The timing of the chief justice's cancer surgery has thrust the issue of Supreme Court appointments back into the public eye--which should have never averted its gaze from this one--just before Americans head to the polls.
Anybody who thinks this election is just about tax cuts, job losses, gay marriage and Iraq (as if those weren't enough) will hopefully be shocked back to reality.
More than anything, this election is about the Constitution of the United States, and whether or not that gorgeous Enlightment document* will survive the age of Chaos Theory.
Anyone who doubts the breadth of this proposition should contemplate this specter: Justice John Ashcroft.
NOTE: You may have to first obtain your free Salon.com day pass in order to get the Ashcroft link to work. Well worth the extra clicks.
*Gorgeous Constitution--In form, the girl is clearly stacked. In short, it's the Consitution's shape, its form, that has allowed it transcend the limitations of its framers. If ever the Divine Hand shaped a piece of literature, it was at a little convention in Philadelphia. There's lots of good content, too, of course, except for the part about who gets to vote, and who's less than a full person.