Electing Supreme Court Justices Essay

1316 words - 5 pages

There is a proverb that says, “Don’t fix what isn’t broke.” This statement is very likely as true as it is old. But what happens when something is dysfunctional? The ‘something’ in question is the coveted seat of the Supreme Court Justice, which many should know is not a position that is obtained from the amazingly widespread routine of elections. Not to let out any spoilers if you were not aware, the President is the nominator of Justices to these associate positions and the Senate is the deciding group with a majority vote. I agree with the practice, currently instated because of our Constitution, but can see how some people worry over its effectiveness. There has been one case where a standing Supreme Court Justice has been impeached. This was the allegation of Justice Samuel Chase (Carliner), who served until his death due to his verdict of not guilty in 1805. As opposed to the customary impeachment of the President and select other political leaders, the impeachment of a Justice signifies nothing more than the investigation of accused actions of said Justice. The Justice shall serve for life, given that they remain in “good behavior” in accordance to the Constitution. Gathering from the history of the Supreme Court and its respective Justices, one impeachment, ending without dismissal, in the 221 years of activity is admirable. It would be fair to say that there could be confusion if somebody were to ask you what grounds for the impeachment of a Justice are had you no copy of the Constitution. Nobody has lived long enough to witness the impeachment of one, and what would be the point considering Justice Samuel Chase still served to his death. The near perfection of the terms served of every Justice is not the only reason that they should remain unelected by the public and rather decided upon by cooperatively the President and the Senate. The combination of the nomination and majority vote is working better than any other position-filling strategies. There is a high legitimacy when the President chooses who he suspects will fulfill the position to the greatest of their ability. This is brought to light by how our President Obama has spent a month seeking for his hopeful successor of former Justice John Paul Stevens, in this case Elena Kagan (Baker Zeleny). President Obama had interviewed other potential nominees, clearly spending substantial time acquainting himself with their qualifications, met or unmet, towards the prestige of the Supreme Court Justice. When the President allots that much time to find a viable successor in the Supreme Court it clarifies how crucial it is to fill the position with dignity. The commonplace lengthy process of searching for the next Justice and the majority vote required by the Senate is too much to ignore. Even if the President was careless enough to haphazardly select a Justice, the Senate consists of 100 members of various parties who could nullify the Presidents nominee by a majority vote against said...

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