Be Just, Be Fair

The Old Fool has a small owl collection

This small website community may be moving into controversal and questionable topics, The Old Fool feels compelled to remind himself and his readers that our conversation should be seasoned with the salt of love.  (Is that a Biblical metaphor?) He hopes his posts will be received as love letters and that the subscribers  are willing to explore faith, life, and politics with mutual good will. 

One of The Old Fool’s friends has sent him by email the following information about the ages of the members of the US Supreme Court:

1. Justice Scalia just turned 78
2. Justice Kennedy will turn 78 later this year
3. Justice Breyer was 76 in August
4. Justice Ginsburg turned 81 about a week ago. In addition, Justice Ginsburg is reportedly quite ill.
5. Justice Stephens has already said he would retire and is just waiting for Obama to be reelected.

The Old Fool’s friend thinks the possibility that the next president may appoint up to five members of the Supreme Court is reason enough to vote against Barack Obama.  But The Old Fool believes it is a major reason to cast a vote for him.

Why are the members of the Supreme Court called justices? Why does the government have a Department of Justice?  The Old Fool understands that the word justice describes one who is called to be fair. 

The congress and the president are expected to reflect the will of more than half of the people. They are politicians who have been elected to  office. 

The Old Fool writes this to contrast the supreme court with the other branches of government.  The justices on the supreme court are not elected. They are appointed for life. In that way they are shielded from political pressure. 

They do not ask if a particular law is popular, but is it in keeping with the constitution and is  being enforced fairly.

Yesterday the supreme court heard arguments about the student admission regulations  of the University of Texas.  The regulations are meant to safeguard the rights of minorities so they have a fair shot at enrollment in the university.  But  are they really fair?

A young woman claimed that she had been unfairly denied admission to the university.  Her lawyers argued that she had been treated unfairly.  The lawyers for the University and from the US Department of Justice argued that she she had been treated fairly.  The justices will weigh the arguments and decide if the woman was or was not treated fairly.    

The Old Fool met racism for the first time when he was a junior in the Eastern Mennonite School in Virginia.  He was one of a team of students sent to a nursing home to speak with the elderly who were confined there.  The Old Fool has not forgotten being told by an old gentleman that “coloreds” were animals that had no souls.

It would be unfair of me to say that everyone in the old south agreed with the old man.  But it is true that slaves were treated as mere property like other animals.  They were treated unfairly.

The next post will deal with bits of history of the Old South.

About Martin Lehman

I was born 92 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
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