US Supreme Court (click here)

by Chris | July 14th, 2009

I’m not an expert in the Judicial policy and procedures.  I do remember however from what little I learned in school many years ago, that Judges serving on the Supreme Court of the United States are appointed for life and that their job is to determine the constitutionality of the rulings of lower courts.  These two facts make this position one of the most important positions in our nation.  Their influence reaches far beyond that of Presidents, Congressmen, Senators and other Judges.

I remember too that within our 3 branches of government there are checks and balances to ensure that one of the branches does not step over its constitutional authority and usurp power it does not rightly own.

Historically, until President Reagan selected Robert Bork in 1987, the Senate Confirmation Hearings were largely a rubberstamp showing deference to the Presidents pick.  Interestingly in that situation Ted Kennedy’s inflammatory objection turned these hearings towards the right direction.  Although his intention was not to return us to what our Founders established (it was rather to simply block a Justice with whom he has policy and moral disagreements), Senator Kennedy did re-start the check and balance intent of the hearing process.

The appointment of individuals in this key position in our nations governance is too important to simply give deference to the Presidents choice.  Moreover, it should not be opposed simply because the selected individual holds a personal view on moral issues that differs from the Senators voting.  The approval or disapproval should be based on objective facts such as:

  • How often have their decisions been overturned by the Supreme Court?  It only makes sense that if a Judges decisions are found to be unconstitutional they should not be serving on any court, and especially not on the highest court of the land.
  • How do they view their job as a Judge?  Does a Judge set policy, law or social norms, or does the Judge determine simply determine whether laws or the constitution had been violated?
  • How do they understand their jurisdiction?  Do they believe that the States have authority over their own laws.
  • Does this person support and defend the constitutional rights of the individual?

It makes sense to me that if someone is incompetent based on his or her decisions being overturned, if they do not support the rights of individuals of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and if they do not understand the limits of their authority … that person is not qualified for, and should not have the privilege of serving on the Supreme Court of the United States.

 

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