The Looking Glass – Scalia’s death just made your vote even more important

McKenna Means

Associate Justice Antonin Scalia passed away Saturday, Feb. 13, at the age of 79. A devout Catholic and father of nine, he was known most prominently for his conservative views.

Scalia was put into office during the Reagan administration in 1986 and was the first Italian immigrant to become a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. He voted vehemently against abortion, gay marriage and civil rights. He supported the death penalty.

What’s a bit shocking is that Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has openly admitted to being very close with Scalia despite their obvious political differences. Ginsburg claimed he was an admirable and likable guy.

Some might disagree. Scalia’s actions speak for themselves. Last December, he spoke against allowing financial aid specifically to African-Americans to increase their admission rate into the University of Texas because they “do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less-advanced school, a less — a slower-track school where they do well,” according to Esquire.

Scalia’s death leaves a seat open onthe Supreme Court. Although President Obama has almost a year left to nominate a new justice, Republican candidates such as Ted Cruz and Donald Trump have advocated for this process to be stalled. A new Republican president would be more likely to appoint another conservative justice so that Republicans fill more seats than Democrats in the Supreme Court.

With a 5 percent drop in voter turnout from the 2010 midterm elections to this year’s — and with a Supreme Court appointment on the line — your vote for our next president is crucial. Rights for women and minorities hang in the balance.