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What You Need To Know About Judicial Leanings

What You Need To Know About Judicial Leanings

As it is enacted by the Constitution, the Supreme Court, and the American judicial system as a whole can be interpreted in theory as the least politicized section of Government
and the one most purely given over to procedural, essentially technical
questions rather than ideological and philosophical ones.

A federal judge differs from members of Congress and the President in gaining his or her office through appointment rather than election, and in that way is secured against the shifting judgments of the electorate. Similarly, the right to a lifetime term enjoyed by members of the Supreme Court assures that their influence over the judicial system can outlast what are sometimes pictured as the essentially fickle currents of politics? In practice, however, the question of so-called judicial leanings of any given Federal judge has become increasingly urgent questions over the course of American history.

Today, political and legal commentators commonly assign Supreme Court members a place along a right-left political spectrum, and thus, assess their probable impact on the judicial system. In determining the ideological orientation of the Supreme Court as it is currently formed, the views of the individual members of the bench will be taken into account along with the ideology of the Chief Justice. While the the former question is commonly tracked in terms of a shifting balance of political power, as one Federal judge retires or dies and is replaced by another, the politics of a Chief Justice are often used to place an overall ideological stamp on a period.

The leanings of the American the judicial system in the post-World War II period, for instance, were typified by the readiness of the Warren (1953-1969) and Burger (1969-1986) courts to use the judicial system to accomplish liberal initiatives judged too contentious to enact through legislation, including Federal action against racial segregation and the availability of abortion. The Rehnquist (1986-2003) and Roberts (2003-present) courts, by contrast has been seen as more conservative in their judicial leanings and linked to the general rightward shift some commentators believe has occurred in American politics as a whole.

The specific nature of the duties required by the judicial system means that the liberalism or conservatism of any given Federal the judge will likely operate differently than it would in the legislative or executive branch. For all of the importance placed on the nomination or defeat of candidates for Federal Justice on the Supreme Court, Democrats and
Republicans do not formally endorse their favored choice. Though theoretical questions arising from the American judicial system may carry implications for the nation as a whole, they do not refer ultimately to the desires of interest groups or other common sources for legislative action, but rather than Constitutional interpretation.

In this sense, the ideological split in Supreme Court decisions, though present, has been generally observed to occur with far less consistency than is the case in Congressional votes. The question of the judicial leanings of a Federal judge in this sense can be a
the more nuanced question than it is in regard to legislators.

Means of Appointment and Voting Process in Congress

Means of Appointment and Voting Process in Congress

The selection and approval of Supreme Court nominees are intended to provide for the oversight of the institution as a whole by the other main branches of the Federal Government. The President makes the initial nomination of a possible replacement for vacancies in the Supreme Court as a whole or the office of the Chief Justice, after which procedures are provided for Congress to approve or reject the Supreme Court nominees.

Until fairly recently in American history, the process of appointing and voting in Supreme Court nominees was not considered an aspect of the Government’s operations likely to cause dissension, and as such, tended to occur quite quickly and without much supervision. The American scene of the preceding few decades, however, has seen an increasingly politicized atmosphere surrounding the Supreme Court and an increase in attention to the judicial leanings of Justices. As a result, the approval of Supreme Court nominees has become a far more closely monitored and difficult process.

The procedures for approving Supreme Court nominees is addressed in Article II of the Constitution, which gives the President the power to “appoint…judges of the Supreme Court” “with the Advice and Consent of the Senate.” People who have previously served in lower courts or have in some other way distinguished themselves for legal knowledge or skill generally constitute the pool from which Supreme Court nominees are picked. However, it might be noted, if only as a point of interest, that the Constitution does not require any kind of legal fluency for Supreme Court nominees beyond that which is found by the President.

The responsible functioning of the nomination system is instead provided for by the allocation of decisive power to the Senate. If the Senate provides its approval, the President’s next action is to draw up, sign, and place the Seal of the Department of Justice on a commission for the Supreme Court.

The means through which the Senate determines the acceptability of Supreme Court nominees have grown more rigorous over time. The modern American requirement for Supreme Court nominees to submit themselves to direct questioning by the Senate first appeared in 1925 and became established practice in 1955. These interviews are conducted by the Senate Judiciary Committee, which receives Presidential proposals for Supreme Court nominees and makes the decision on whether to submit them to the Senate as a whole for a vote.

The legislative tactic of a filibuster is not generally used for committee procedures, but it can be used to prevent a conclusive vote by the Senate on the candidate. The Senate vote is the last point for blocking the approval of Supreme Court nominees. The means for the rejection of Supreme Court nominees include rejection by vote, taking no action, postponement of the vote, the nominee’s decision to decline the office, or the President’s withdrawal of a nomination. As an example of the last possibility, which is usually undertaken when it becomes clear that political currents stand entirely against a nominee, last occurred when President George W. Bush withdrew Harriet Miers, his personal counsel, from consideration for the Supreme Court.

Supreme Court Justices Overview

Supreme Court Justices Overview

Background of Justices

The Constitution’s provisions for the Justices who make up the Supreme Court are brief and have allowed extensive discretion to legislators and the Court itself in determining the direction of this office. The initial stipulations for the practical questions of operation faced by Supreme Court Justices were dealt with in the Judiciary Act of 1789, the first Congressional legislation.

The Justices first assembled to officially hold the Supreme Court in February 1790, at that point numbering six members and tasked with the secondary responsibility of “circuit riding,” by which they were required to personally preside over two proceedings at courts in every judicial district each year.

The role taken by Supreme Court Justices was fairly limited for the first decade of the institution’s existence but began to expand with the appointment of Chief Justice John Marshall, who established the principle of judicial review in the 1803 case of Marbury v. Madison. His term lasted until his death in 1834, in all comprising thirty-four years, and helped establish the principle of lifetime terms for Supreme Court Justices. The number of Justices, after several revisions, was fixed at nine in 1869, and the practice of circuit-riding abolished in 1891.

John Jay

John Jay was the first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, appointed in 1789 by President Washington. His reign as Chief Justice helped build the foundation of practices, which helped the Supreme Court Justice system gain recognition as a reputable judicial branch. The time John Jay served as Chief Justice was mostly dedicated to implementing guidelines and regulations for the Court system to follow.

Stemming from his childhood John Jay had always expressed keen interest in governmental politics and he catered to a number of problems that presented itself as a result of war as well as weak practice measures. His time spent as Chief Justice initiated many Federal regulations that provided the strength that Supreme Justice is associated with today.

The great advisement John Jay delegated as Chief Justice led to his re-election of the role in 1795, which he declined. He continued to serve the United States as a political influence to the practices of the Government system until he retired in 1801.

John Marshall

John Marshall was appointed as the fourth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and is documented as the first Chief Justice to hold the longest term in office. John Marshall’s views were a direct reflection of the regulations administered in the Constitution. His time spent as Chief Justice enforced all Federal and State laws established to be an extension of what was declared in the Constitution, as well as enforcing the judicial implements of John Jay.

With the Constitution at the time being a new form of conduct, many states and Federal laws offered their own translation of the Constitutional view. John Marshall helped clarify the direction of laws in relation to the Constitution. Many of the rulings made by John Marshall helped streamline the responsibilities and functions within the legislative branches. During his ruling as Chief Justice, many other members did not agree with his views on regulating State and Federal practices. However, the beliefs of John Marshall helped strengthen the value of the Supreme Court.

Roger Taney

The fact of Roger B. Taney holding the role of Supreme Chief Justice in 1836 dates back to the controversy accompanied by his position in the office during that time. Although the responsibility of Chief Justice at a Supreme Court level is to regulate Federal laws, Roger Taney can be described as the individual most concerned with the powers of the State Government.

Many of the cases Roger Tangey ruled against were during a time where a split preference over slavery existed among many individuals. While members were calling for the abolishment of slavery, Roger Taney was enforcing this act as a Constitutional right, and ruling against African Americans presented little regard for them as a race. At one point the judgemental view of Taney leads a member of the Supreme Court to resign.

The goal of Roger Taney was to make the abolishment of slavery unconstitutional, which was prevented due to the rise of the Civil War. Roger Taney held his position as Chief Justice until passing away shortly after slavery was abolished.

William Taft

William Taft was the first Supreme court Justice who also assumed the role as President of the United States. Many contributed to the structure of the Federal and State Government practices to the procedures implemented by Taft under his ruling as Supreme Court Justice. Seeing that the court system was very disorganized, Taft created certain Acts to help the process within the Supreme Court run at a smoother pace. His delegation helped the Supreme Court identify important cases while shifting other cases to the appropriate judicial branch.

William Taft spent a good deal of his time traveling and was fascinated by the methods of structure he saw implemented in other countries. His work as Supreme Court Chief Justice helped strengthen all judicial systems within America. He is also responsible for separating the Supreme Court from other judicial branches, placing it in a separate building where they could manage the aspects of their responsibilities away from the traffic associate with other legislative branches.

Purpose of Lifetime Appointment and Pros and Cons

Purpose of Lifetime Appointment and Pros and Cons

The Constitution provides for the lifetime appointment of every Supreme Court Justice, though not through any direct language.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Ginsburg passed away at the age of 87 on September 18th of 2020.

A new justice will be appointed by the President to take the position in the Supreme Court for a Lifetime Appointment.

Instead, the document addresses the ability of Court Justices to hold office “during good Behavior” and does not provide for the necessity that a Court Justice resign after a certain age or period of service.

This lack of a term limit was first implemented during the tenure of John Marshall, the fourth Chief Justice, to indicate that Court Justices could remain on the bench for the remainder of their lives, as did Marshall.

Though the requirement for “good behavior” presents the one exception to the lifetime term of a Court Justice, as can be implemented in law through Congressional impeachment, this option is rarely used and not often seriously considered.

The single instance of this happening, the impeachment of Samuel Chase in 1805, ended with the Congressional determination that the move was purely political and lacked acceptable grounds for proceeding.

The basic purpose of lifetime appointment is to assure the integrity of the power granted to Court Justices and protect them against unwarranted interference from either the legislative or executive branch.

The express and implicit separation of the Supreme Court from the other branches of Government is therefore upheld. In accordance with the principle of providing checks and balances, the executive and legislative branches exercise control over the Supreme Court by, respectively, proposing and approving candidates for that body.

In the highly politicized atmosphere which has long attended the nominally apolitical arena of Court Justices, Presidents often attempt to buttress their agendas by selecting Court Justice nominees favorable toward their views.

At times, however, the judicial leanings of Court Justices prove
different in practice than they had previously appeared. The policy of lifetime appointment, therefore, secures a Court Justice against “retribution” for decisions going against the wishes of his or her Presidential sponsor.

In this regard, proponents have cited Alexander Hamilton’s declaration in the Federalist Papers that “nothing can contribute so much to its firmness and independence as permanency in officeā€¯.

Various concerns have also been raised about the ways in which lifetime appointment impinges on the office of Supreme Court Justices.

One concern is that this policy encourages the Supreme Court to be dominated by thinking better fitted to the formative years of the Court Justices than to the present-day conditions of the United States.

In this view, the Supreme Court would be better served by more frequent turnover in its membership.

Another issue that has been raised in the mental capacities of a Supreme Court Justice becoming diminished with age. This possibility could not conceivably fall under the purview of the requirement for “good Behavior” and at present is not provided for under U.S. law.

Criticisms of the general policy of lifetime, the appointment has also been stoked by the criticism of specific Supreme court Justices and of the Court’s culture in general for moving toward a more legislative, politicized function, which critics might find it less problematic if offenders did not remain on the bench for so long.