The Supreme Court Notes

The Supreme Court Notes with examples and important court cases.

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The Supreme Court
The Constitution
J ust
ic es
ho l
d thei
r posi
ti
o n
du r
ing
"good
behaviour"
J udi
ci al
powe r
extends t
o
all
cases,
in
law and equi
ty,
ari
sing
u nder
the
C onsti
tut
ion
(vague)
P resi
d es over cases i
nvolvi
n g
pub l
i
c off
ici
als
or
states
A l
l
tri
a ls
of
crime
he l
d by
jury
exce pt
i
mp eachme nt
Structure
9
Me mb ers
of t
h e
S upr
e me C our
t ­
1 chi
e f
j
usti
ce and 8
associate
just
ices.
N umb er
fi
xed by
C ongress
a nd
h as
rema i
ned unchang ed
since 1869
94
D i
strict
Courts 13
C ourt
of
Appe al
s Supreme
C our
t of
t
he
U ni
ted
S t
ates
A ppel l
ate
juri
s di
cti
on me ans Supreme
C ourt
cannot
ma ke a
ruli
ng unti
l
a case
is
appe al
ed t
o i
t.
O ri
gin al
j
u r
isdict
ion hears
the case
fi
rst.
Appointment Process
T he V acancy
o Mo st
i
mp or t
ant
ap poi
n t
me nt
for
President
s as t
enure i
s f
or `
l
if
e '
­
outl
ive t
he presi
dency
N o vac ancy
b et
w een August 1994 and
July
2 005
S earc h
a nd
P ools
o f
Recruit
me nt
o P r
e sident
s eeks
a dvi
ce f
rom p ol
it
ical
advi
sors,
Justi
ce Depa r
tme nt
,
sen i
or
WH
aides,
key
con gressme n, pr
ofessional
groups (
A me r
ican
B ar
Associat
ion),
f
riends
&
associat
es.
o Ma i
nly
co me
from t
h e
C ourt
of
Ap peal
s ­ al
l
except
K agan f
rom there
o L o oks also at
De par
tme nt
of
Ju st
ice
­ Kagan
w as
So l
i
cit
o r
Gene r
al
o Mi g ht
look at St
a t
e Cou r
ts
­
D avi
d Souter
fr
om NH Supreme Court
T he A nnounc eme nt
o F B I
check short
li
st
&
P resi
dent i
nter
views 2 or
3
o P r
e sident
ma ke s
for
ma l
a nnounceme nt
att
en ded
by press,
nominee ,
hi
s/her
famil
y & key
con gressme n
o U n of
fi
cial
A BA rat
ing
o f
`
w el
l
q ual
if
ied'
,
`quali
fi
ed'
and `
n ot
qual
if
ied'
O n l
y C l
arence Thoma s (
19 91)
recei
ved `
q ual
if
ied'
r
e cent
ly.
T he C onfi
rma ti
on Process
o N o minee app ear
s before
S enate
Jud i
ci
ary Commi t
tee wit
h heari
ngs of
the nominee,
sup porter
s
a nd
ma ybe
cri
ti
cs.
o I f
the
hearings go badly
the candi
da t
e may wit
h dr
aw
or t
he Presi
d ent
ma y
halt
i
t
H arri
e t
Miers
w i
thdrew
in
200 5
aft
e r
Senators
uncon vi
nced about
ideologi
cal
credenti
als.
o A f
t er
t
h e
he ari
ngs the
co mmittee
vote ­
norma l
ly
foret
ell
s Senate approval
or
not.
o 1 2 nomina ti
ons been rej
ected si
nce 1789
1 987 R eagan's
R obe r
t
B or
k l
ost as
he'd
p l
ayed a
role
in
Wa tergat
e
by f
ir
ing t
he i
ndivi
dual
prosecutor
investi
gating.
Nominee Year ABA rating Senate Judiciary Committee Senate vote
vote
Robert Bork 1987 Well Qualified 59 4258 Rejected
Clarence Thomas 1991 Qualified 77 5248 Confirmed
Ruth Bader Ginsburg 1993 Well Qualified 180 963 Confirmed
Importance of Supreme Court Nominations
T h ey
are i
n f
req ue nt
compared
to t
he Cabi
n et
whi
ch
ca n happ en
2/3
ti
me s
a year
T h ese
app oint
me nts
are
for
li
fe
v.
executi
ve posi
ti
ons
O nl
y 9
me mber s
of
the
Supreme
C our
t
rather
t
han
435
H ouse memb er
s and
100 Senat
ors
J udici
al
re vi
ew
C an
ma ke
decis ions
on guns,
abort
ion
& f
reedom o f
sp eech.

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