#weekendcoffeeshare: A Weekend Civics Lesson

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Another cuppa then? This week’s tea is a Scottish Breakfast tea from a local tea shop, The Curiosity Shop, which has sadly now closed. Scottish Breakfast is a blend of Assam, Ceylon and Yunnan. I’m a big fan of black teas, obviously. Milk and one sugar, please.

So were we having coffee/tea, I would be telling you about my plans to go to one of the early voting locations to vote in the PPP (Presidential Preference Primary) here in Georgia. I will sadly not be able to vote on the 1st of March, as I have a football (soccer) match to coach. I love voting; it is literally my favourite civic duty. My father doesn’t vote, and my mother, not being a US citizen, cannot vote. I registered to vote the very first day I could, and have voted for everything I possibly can since 2004. My first vote was for the new Georgia flag.

And since we’re having tea, I would be talking to you about the so called ‘Brexit’, or the UK’s planned referendum in June of this year. As an EU citizen with interests in the UK, I’m quite worried about the referendum, though yesterday’s agreement is promising. Will the British people out? Time will only tell.

(I have dual citizenship, for those of you playing the home game. I was born in Texas to a German mother, thus affording me citizenship rights to two countries. I feel both German and American. I will most definitely write more about this later.)

I am not as much of a reader as I used to be, but I have subscribed to The New Yorker and Les Jours, and I have to say, quality journalism is such a pleasure and I don’t mind paying for it. So were we having our caffeinated beverages today, I would definitely be telling you about the articles I was reading, and we would be chatting about celebrity culture along with our political chat.

So let’s have another cup and linger. Until next time? – SDM

NB: Check out the other posts in this weekend’s coffee share here!

Photo by Olichel Adamovich

On the Death of Justice Antonin Scalia

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When learning about the Supreme Court, they are always treated as a monolith. The separate justices were never really discussed, unless they were remarkable, or upon their deaths.

Obviously, this is not the case any more. Every Justice on the Supreme Court not only has a name, but some sort of recognisable personality…and sadly, an agenda. Growing up, I always felt that judges were imbued with extreme impartiality; the paragons of fairness. I figured that was the only way that they would have the ability to judge a situation.

The first time I was disabused of that notion was the struggle for Chief Justice Roberts’s position. I admittedly distrusted President Bush, so I would not trust any of his appointments. Chief Justice Roberts, while resolutely conservative, is more moderate than expected. Every other Supreme Court appointment has been a struggle of political proportions.

NPR plays a huge part in my interest in the Supreme Court; Nina Totenberg’s relaying of the arguments is one of my favourite things during All Things Considered and Morning/Weekend Editions. She reads the arguments, only changing her intonation when asking a question. I do yell at the radio when I am particularly incesed. Perhaps I should have been a lawyer.

That being said, I yelled a lot at Jusice Scalia’s arguments and questions. His most infuriating argument was during Fisher vs University of Texas, where he implied that black students weren’t intelligent enough to go to universities:

There are those who contend that it does not benefit African Americans to get them into the University of Texas, where they do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less-advanced school, a slower-track school where they do well. One of the briefs pointed out that most of the black scientists in this country don’t come from schools like the University of Texas. They come from lesser schools where they do not feel that they’re being pushed ahead in classes that are too fast for them.

Not to mention his dissent of Obergefell v. Hodges, which decided the legality of same-sex marriage. Justice Scalia argued that because it would have been illegal during the time of the writing of the Constitution, it should be illegal today. Being homosexual would have been illegal during the writing of the Constitution, which is utterly ridiculous.

So, when one says one must not speak ill of the dead, I’m afraid I will have to keep silent on this Justice and his bigotry.

Until next time, then. – SDM

Photo by JC Fitz