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Bruce D. Brovold, Fargo, Published July 03 2013

Letter: Nation loses when court politicizes basic rights

As we celebrate our independence today, we should also think of our freedoms and rights and who gives them to us.

Independence Day is a day we celebrate dating back to 1776. Americans were given the right of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Well, not all Americans. Over the years, minorities were slowly given their freedom and later the right to vote. In 1965, the voting rights bill was passed. Still many Americans are denied today.

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court gave some people the right to get married – the pursuit of happiness. However, a major portion of the voting rights bill was deemed unconstitutional. Seems that the majority of the justices did not think we have a voting problem anymore. Apparently they did not see the tens of thousands of elderly African-Americans waiting for up to eight hours to vote in the last presidential election. Or some states passing harsher voting regulations, aimed at minorities and college students, which they are trying to do right here in North Dakota. Blind justice, if it does not affect the ones who make the laws, I guess.

About freedoms: Why are some taken away and why are some newly given?

Congress passes all laws when it comes to rights and freedoms. Depending on which side of the aisle they sit, they have their own reasons. Some for selfish reasons, others for our security; just depending on how they spin it.

I have come to the conclusion that each party does this for the good of their own party, which was not hard to figure out.

Why did the Republicans support gay marriage? To get their votes? The conservative Supreme Court went along with that Republican strategy. Why did the Supreme Court rule against the voting rights bill? To keep as many African-Americans from voting for Democrats; also going along with the Republican strategy.

Now when it comes to security, the Patriot Act, introduced by the Bush administration, which was passed into law after 9/11, has also taken away some of our rights; phone tapping, drones, for a few examples. Even though it was a Republican bill, they now blame President Barack Obama – anything to make him look bad. The reason is for Republicans to get more votes.

I wonder if our Founding Fathers thought it would turn out this way, or the soldiers who fought and died for our independence. I don’t think so.

When you think about your freedoms and rights, or about others losing them, this Fourth of July, are they really meant just for you, or are they just another political gambit to get more support and votes for one political party.

If more conservative justices are added to the Supreme Court, one will see many more of our rights, that we take for granted, being taken away or changed to the liking of the far-right conservative party. There will be nothing we can do to change it.

Happy Independence Day? I wonder.