GREENE: Kennedy retirement, Supreme Court choices reveal why it’s so crucial to vote

A couple of weeks ago I satisfied a young black millennial, who might quickly be referred to as an exemplary political activist.He was enthusiastic

about social justice, and revolted by cops cruelty, so it was not a surprise that our discussion shifted to Colin Kaepernick and the kneeling protest he introduced that sent out the NFL and the President of the United States into a blind rage.We were on the exact same page, this activist and I, up until I expressed my dissatisfaction in Kaepernick for not exercising his right to vote.My new associate informed me I was evaluating Kaepernick too harshly, which voting does not matter a lot, specifically in presidential elections. As evidence, he offered the 2016 election, where Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, however still lost the election.I thought about that conversation Wednesday after Justice Anthony Kennedy, 81, revealed that he is retiring next month. The choice by Kennedy

, who is often the court's swing vote, offers President Trump a 2nd election to the bench, and a chance to seal his sordid legacy.Trump's first high court pick, Neil Gorsuch, was the deciding vote in numerous 5-4 decisions this week, including one that promoted Trump's racist anti-Muslim travel restriction, and another

that obstructs union efforts to protect employees'rights.This happened due to the fact that Trump now has the high-end of selecting Supreme Court justices. This happened because Trump won the last election. This happened because more individuals in essential states that determine the outcome of the Electoral

College checked a box for a man identified to reverse much of the progress we've made over the years. This happened because more right-minded individuals did not vote. They remained at home when whatever-- everything-- was on the line, then had the nerve to carry signs and protest on Inauguration Day when it was much too late.Actually, the dismantling of American justice started even before the election, when Republicans in 2016 pirated the judicial nomination procedure after then-President Barack Obama-- with 10 months left in his term-- chosen Judge Merrick Garland to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who had actually passed away previously in the year.Instead of even holding a vote on the selection

, Republicans, led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky), let the nomination wither and die. McConnell said at the time that Obama, in spite of a constitutional mandate, ought to not be able to fill a seat during an election year.If. anything, that should have motivated even more Democrats to get out and vote. Rather, Trump won the prize, and the secret to a court that might do his bidding long after he has left the White House."There's no presidential election this year,"a smug McConnell states today.Never again ought to we question the significance of ballot, or insult the freedom fighters who made it possible for everyone to cast a

tally."I was beaten, left bloody & unconscious while good friends of mine provided their lives to make sure that everyone has the right to register & vote,"U.S. Rep. John Lewis, a civil rights icon, tweeted earlier this week.We appreciate the

economy. We care about healthcare, and border security.

This, this right here. This is why we vote.People vote on election day at Brooklyn Avenue Grade School in the mostly Latino East LA area of Boyle Heights

on November 8, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.(FREDERIC J. BROWN/ AFP/Getty Images )