Current Trends in the Court

February 25th, 2021

Hello, welcome back to another week at the Supreme Court. This week I will be discussing trends that appear in the court, and why these trends appear. When a court justice is appointed (basically hired) to the Supreme Court, they are chosen by the current president at that time. There are 9 justices, and they have life appointments. What that means is that when they are appointed, they get to keep their jobs so long as they have “good behavior”. Unless you did something extremely unprofessional or literally starting profanity, it is basically a lifetime job. They can either retire, resign, die, or be removed from the position. If one of these four things happens, that leaves an open seat on the court, which you want filled as soon as possible so that there are no ties (4-4). Presidents then get to choose who they want to nominate. Once nominated, there is a brief hearing where members of the Senate decide if that person should be a justice. The trick is, a president can only be in power for 8 years, so conceptually, the only things he can get done are done in those four years. But with the Supreme Court, that is not the case. A president can pick a justice that they feel reflects their ideology, and thus, the beliefs of the president are generally engrained in the Supreme Court. The justices do not vote by party, they are simply more conservative or more liberal (we will be going over who is who in the coming weeks). They also do not vote specifically by the president who appointed them, however generally, especially in larger cases, they stick to their guns, with the exception of a few outliers.

2 Responses to “Current Trends in the Court”

  1. Joseph Doll said:

    Interesting post. What do you think about the concept of “packing” the court? Should the executive be able to establish how many seats are on the SC?

  2. Patrick Cesarone said:

    In a vacuum, I would agree that packing is a bad thing and is unnecessary to maintain the courts. However, the current issue stands that the court is extremely one sided as far as ideological beliefs, and the court has always done well to have a healthy balance of the political spectrum.

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