every baseball fan in Chicago will be able to mark time by the year the Cubs finally won the World Series, after 108 years of futility.

LeBron James has been to the NBA finals for 8 of the last 8 years. He makes a team a playoff contender simply by putting on the uniform. The Lakers have been pretty bad of late. They are now favored to make the playoffs.

Okay, so maybe where LeBron was going was important to some people. (Maybe just those that think like Rodney, but I’m writing the story, so it’s fine.)

Does the next Supreme Court justice really matter to me? It’s more politics as usual right? This president is reversing the policies of the previous president. The next president will probably be from the opposite party and will reverse this president’s polices. Why should we care about the Supreme Court justice the president chooses?

Because, the person the president picks (and he says he’s narrowed it down to two people, one a man, the other a woman) will change your life more dramatically than any single person has during your lifetime.

The Supreme Court is made up of 9 justices. And while the court is supposed to be neutral, the fact is that each justice has her or his own prejudices. Those prejudices typically fall along political lines. Four justices, Alito, Gorsuch, Thomas and Roberts are conservative. Four justices Bader Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan are liberal. That leaves justice Kennedy as the “swing” vote. Sometimes he votes with the Liberals (affirming gay marriage) sometimes he votes with the Conservatives (The Colorado Baker.)

Kennedy is leaving. The president will very likely appoint a Conservative to replace him. And with the Senate set up the way it is now, there is nothing the Democrats can do to stop the appointment.

With Kennedy gone, if the new justices is Conservative, the balance of power on the court will shift to the right. Roberts will probably become the new Swing vote justice. But, the fact that he’s already conservative means that the court will most likely rule more in favor of Conservative ideas.

If you are a Conservative, you are probably pretty pleased. If you are a Liberal, you’re probably pretty upset, if not terrified.

Many of the most important court cases of the last 30 years have been decided by a 5-4 vote. Some went Conservative, some went Liberal. The future ones will go Conservative. And justices are appointed for life, or until they choose to retire, like Justice Kennedy has.

The court will be conservative for decades most likely. And whether you are liberal, Conservative, or non-partisan, the court is going to decide cases that affect your day to day life.

So, LeBron dropped the first shoe yesterday as we found out he’s going to LA. The president is holding the other shoe. It should drop July 9. Personally, I betting he picks LeBron.

Whoever it is, our lives will never be the same.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2018 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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