@Energion Political Roundtable – Question #8 #scotus

Supreme Court of the United States Seal
Supreme Court of the United States Seal (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

One of the ways in which a president shapes the future of the country is through appointments to the judiciary, and especially the Supreme Court. How do you see each candidate shaping the future of the court, and why is this important? (If you are supporting a particular candidate, focus on that one.) (here)

Of the many issues raised every Presidential election cycle that bothers me is the issue of the Supreme Court. Whether we like it or not, both sides have destroyed the sanctity of the separation of powers and the non-partisan court. Instead of upholding the Constitution, both sides look for a litmus test, usually in cases of abortion.

The only litmus test needed for the Supreme Court is whether or not the would-be justice believes that he or she can effective rule in a constitutional manner, regardless of the issue. Part of our heritage suggests that regardless of the issue, the judge must remain unbiased as he or she begins to tackle the case. If you ask a SCOTUS candidate how he or she would rule before hand, even on a hypothetical case, and base your decision on this, then you are attempting to control the court, something we must avoid. The Supreme Court is the weaker among equals, but i tis the anchor that must be allowed to hold the other two branches down. If we allow a Presidential candidate to promise, in an election, to pick a Justice based on political issues, we severely undermine the ability of the Supreme Court  to remain neutral.

In the current session, the Supreme Court will rule on the constitutionality of voting rights’ act, among other key issues. One of the trains of thought is that the VRA is no longer needed given that the times have changed. Perhaps this is the case; perhaps not, but to pick a Court justice who will, regardless of the case before her or him, rule in favor of the VRA is to create a conflict of interest that is insurmountable. Congress has the power to issue legislation but must do so within the guidelines of the Constitution, subject to oversight by the Supreme Court. There will come a time when laws are no longer needed, but are more burdensome. This does not make the laws unconstitutional; however, I do not yet know the facts of the case either. And neither does anyone else.

The track both candidates take in promoting their candidacy as one who will mold the Supreme Court is troubling to me. Even Gary Johnson, supposedly one who respects the Constitution, would like to see the court molded to fit his views. Why?

What we need are candidates who promise to appoint Justices that have a proven record of non-partisanship, unbiased and objective rulings, and who will remain out of the political fray.


Other respondents in the Political Roundtable: Bob Cornwall, Allan BevereArt Sido, and Elgin Hushbeck.

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4 Replies to “@Energion Political Roundtable – Question #8 #scotus”

  1. Good thing you’re not going for a masters in poli sci. 1. The Constitution (“Con”) separates powers, it doesn’t hermetically seal them. Once installed as the Con specifies, they are fully independent, with life tenure. If anything, the Con should provide for the removal of senile judges, not easily, but at least something. 2. Where does it say the court is non-partisan? Designating the Prez to appoint and the Senate to confirm is quite far from a non-partisan process. 3. How does a Supreme know how to rule in a constitutional manner? Is there only one way to rule constitutionally in each case? 4. What part of our heritage says judges can be unbiased? Are you confusing conflict of interest with bias? 5. SCOTUS nominees have steadfastly refused to answer hypothetical confirmation question. They have actually taken this too far, so that confirmation hearings are paragons of weaseling out of answering legitimate questions. 6. “weaker among equals” Now where have I heard contradictions about something with three parts before? 7. VRA paragraph is incoherent. 8. Does respecting the Con mean you don’t get to have an opinion on what it means? 9. Ha! what a naive pipe dream! But seriously, how do you prove a judge has only issued unbiased and objective decisions? And does such a person exist?

    1. Surely, you aren’t suggesting we have an imperfect system.

      First – Poli Sci was a lot of my undergrad.

      1.) No it does not seal them, but can you imagine the uproar if, say, John Roberts endorsed President Obama?

      2.) We weren’t partisan in the very, very beginning.

      3.) Removal is always a possibility, but it has to be for health reasons or crimes, not for decisions.

      4.) John Roberts has a pretty good philosophy on this – what is con/uncon.

      5.) The Judicial is supposed to be unbiased. Read Federalist 80, but 78-83 as well.

      1. 1. Roberts won’t. And neither will Sotomayor. So?
        2. Right, from 1789 to 1800. So?
        3. I don’t know this, how is a Supreme removed for health reasons?
        4. How do you decide if a particular opinion of Roberts is “good”?
        5. The question stands, do you think any judge can be unbiased?

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