top of page

Supreme Court Nominations and How They Should Change

Updated: Mar 15

Unfortunately, a great deal of polarization exists in our nation today. I believe we can combat polarization within the Supreme Court by altering the nomination and appointment process of justices. (The opinions expressed in this article are those of the individual author, whose information can be found below.)


Since its creation, the Supreme Court has long been known to be an apolitical, non-partisan and intellectual entity for the U.S. Government. As our society has evolved, though, our country has become more polarized and divided. According to an article by Jill Kimball for Phys.org, based on a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper, within the last four decades, individuals’ adverse feelings towards an opposing political party (when compared to their own) have increased by about 4.8 points per decade. As such, it is fair to say that the Supreme Court’s role in our society and its nonpartisan nature is needed now more than ever.


Article II Section 2 of the Constitution states that the president has the power to appoint a Justice and await approval from a Senate vote; however, to combat polarization becoming ingrained in our Constitution’s implementation, I propose that this process change. 


The president embodies and represents the will of the people for four to eight years. However, a Supreme Court justice serves a life term and creates a precedent that can affect our nation for tens, if not hundreds, of years. For a president (who serves a minimal term in comparison to a Justice) to be allowed to have such a lasting effect on the judicial branch and constitutional interpretations would be a disservice to the Court’s honor.


For centuries, presidents have been affiliated with a political party, and, with the polarization we see in our nation today, it seems as though it will always be this way. The sole purpose of the Supreme Court is to be strictly nonpartisan and to read and interpret the Constitution and legislation in a neutral manner. However, when these justices are chosen by an individual whose entire role is partisan in and of itself (the president), this causes a conflict of interest. 


To combat this, it would serve the American people much better to alter the nomination and appointment process of Supreme Court Justices. We always intend for these members of the Supreme Court to be incredibly well-versed in all the ins and outs of the Constitution. These intellectual minds should be taken advantage of, and, when a new position is available in the Court, the Justices should be the ones to come together and nominate a new member.


To keep in line with the checks and balances system of our government, there would also need to be another branch that has a say on this nomination, and that branch should be the Senate. However, rather than a majority vote of 50 people, a justice’s appointment should require a two-thirds vote across the Senate, as a full-proof means of combating partisanship. Having an apolitical branch nominate someone whom they deem fit and educated for a role in the Supreme Court and then requiring the Senate to come together with a two-thirds vote would inherently reduce polarization. 


The opinions expressed in this article are those of the individual author.

 

Sources


Kimball, Jill. “US Is Polarizing Faster than Other Democracies, Study Finds.” Phys.org, Phys.org, 22 Jan. 2020, https://phys.org/news/2020-01-polarizing-faster-democracies.html.

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page