Our future is dependent on informed voting

As young people we are the future of this country. What we do will alter the way of the world. However, we will not be effective in our actions if we are not educated on how things in our government work.

We must research and then research again. If we don’t, we risk allowing certain people into our government who seek to control our everyday lives, based on their own skewed beliefs. This gives power to those who might seek to overturn powerful court decisions. Every vote we cast counts. Maybe you don’t see the effects of an election immediately, but a domino effect usually start slow before picking up speed.

Think back to the 2016 election. Did you vote? Even if you voted, did you research the candidates? Maybe you did and you choose the lesser of two evils like many other voters. Regardless of who you voted for, President Trump was elected and because he’s in power now he got to pick the latest Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.

Most of us briefly learned about the branches of government in middle school and then had a follow up in high school. However, high school seems like a distant memory, so a refresher never hurts. The Executive branch carries out laws, the Legislative branch makes laws and the Judicial branch interprets them. Simple, cut and dry right? Well kind of.

The Supreme Court’s main function is simply to decide if things are constitutional. It will determine if a president’s actions are acceptable according to the constitution. It will also weigh in on whether a law that congress puts forward is in line with the constitution. This is where Trump’s nomination power comes in as it could change constitutional law for years after his presidency comes to an end.

Although the Judicial branch holds the ability to “check” actions. It is not up to them who sits as a member. The nomination is Trump’s choice, but the Senate also must have a majority vote to confirm the nominee.

The Senate holds a trial to essentially grill the nominated Justice. This is where senators are given a chance to question the candidate until they either vote them in or not. Currently, our system is in the grips of confirmation hearings to decide whether Kavanaugh should be the newest Supreme Court Justice or not.

The main concern from many is his stance against a women’s right to choose. The majority of his stances and decisions lean conservatively. But the main controversy surrounding his nomination is the woman who accused him of sexually assaulting her. We still don’t know all the facts behind this sexual assault accusation, but this news goes to show how vital it is that we must stay informed about our countries leaders. No matter what side or political party they subscribe to, all leaders need to be held accountable.

The idea of a leader’s decisions being rooted in religion isn’t uncommon in our government. In fact many politicians run with their faith being their best feature. I question why someone’s faith is so important. Especially given we should be separating church from state.

I implore you all (those who haven’t already realized) to consider policy over party. Proof over religion. Do not just believe someone to be good because of the church they claim. Perhaps even more important than that, realize that just because your religion does not “approve” of something, does not mean it is wrong. I’m not coming into your church and telling you what to think so don’t try and come into my temple and tell me how to use it.

Do your research and call your senators. Tell them your stance on Kavanaugh’s nomination and tell your representatives how you’d like to be represented. After all they are supposed to represent you, the people.

Rachael Bayuk can be reached at [email protected] or @BayukRachael on Twitter.