Our votes are our greatest defense

Sam Martino is Out In Jersey magazine Editor-in-Chief
Sam Martino is Out In Jersey magazine Editor-in-Chief
Editor’s Letter

Recently, we learned that Anthony Kennedy will be retiring on July 31, which opened the door for the president to nominate his second Supreme Court appointee. This is an incredibly important time in American history. On July 9, Trump nominated Brett M. Kavanaugh, a Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which is the second most important Court in the country.

What made Kennedy decide to retire during this administration is baffling to me. Why would Kennedy want this president to name his successor? For many, the day that we learned Anthony Kennedy was retiring from the Supreme Court felt like November 8, 2016 all over again. Though Kennedy is a conservative, he voted to legalize same sex marriage, and was a swing vote siding with liberals on keeping Roe v. Wade intact. In this issue’s Casting Aspersions, Toby Grace calls out the truth, “It’s probably worse than we think.” By Kennedy retiring in the middle of the Mueller investigation, he is allowing the president to pick one of his own jurors. Trump had said he would pick at least three Supreme Court Justices, now this is number two, adding to his first pick, conservative Neil Gorsuch.

Who will take the mantle from Kennedy as the swing vote? Some believe Justice John Roberts may just be that person. Like Kennedy, he is conservative but also understands the importance of being able to see both sides and provide the balance necessary for opinions that touch us all from the highest court in the land.

According to the New York Times, Kennedy’s son Justin kept Trump in business for the better part of a decade by overseeing $1 billion worth of loans from Deutsche Bank to the Trump organization. To learn more about Justice Kennedy and the candidates who could have replaced him, read J.L. Gaynor’s article, Justice Anthony Kennedy’s Inconvenient Retirement online at outinjersey.net.

One of the most important actions we can take to make positive change is to vote. Our votes are our strongest defense. The midterm elections will take place on November 6, 2018.

All 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives and 35 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate will be contested. The U.S. Senate currently has 51 Republicans and 49 Democrats (including two independents). Of the 35 Senate seats on the ballot, 26 are held by Democrats. To take control, the Democratic Party will need to gain 2 seats while keeping the 26 they already hold.

Democrat’s need 24 votes to flip the GOP-controlled House. That is why it is imperative that we vote!

Trump is what you get when half of the population doesn’t vote. Whether you like NJ Senator Bob Menendez or not, if you are a democrat, he should get your vote. I am not a fan, but feel I have no choice. It’s unfortunate, but that is the dire situation we are in right now, and we need to turn this thing around, one election at a time!