Justice means many things to people across the world. In many cases it means equality, getting what is just based on social norms, or ensure the rule of law is truly followed. None of these are easy. Each one is complicated and these ideas of justice really only scratches the surface. In the US there are further complications on the second point, as these social norms vary widely throughout the socio-economic spectrum.What may seem just to a white man will seem cruel and unfair to a black man in the inner city.
Over the past few days at my in-law’s I’ve had a lot of conversations about justice, politics, and what is the right thing to do. The death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has only added fuel to this fire. While I didn’t agree with much of his politics and was ready for him to retire, many people needed his voice on the Supreme Court to validate their perspective and social norms. Whoever is nominated and confirmed will have a huge impact on the future of Judicial decisions in the US. They will either tip the scale to entirely Liberal with a lot of cases going 6-3 or at “worst” 5-4.
This impact will go beyond social issues such as abortion, LGBT rights, and government healthcare. It will have repercussions in cases devoted to privacy, new technologies, and likely most important for certain communities, police department and District Attorney behavior around police killings.
Justice doesn’t always come through the court though. In rare cases there are politicians that stand up and actually push for what they believe in is justice. In cases like income inequality or political access, there are a few politicians that are willing to stand up and say “No.” Standing up against corruption in a leadership position is vital to ensure the health of any community. I think this important to support even if you don’t support that person’s overall political views. The only way to improve politics is to get as much money out of it as possible – which will begin to enable justice across the body politic.
Justice isn’t just for the white majority, it’s for everyone.