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Election 2016: What’s at stake

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(Mobilus In Mobili/Flickr)

(Mobilus In Mobili/Flickr)

The 2016 presidential race seems more like a reality television show than the process to find our next head of state. Between sound bites and flashy headlines, it’s easy to get distracted from the important issues.

Here are the important issues at stake during the election — in no particular order.

1. The Supreme Court

The current makeup of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) only contains eight justices after conservative-leaning Justice Antonin Scalia passed away earlier this year. There is no indication that liberal-leaning Associates Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer have plans to retire anytime soon, but the stakes are high as ever. The next president will likely appoint a new justice, and that choice will determine the makeup of the court for decades to come.

Donald Trump indicated potential nominees for the Supreme Court through a list on his website. Trump’s picks are a list of court powerhouses ranging from Sen. Mike Lee, a Republican from Utah who acted as a Supreme Court Clerk for Justice, Samuel Alito and Keith Blackwell, a justice serving on the supreme court in Georgia.

Hillary Clinton continues to show support for the newest SCOTUS nominee, Chief Judge Merrick Garland, who was nominated by President Barack Obama in March.

The rest of Clinton’s choices are simply speculation. Some experts have insinuated that Clinton’s list is similar to Obama’s.

2. Police and Race Relations

As expected, police and race relations was the first topic of the first presidential debate between Clinton and Trump.

The debate showed how each candidate would approach this issue. The two nominees have completely different approaches to race relations, a subject that the next president will have to address.

Clinton promotes improving the criminal justice system and strengthening relationships between minorities and the police. Indicated on her official website, Clinton’s main goal is to change how the police and communities interact with one another.

On the other hand, Trump has yet to release an official race relations policy.

3. Terrorism

According to a Pew Research Study, the way the United States will combat terrorism is of great concern for the majority of Americans.

Trump plans to address increasing terrorism concerns by taking what some would consider extreme measures, ranging from vetting immigrants on the basis of religion to making potential immigrants pass an “ideological test.” He even proposed deporting a large number of people already living in this country.

Clinton plans to take a different approach, focusing her efforts more on diplomacy with the country’s allies and non-allies around the world.

Email Amy at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @AmyFRusses.

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The digital-first, student-run magazine of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Journalism Department
Election 2016: What’s at stake