Big Days in the Courts and Capitols

Wow, has it been a big week for the Supreme Court and State Capitols–well, one in particular. Between Affirmative Action, Voting Rights Act, DOMA, Prop 8, and Texas abortion law, lots of big things have happened this week.

I try to stay out of politics on this blog, but these are big decisions (and if you follow me on Facebook, you know where I stand on most issues). It’s important that no matter how you feel about the decisions of the Supreme Court, that you stay informed. I’d suggest going to sites like Scotusblog, instead of other sites that will slant the news one way or another. And although these are complex decisions, Scotusblog does a great job of cutting through the legalese and explaining the results in plain English. And considering how quickly states’ attorneys general acted in response to the VRA decision, it’s important that you get informed before the next election.

And as for my former state of Texas, last night there was a powerful event as State Senator Wendy Davis launched a filibuster against a bill that would have closed nearly every abortion clinic in Texas. It lasted over 10 hours–with no food, no drink, no bathroom breaks, no sitting, no leaning, and no straying from germane matters. In other words, her filibuster was a lot harder than those you see in the U.S. Senate. And when it was ended by opponents, citizens in the Capitol erupted, filibustering on her behalf. Together, it was enough to block the bill until the special session ended.

I think it’s wonderful to see Senators and citizens acting on behalf of their passions. Of course, if you disagree with Senator Davis, you might not think it is so wonderful. But not only do I have a soft spot for “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” moments, but (despite my earlier claims) I also love it when my side wins.

It’s easy to claim that Americans are disinterested in politics, or that they are lazy or uninformed. But that’s a cynical notion, and I think this week disproves that notion, or at least knocks it down a notch. Look at all the people outside the Supreme Court and in the Texas Capitol. Let’s hope these moments continue and grow. Get educated, and get active.