What Makes Our Supreme Court Special, And How Do We Get Back There
Category: News & PoliticsBy: docphil • 5 years ago • 84 comments
There is such a frenzy out there about the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh and whether or not he should be approved by the Senate. That frenzy has it’s roots in the partisan political divide, we as a country have allowed us to rip ourselves apart. It appears that issues related to gay rights, women’s control of their own body, church/state separation issues, civil rights and access, have become the political litmus tests for confirmation or rejection of judge nominees. In the case of nominations that are made by republican presidents, the nominees tend toward conservatism. For those made by democratic presidents, the nominees tend much further to the left. These nominations almost always lead to senate battles over the political beliefs of the nominees and indications of what political leaning will influence the justice’s political decisions.
The process has made a mockery of the current Supreme Court and its’ nomination process. This is not a democratic or republican issue since both parties are guilty of making it so. Each party votes in almost lockstep with the directives of the leader. The process has been almost a purely political battle for at least the past quarter century. This is a travesty for our nation.
We need a rational, non-partisan court system. One that allows the citizen to recognize that the decisions rendered by the court are really based on law and not politics. We do not have that. Instead, Presidents and Senators have managed to bring political ideologues forward to sit on a seat, and have vetted these nominees on his personal view on any hot button political issue that is trending. Thus there is no doubt how the justice will vote on specific hot button issues………no need for factfinding…….no need for detailed investigation…….no need for anything other than an implicit or sometimes explicit knowledge of how the nominee will vote on any issue.
We have to get back to a court of last resort being one that respects the needs of the majority while protecting the needs of the minority. We must have justices who do not have to pass a litmus test of fealty to a political ideology. We must have justices who rule based specifically on the evidence placed before them. We must have justices that act as a legitimate listener of the evidence before them, with a willingness to “vote where the evidence leans”, not on the basis of what their nominating party wants. We need a judiciary that continues to have the majority of their decisions at 9-0 or 8-1, but a court who, when 6-3 or 5-4 case shows independence and may have identified “liberals and conservatives” on one side with other “liberals and conservatives on the other side.
The SCOTUS should be the most respected and honest of our political branches. It should be non-partisan. It cannot be what we see now, a group of 9, constrained by their political views, their backers, etc.. This, as every court, should be an independent thread not a partisan extension.