Printer Friendly
The Free Library
22,719,120 articles and books

Who appoints the Supreme Court Justices?

When a Supreme Court Justice retires or dies, the President nominates a new candidate. The candidate, however, must be confirmed, or approved, by the Senate.

Some nominees, including Justice Clarence Thomas Clarence Thomas (born June 23, 1948) is an American jurist and has been an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States since 1991. He is the second African American to serve on the nation's highest court, after Justice Thurgood Marshall. , have faced stiff opposition from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee The U.S. Senate established the Committee on the Judiciary on December 10, 1816, as one of the original 11 standing committees. It is also one of the most powerful committees in Congress; among its wide range of jurisdictions is investigation of federal judicial nominees and oversight of . The committee questions each nominee nominee n. 1) a person or entity who is requested or named to act for another, such as an agent or trustee. 2) a potential successor to another's rights under a contract.  and makes recommendations to the other Senators.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy became a Justice after President Ronald Reagan's first nominee, Robert H. Bork, was rejected by the Senate. (A second nominee, Douglas H. Ginsburg Douglas Howard Ginsburg (born May 25, 1946) is the Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He was appointed to this court in October 1986 by President Reagan. He became its Chief Judge of the court on July 16, 2001. , withdrew.)

Critics argued that Senators rejected Bork because of his conservative political views, rather than his qualifications for the role of Justice. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Ruth Joan Bader Ginsburg (born March 15 1933, Brooklyn, New York) is an Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. Having spent 13 years as a federal judge, but not being a career jurist, she is unique as a Supreme Court justice, having spent the majority of her career as an  has said that a President should never select, nor should the Senate confirm, a candidate based on his or her political views. A candidate should be chosen, she advises, on the basis of his or her wisdom and qualifications.

Past Presidents have learned the folly of choosing an individual on the basis of his or her politics. It is impossible to predict how a Justice will vote on a future case. And, says Ginsburg: "A judge or candidates for judgeship should not be asked questions about how they might decide a case that could come before them. If they did give an answer to such a question, then they could not sit on the case because they would have prejudged it." Other experts disagree, however.

Since Justices have a lifelong position, they can influence national policy long after the President who appointed them leaves office. The graph below shows 11 recent Presidents, their parties, and how many Justices each one appointed. (Names in parentheses See parenthesis.

parentheses - See left parenthesis, right parenthesis.
 are current Justices appointed by each President.) No vacancies For No Vacancy (band), see .

No Vacancy is a standard sign in motels indicating there are no rooms available for rent at the moment. In many places the word "No" in the sign is made of a neon light bulb and can be turned on (to indicate "no vacancy") or turned off (to
 have arisen yet during George W Bush's presidency.

Study the graph, then answer the questions.

[Graph omitted]
Panel 6: Who Appoints Supreme Court Justices?


1. Which President appointed the most Justices?

2. Who appointed the least?

3. Who appointed only one Supreme Court Justice?

4. Democrat President appointed how many Justices?

5. Republican Presidents appointed how many Justices?


1. Frnaklin D. Roosevelt
2. Jimmy Carter
3. Gerald R Ford
4. eighteen
5. fourteen.
COPYRIGHT 2002 Scholastic, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2002, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

 Reader Opinion




Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Junior Scholastic
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 25, 2002
Previous Article:How cases reach the Supreme Court.
Next Article:Meet the supremes.

Related Articles
Thurgood Marshall: our Supreme Justice.
CPA appointed to bankruptcy commission.
Supreme tug-of-war.
Marbury v. Madison: a landmark decision made 200 years ago changed the Supreme Court forever. (American History).
Full court press: George W. Bush has a very clear position on what makes good judges--and it's not a willingness to advance gay equality.
How long is too long? Supreme Court Justices are appointed for life. But the founding fathers didn't imagine 80-year-old Justices and terms lasting...

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters