The Approval Process of Supreme Court Justice

Category: Law
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The modern world characterized by the rapid transformations in political, economic, social, and cultural spheres which shapes the struggles of values between Democrats and Republicans. Liberal tendencies continuously put pressure on traditional values. Such dynamic in social skills could be reflected in actions made by three branches of government. Supreme Court and its decisions in the contemporary atmosphere could change the way of social development in the United States. The Supreme Court Justices and their views on particular issues such as abortion, gay marriages or guns are essential both for Republicans and Democrats, as well as for president’s decision to nominate a particular judge. That is why the majority of justices with republican or democratic views In Supreme Court have such transformative power and potential. The appointment and approval process of Supreme Court Justice is a cornerstone of such changes for American society.

The main issues regarding the approval process are politicization, lifetime appointment of the judges, and filibuster. The first three articles of the Constitution establish and define three branches of government, namely legislative, executive, and judicial. The US Constitution requires the involvement of three branches of the government in the appointment and approval process. Under Article II of the Constitution, the President has the power to nominate judges of the Supreme Court (Article II). Article III empowers Supreme and inferior courts with judicial power and provides judges lifetime appointment for good behavior (“”Article III). The approval process goes as follows: after the judge’s death or retirement the presidential nominee the judge. Further, the judge must be approved by the US Senate. First a judge must go throughconfirmation hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee, and if he approved by a majority, there is a vote for that decision by one hundred senators (Morrison, 2018). The politicization of the process means that politicians mostly oriented on the particular views of the candidates, trying to push those who impacted their policy as well as manipulate the process. One of the methods of such manipulation is filibuster which means the delay of the process to eliminate the candidate. Lifetime appointment is also a problem because not all presidents have the possibility to nominee a judge.

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During the history of the US, the approval process had a few important changes. The main problem that Founding Fathers paid little attention to the judiciary and that is why “”Article III of the Constitution says nothing about the qualifications of judges, or about the mechanics of choice (Commager, 1970). Such situation impacted the interpretation of the Constitution and the development of the procedure. With time the process becomes more formalized, was formed Committee of the Judiciary as well as implemented the Calendar Call and further roll call votes. Moreover, the Senate used the procedures and considerations individually in each case (Beth & Palmer, 2011). However, one of the most important changes occurred in 2013 when Democrats pushed a vote 52-48. This move called “”nuclear option and was made to prevent the filibuster. The changed rules for the procedure required to bot sixty Senate votes, but simply majority of fifty-one (Timm, 2018). Despite the fact that Democrats justified such decision in regard to the efficient functioning of the process, it was because at the time they had a majority in theSenate. During history, a filibuster was used a lot by both parties.Founding Fathers laid the values of freedom and system of law for the efficient functioning of the government and development of American society. The vague concepts of the Constitutions and its interpretations gave the possibility to change it considering the needs of the time. The development of the approval procedure shows that often politicians have sacrificed basic values for political gain. To prevent that there must be measures. Firstly, considering the magnitude of the Supreme Court and its decisions the lifetime appointment is unequal regarding the president and the American people. According to Michael Livermore and Daniel Rockmore “”Justices’ terms could be fixed at some set limit; for example, it would be possible to stagger appointments to turn over one Justice every six months, resulting in four-and-a-half-year terms (Livermore & Rockmore, 2017 ) Also, must be appointed clear rules for the nominees. Depoliticization could help to avoid manipulations by the politicians and concentrate on the efficiency

People who work within the law must inform the population about the major problems, especially on such a high level, to push this agenda. The Supreme Court is the institution which provides the protection of citizens, including protection over the misfeasance of government and authorities. At the same time, the approval process is not efficient and had many problems. Today, there are tensions regarding the Supreme Court because of the appointment of the Brett Kavanaugh. This is exactly the time to promote and spread the possible way to resolve issues of Supreme Court Justice approval process. According to Livermore & Rockmore, “”Congress has the latitude to make certainreforms via statute, while others may require a constitutional amendment (Livermore & Rockmore, 2017). Thus, the solutions could be implemented by social awareness, pressure on the government through organizations and media, and legal tools.

In conclusion, the approval process of Supreme Court Justice major problems is the lifetime appointment, filibuster, politicization of the process as well as formal procedure and requirements for the judges. Considering the history of manipulation and interpretation of the process and Constitution to gain political advantage, the approval process must be systematically analyzed and implemented by political authorities.


Beth, Richard S., and Betsy Palmer. “”Supreme Court Nominations: Senate Floor Procedure and Practice, 1789-2011.”” Congressional Research Service, April 11, 2011.

Commager, Henry Steele. “”Choosing Supreme Court Judges.”” The New Republic. May 02, 1970.

Livermore, Michael, and Daniel Rockmore. “”Changes to the Appointment Process Could Fix the Supreme Court.”” USAPP. May 24, 2017.

Morrison, Caren. “”Four Steps to Appointing a Supreme Court Justice.”” The Conversation. September 26, 2018.

“”The 2nd Article of the U.S. Constitution.”” National Constitution Center

“”The 3rd Article of the U.S. Constitution.”” National Constitution Center

Timm, Jane C. “”McConnell Went ‘nuclear’ to Confirm Gorsuch. But Democrats Changed Senate Filibuster Rules First.”” 2018.

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The Approval Process Of Supreme Court Justice. (2019, Jan 02). Retrieved from