Originally published September 08, 2005.
With the confirmation hearings of Judge Samuel Alito making the news of the day, I thought it might be pertinent to republish a column I wrote last year during John G. Roberts’ confirmation hearings. I guess it just goes to show, nothing ever really changes.
Monday will be a historic day. While we're rolling out of bed and rubbing the crust out of our eyes our senators will be deliberating over President Bush's nomination of John G. Roberts as Supreme Court Justice. Originally appointed to replace the seat vacated by Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who announced her retirement in July, Bush upped the ante to chief justice two days after Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist died.
Now with two vacancies to fill, the nation and President Bush are on the cusp of making history. Bush must appoint two justices at the same time, a feat not repeated since President Nixon's appointments in 1971. If all goes according to plan, the Supreme Court will have a full roster in time for the new session begging Oct. 3.
That's three weeks!
The decisions made in the coming weeks could, nay, will affect all legal policies for the decades to come. Just think, what the new court does in the here and now will completely change what we'll being doing in the then and there. To put it mildly - this is big.
Now I could go into what I think about Bush's appointments and how crucial it is for the public to take an interest in getting the right person appointed to the desk with the ultimate job security. I could do that, but who am I? What would it matter? I'm not a lawyer, a judge, a judicial scholar or a political science junkie.
I'm another college student, a 20-somehing Indian-American ... or is that American-Indian ... or East Indian ... or are we Asian now? I don't know, they keep changing the box, but that's not why you called.
I'm me, I'm you, I'm everyone - well a bit better looking but that's neither here nor there. I'm the everyday guy looking at it with everyday eyes. Which is why I'm throwing my hat into the ring. Call your congressperson, your judges, your party representatives, President Bush himself. Tell them you want a normal everyday guy to sit on the Supreme Court bench. Tell them you want Shaminder Dulai.
I know what you're thinking. "Why should I petition for you?" Because I will petition for you! (See, I'm talking like a politician already.) Still need convincing? Read on and you'll see where I stand on the issues. If you're on the left, read the first paragraph. If you're on the right, read the second. If you're a down the middle moderate, well then you know I'm the right choice already - what, you're not calling?
LEFT: I will fight for you. I say if you want to marry someone of the same sex, let it be. That is your business. What you do in your own life, the way you choose to live it, it's your choice. Naysayers may say it's immoral, but that's a religious argument and religion has no place in government. If two drunks in Las Vegas can get hitched at 3 in the morning with an Elvis usher and a lava lamp chandelier, why not two people of the same sex who know each other's name. Plus, gay marriages would be great for the economy, because you know they'd go all out! Just do me this favor - try keeping the public displays of affection to a minimum. Even straight people don't get that luxury.
RIGHT: Gay-ness is immoral, inappropriate and unnatural. If two people of the same sex were allowed to wed, it would be a mockery of the highest order on the institution of marriage and family values. I will preserve the virtue of this nation and protect our children from these scenes.
LEFT: Abortion isn't easy, but it must be protected as an option. People should have the right to live their lives the way they see fit and to protect their well being. We have lived in a world where abortion was illegal; it did not work. Back-alley procedures lead to many deaths and an underground society of crime. We cannot make that mistake again. A woman must be able to choose what to do with her body and the government should not tamper with this hardest of choices. Circumstances do arise where abortion is the only choice, and taking away that choice would be jeopardizing the life of the mother.
RIGHT: Life is a gift that should not be tampered with. A fetus at any age is alive and destroying it is murder. We must repeal Roe v. Wade and protect the defenseless children. There are many alternatives to abortion and medical science has reduced the risks of pregnancy for woman. With so many other choices, abortions are unnecessary and the time has come for them to be stopped.
LEFT: Death is a sensitive subject, but one must not shy away from sensitive subjects when they are of great importance. I believe the decision should be made between a doctor, the patient and the family. With proper supervision and information flow, euthanasia can be a viable option for our terminally ill and suffering. No one is saying taking one's own life is a good thing, but it is true that in some cases it can be the most humane thing.
RIGHT: Death is a sensitive subject, but one must not shy away from sensitive subjects when they are of great importance. Life is a gift and shouldn't be taken lightly. Euthanasia is suicide and I think we can all agree, regardless of the circumstances, suicide is selfish and wrong.
LEFT: We must not allow ourselves to fall into the trap of fear impeading progress. Marijuana has been shown to have the potential to ease the illness of patients and provide relief to the suffering. If this plant is helping some without hurting others, what could be the argument against it? We could be on the verge of something big. Marijuana may have medicinal benefits, and we must remove the shackles from our scientific community and medical professionals and allow them to fully explore the benefits and debunk the falsities of medical marijuana. This can only happen if we want it to happen.
RIGHT: There's no proof that it's of any benefit. It's wrong! Just say no! Don't do it! If you're caught in possession, we will take you down. No good has ever come of marijuana and this is just the latest ploy by the pro-drug side to get their product one step closer to your corner convenience store. If you are on marijuana, we can help you get off it with counseling and prescription drugs.
LEFT: Is it election season already?
RIGHT: Let's just get out of here already ... can I bum a ride?
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