What are two characteristics of supreme court nominees?

One of the most important decisions a president can make is the appointment of federal judges, especially those on the appellate and Supreme Court.

a) Identify and discuss two characteristics of Supreme Court nominees that are politically relevant during the nomination process.

b) Identify and defend your choice of two methods interest groups might use to influence the nomination process of Supreme Court nominees.

c) Describe two conditions in which nominees to the Supreme Court are likely to run in to trouble during the confirmation process.

a.1. Education- is the nominee of the intellectual ilk to be an appropriate nominee and grasp the nuance of issues.
2. Judicial Experience- Over 50 years ago it was not uncommon to select a nominee who had never been a Judge before. An example is Adams who was a prior U.S. President (never was a Judge until his appoitment) and became a Sup. Ct. Judge. Now it is a non occurance that an an appt. is without Judical experience. This is politically important because it allows interest groups and parties to determine by examination of a nominee’s decisions their disposition on issues (or if there is a pre-disposition). This is also important because parties and interest groups do not want to waste political capital supporting a candidate who might be viewed as unqualified.

b. First interest groups would lobby the President to select a particular candidate which holds their political or religious views or select a pool of candidates holding their political or religious views as a litmus test. Either would be beneficial to the interest groups as it would preclude the consideration of a candidate with contrasting views. Also either would be beneficial to the interest group because it would secure an appointment with the same ideology.

c.One potential problem would be if the nominee was a member or past member of a group which held a bias on idealogical issues. A member of the Judiciary must comply to a Cannon of Ethics in which they avoid even the appearance of impropriety. Such membership would make them appear to have bias and be jaded on a specific issue or issues. Therefore, they could be viewed as not impartial in their decision making which is critical for a judge. Moreover, as the Supreme Court is the Court of Last Resort, there is no court to appeal it’s decisions too, so you want to absolutely insure nonbias at this level. You do not want either bias or a judge that must recuse themself on cases involving issues they would hear.

A second Condition would be if there was personal conduct unbecoming of a judge. An example of this is the problems occuring to Judge Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings regarding his alleged sexually harrasing comments to Anita Hill when she was his law clerk.

Post Author: mark

2 thoughts on “What are two characteristics of supreme court nominees?

    JimCarrey728

    (February 19, 2010 - 11:26 pm)

    The political ideologies of the President and Congress, I guess.

    You see, if the political ideology of the SC nominee is different than the Senate majority, that can pose a problem, when it comes for the confirmation process.

    The President wants a person with a similar ideology to him, so he can assure someone with his ideals will be there after he leaves office.
    References :

    Just Me

    (February 19, 2010 - 11:54 pm)

    a.1. Education- is the nominee of the intellectual ilk to be an appropriate nominee and grasp the nuance of issues.
    2. Judicial Experience- Over 50 years ago it was not uncommon to select a nominee who had never been a Judge before. An example is Adams who was a prior U.S. President (never was a Judge until his appoitment) and became a Sup. Ct. Judge. Now it is a non occurance that an an appt. is without Judical experience. This is politically important because it allows interest groups and parties to determine by examination of a nominee’s decisions their disposition on issues (or if there is a pre-disposition). This is also important because parties and interest groups do not want to waste political capital supporting a candidate who might be viewed as unqualified.

    b. First interest groups would lobby the President to select a particular candidate which holds their political or religious views or select a pool of candidates holding their political or religious views as a litmus test. Either would be beneficial to the interest groups as it would preclude the consideration of a candidate with contrasting views. Also either would be beneficial to the interest group because it would secure an appointment with the same ideology.

    c.One potential problem would be if the nominee was a member or past member of a group which held a bias on idealogical issues. A member of the Judiciary must comply to a Cannon of Ethics in which they avoid even the appearance of impropriety. Such membership would make them appear to have bias and be jaded on a specific issue or issues. Therefore, they could be viewed as not impartial in their decision making which is critical for a judge. Moreover, as the Supreme Court is the Court of Last Resort, there is no court to appeal it’s decisions too, so you want to absolutely insure nonbias at this level. You do not want either bias or a judge that must recuse themself on cases involving issues they would hear.

    A second Condition would be if there was personal conduct unbecoming of a judge. An example of this is the problems occuring to Judge Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings regarding his alleged sexually harrasing comments to Anita Hill when she was his law clerk.
    References :

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