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Posted on June 19th, 2012, by

The Supreme Court plays an important role in the life of the US because it is actually the basic institution of the judicial power in the country. At the same time, the process of choosing the Supreme Court Justices is considered to be extremely arguable because of a profound impact of subjective factors on this process (Reiman, 196). This is why the question concerning the objectivity of the process of choosing the Supreme Court Justices often arises and the criticism of the traditional approach to the choosing is quite convincing.

First of all, it is necessary to briefly dwell upon the procedure of choosing the Supreme Court Justices. In this respect, it should be said that Justices of the Supreme Court of the US are nominated by the President of the US and after that they are approved by the US Senate. The Justices are approved if at least half of the Senate votes in the affirmative. At first glance the procedure is very simple and democratic but, in actuality, the situation is quite different.

In fact, the process of choosing the Justices of the Supreme Court is extremely politicized. Obviously, the major goal of the choosing of the Justices of the Supreme Court is supposed to be the selection of the best, highly qualified professionals that work in the US. This means that professional qualities should be the major priority in the process of choosing the Justices. However, in actuality, their professional qualification is defined by the President and by the part of the Senate that supports the Justices nominated by the President. In such a situation, there exists a great threat of the involvement of political interests of the President and his supporters in the process of nomination and approval of the Justices in the Senate.

What is meant here, the President can nominate Justices not on the basis of their professional qualification but on the basis of their loyalty to the President and the party he represents. Naturally, if the party of the President, i.e. either Democrats or Republicans, have the majority in the Senate, they can easily approve the nominees. As a result, this particular political force will get the Justices of the Supreme Court which would be primarily the nominees of this party because it is due to the nomination of the President and approval of this party in the Senate they become Justices. This risk is very high because the President can hardly objectively assess the qualification of the Justices because he is not a professional in this field. Moreover, it is obvious that loyal judicial power is much more convenient even to the most democratic President because it minimizes possible conflicts between the branches of power.

In such a situation, it seems to be obvious that the existing system of choosing the Justices of the Supreme Court is not perfect and it may be politicized that will lead to the subjectivity of the Justices when important decisions affecting the executive and legislative power are taken. This is why it is necessary to implement changes in this procedure in order to make the judicial power, or, at least the Supreme Court really independent from the political influences of those who, at the moment, nominate and approve the Justices. This means that it is necessary to develop clear standards which the Justices should meet in order to get this position in the Supreme Court.

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