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July 2, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

All justices should attend addresses

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During the president’s State of the Union address, I noticed one thing that, I think, symbolizes the dysfunction of our government. Not all nine of the Supreme Court justices attended.

This has happened at all of Obama’s State of the Union addresses and is not uncommon. In fact, since the modern State of the Union began, only five speeches have been attended by all of the justices. At a few addresses, there were no justices in attendance.

I propose, starting with the next State of the Union, all the justices should attend and they should keep attending every State of the Union thereafter. Having all three branches assembled virtually in their entirety is an important symbol.

Supreme Court justices have a lifetime appointment, so showing some humility once a year isn’t out of order. Some justices feel uncomfortable because decorum demands that they sit quietly. The justices get the final word in every decision. One day a year, they can be quiet and listen (which is required of everyone else attending sessions of the Supreme Court).

Finally, some justices have complained that the State of the Union has become a political show. Actors on the largest and most powerful political stage are certainly tougher than that. They were appointed by politicians and it is naive to think that they were elevated to the Supreme Court without some political maneuvering of their own. They should set an example for all the members of our government and put the needs of the people over their own petty grievances and political desires.

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  1. There is no reason, except show and tell, for all the Supreme Court justices to be present at the State of the Union address. The Judicial Branch is a coequal part of government along with the Executive [President] and Congressional Branches. Separate and equal. The State of the Union is the President's address to the people and even they watched it in lower numbers this year than in the past 12 years preceding it.


  2. There is no constitutional requirement for the President to even GIVE a "state of the Union" speech in the first place.

    The "state of the Union" has turned into another stump speech by WHOEVER is the occupant of the White House. It is also political theater with politicians on BOTH SIDES "gladhanding" with the Prez hoping their constituents happen to be watching.

  3. One might expect that members of a co-equal branch of government, sworn to uphold the Constitution, might feel it's their duty to inform themselves of what's going on in the other branches of that same govenment.

  4. Ridiculous! Who cares if the Supreme Justices attend or not? I never watch the SOTU charade. You going to make me? It's not only borrring; it's asinine in its meaninglessness. The SOTU is about as interesting as a political parties platform and as fake. With that said, after the slap in the face Osama Obama gave the Justices in one of his empty SOTU speeches, it's no mystery why some would not attend but a mystery why any would. Notice, the consternation shown about whether or not Justices should attend is driven by the left; one more way they strive to usurp an individuals right to decide for him(her) self how to live their lives. Leftists are dangerous to our freedoms. Ignore that at your own peril!

  5. Miller,

    Please report to the Promenade Deck Aft, as two of the chaise lounge chairs are a bit askew.

    Thanks in advance to your prompt attention to this matter.


  6. Some of our justices are so old, sick and obese I'm amazed they can stand up by themselves. At least the Pope had the common sense to step down when he knew deep inside he could no longer do his job. The justices need to take a lesson from him.

  7. "One might expect that members of a co-equal branch of government, sworn to uphold the Constitution, might feel it's their duty to inform themselves of what's going on in the other branches of that same govenment." Jim Weber

    Like the voters, some do a better job than others. Nothing and no one says listening to a political speech given by one person, even if the President of the US, on one night of the year for one hour is the best way to inform. Most listeners will draw their own conclusions, not on the facts, but their interpretations and opinions of the facts. Now, if you want to make the case that rising and sitting 3 dozen times during the speech while simultaneously clapping both hands together is good physical and neurological leg exercise for sitting Supreme Court judges, then I might even agree with you.


  8. "But what we should NEVER FORGET is that the
    republicans on the Supreme Court gave George
    Bush the presidency after he lost the election to
    Al Gore." Teamster

    Listen to you! You nag Republicans about geting over the loss of Romney to Obama in November 2012 and telling them to move on. While you still harbor ill will and feelings over an election that Gore lost 13 years ago. How funny are you!

    From a person that supported Al Gore for his first run at the Democratic nomination for President, I can say with almost complete certainty I was entirely and unequivocally wrong. You and other Dems made a big deal here out of the fact that Rep Ryan could not win the state of Winconsin, his home state, in the November 2012 election. But forget that in 2000, Gore didn't win his home state of Tennessee and on the day of the election his own home town newspaper supported President Bush.

    It's one thing to be wrong, like me, and admit it. Another to be wrong, like you, and deny it.


  9. "Carmine now says that he voted for Gore in 2000.

    El Lobo

    "From a person that supported Al Gore for his first run at the Democratic nomination for President," Carmine D

    For someone who claims adherence to the facts, you are sorely lacking them here. Or you are too young to know when Gore actually made his first run for the Presidential nomination for the Democratic party. Or both.


  10. " little buddy Carmine." El Lobo

    I've told you this before but obviously it didn't sink in. I'm neither little or your buddy, although I suspect with the time and effort you take in saying it so often here, you wish it were so.


  11. Blah blah blah , Nobody should be made to attend a State Of The Union address, nobody. Every one of them is all bull@#$% anyway. I wouldn't blame anyone for not showing up , what would be nice is if nobody showed up. It's all about a bunch of fake clapping and support. If it was held in the Oval office and not in the capitol it would be worth watching, ,, sometimes.

  12. "Carmine......

    If we want to keep Democracy alive, we must never
    forget the fact that republicans stole the
    election from Al Gore.

    If you don't believe this, you didn't do your
    homework or you didn't pay attention to the
    facts as they unfolded." Teamster

    Please tell me what history book and factual accounts you read, beside those in your own mind, that say this. The fact is that Gore conceded the election and agreed with the Supreme Court ruling. He made a good Senator and VP like Biden. President? Never, ever. Even Gore's own hometown and state agreed that Bush was better and voted against the home boy favorite son Gore.


  13. "People such as Carmine haven't as yet accepted the fact that Mitt Romney simply got his butt kicked..." El Lobo

    "And in our last election, there were eight hour
    lines in Florida AGAIN!

    Thousands of Democratic voters went home and did
    not vote AGAIN!" Teamster

    Had Romney selected Sen Marco Rubio [R-Florida] he would have won the 400,000 votes to win [in Florida alone probably]. Romney didn't. He chose the candidate that made the best VP for the country, and hence president. It was Ryan not Rubio, at least for the election in 2012. That will change as Rubio gets acclimated to politics and statesmanship. Something Gore never ever did. Take it from someone who supported him for his first bid at the party's nomination for president. He found his niche and legacy: Climate control.