The Supreme Court is a powerful body that rules on a variety of controversial issues. While most decisions are decided by 5-4 votes, Justice Scalia’s death may alter the balance of power on the court. The power to nominate a Supreme Court justice is given to the president by the Constitution. This means that the president can replace a justice if he or she dies. But how can the president go about this?
Ketanji Brown Jackson
The Senate confirmed the appointment of Ketanji Brown Jackson as the next Supreme Court justice on Friday, a vote of 53-47. Jackson will replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer on the high court and will become the first Black woman on the court. She will be the first public defender and woman of color to hold a high court position. PBS NewsHour Digital Anchor Nicole Ellis spoke with John Yang, PBS NewsHour’s national correspondent.
The nomination has a complicated history, as is predicting which justices will be confirmed. The Judicial Common Space (JCS) score is a popular metric for assessing potential justices. It places Jackson’s score in the middle of the current Supreme Court, with Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. Nonetheless, Jackson has a record of standing in the legal community and has demonstrated exemplary character.
Before assuming his Supreme Court nomination, Judge Jackson had worked for the Office of Federal Public Defender in Washington, D.C., where he reviewed legal claims of detainees at Guantanamo Bay. During his confirmation hearings, Republicans questioned Jackson about his experience in the D.C. Circuit, attempting to convince the public that he has too much sympathy for criminals and victims.
There are many reasons why President Barack Obama has selected Jackson to replace Justice Antonin Scalia. Jackson’s conservative record will not change the court’s 6-3 conservative-to-liberal balance. His judicial experience as a former public defender and criminal defense attorney, as well as years as a district judge, would make her an excellent choice for President Obama. A majority of Republicans will be pleased with his selection.
Having a Black woman on the Supreme Court is a significant milestone. As a public defender, she was exposed to the criminal justice system, including racial profiling, unfounded theories of “excited delirium” and jury selection. Indigent people of color are frequently unfairly convicted in federal court. And Justice Ginsburg’s personal experience will shape the nuances of her legal theories and the way she engages with her colleagues.
Amy Coney Barrett
With the confirmation hearings for Amy Coney Barrett to start around October 12, Senate Republicans are determined to push the nominee through before the election. Republicans hold a solid majority, and some have suggested they want to vote for Barrett before Election Day. If confirmed, she would have enormous power over the outcome of the next election. However, her nomination still faces several obstacles. Let’s take a look at what these are.
First, we have to consider the background and credentials of Amy Coney Barrett. She is an eminent jurist with rock-solid conservative credentials. She would make a perfect Supreme Court justice in any era, but she would be especially fitting for this moment. Court work in this era requires proper understandings of stare decisis and legal interpretation. She would make an exemplary justice, and her nomination will allow the Senate Judiciary Committee to introduce her to the public.
Secondly, the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett will affect the ideological makeup of the Supreme Court for years to come. The conservatives’ favorite candidate, Coney Barrett, will push for her confirmation in the Senate before Election Day, which would change the ideological makeup of the court for years to come. President Trump has said he plans to announce his nominee on Saturday, but aides warn that the decision could upend his own plans.
While most people are happy with the choice of a conservative attorney, the Democrats have yet to announce the nominee. The Judiciary Committee chair, Lindsey Graham, a Republican, is expected to confirm Barrett. While she is a good choice for the position, her nomination could make the court more conservative. This would likely mean a shift away from the liberal perspective that many conservatives favor.
In addition to her appointment as a Supreme Court justice replacement, the US Senate has a 6-3 supermajority. The Republican majority voted to confirm Barrett for the seat. Her confirmation would make the court more conservative, which could hurt the Democrats’ chances in the election. The nomination also makes the Court more conservative and could change the balance of power between the Republicans and Democrats. This means that the Court could turn out to be a conservative bulwark against the democratic forces in America.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
If a supreme court justice were to retire, could Ruth Bader Ginsburg replace her? The question is far more complicated than it seems. The woman is indeed an historical figure who shaped the lives of millions of Americans. She is widely considered a role model of a feminist and has been a powerful voice for women’s rights. Her birthplace was Brooklyn, where she grew up in a Jewish family. Her parents were Jewish immigrants from Russia, and she was born in Brooklyn. She attended public school and attended the synagogue, a thriving Jewish community. Throughout her childhood, she excelled in school and became a role model for many women lawyers.
After being appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1980, Ginsburg built a record as a centrist liberal. In 1993, President Clinton nominated her to the Supreme Court, and she became only the second woman to be nominated by a president from the Clinton administration. Ginsburg’s public criticism of Roe v. Wade was an unpopular decision, but the decision was a landmark one for women’s rights.
While there are some reasons to oppose the nomination, a lack of a viable alternative could help ensure that the court’s majority remains intact. Ginsburg was one of the most influential women in the history of American politics, and her death would create a significant political controversy. Although her death was a tragic blow for the conservative movement, she remained an icon and a feminist standard-bearer. In fact, she became the second woman to sit on the high court.
As one of the most influential women on the Supreme Court, Ginsburg was also a major figure in the gender discrimination litigation. She became the head of the Women’s Rights Project of the ACLU and co-authored a law-school casebook on the topic. Moreover, she headed the Women’s Rights Project at the ACALU, where she successfully argued six cases in the Supreme Court involving gender discrimination.
While there are many reasons to nominate Judge Stephen Breyer as a replacement for retiring Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, many conservatives are more concerned about the judicial philosophy and temperament of his successor. While Breyer has a reputation for pragmatic approach to legal questions, he consistently votes with the liberal bloc, joining Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. As a pragmatist and consensus builder, Breyer exemplifies the ideals of American justice, namely knowledge, wisdom, humility, restraint, and fairness.
The retirement of Justice Breyer comes as midterm elections begin, and Democrats are seeking to keep their hold on both chambers of Congress. With 50 seats in an evenly divided Senate and Vice President Kamala Harris casting tie-breaking votes, the party is well-positioned to confirm Breyer’s replacement. A simple majority of Democratic senators is enough to confirm a Supreme Court justice. But that will not happen with Justice Breyer.
But it’s not a sure thing that the Democratic Party will get its first black woman on the high court. While Vice President Biden promised to nominate a Black woman, it is not certain that this will happen. Although Biden’s first choice won’t be a majority white male, it could at least save the court from losing credibility in the long run. While a new justice would not change the voting split, it could force the court to back off ideologically transparent rulings. Ultimately, a Black woman would be a better choice for the court than any White male.
Historically, supreme court justices grow older in their positions. Justice Breyer joined the Supreme Court at age 55. He has now reached 83 years of age and is scheduled to retire at the end of June. In addition to his age, Breyer is a long-time judge, having served on the Court since 1994. A Supreme Court justice enjoys a lifetime tenure, and it’s unlikely that President Trump will replace him without a successor.
Although Breyer’s appointment has been criticized by some liberals, it has not been proven that he is a good choice. In 2005, he was the sole justice to vote against a conservative bloc that would have upheld a Ten Commandments monument in Texas and required the removal of Ten Commandments displays in Kentucky courthouses. In 2000, Breyer wrote the majority opinion in Stenberg v. Carhart, which struck down Nebraska’s partial birth abortion law. In this case, the Court’s balance allowed the judicial bloc to come to a decision without a liberal to weigh in.