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Posted on March 8th, 2013, by

In the current essay I would like to consider Supreme Court’s power. To begin with it should be noted that Supreme Court of the United States is not just the highest court in the United States, but also it is the head of judicial branch of power. The court consists of a chairman and 8 members. The court usually acts as an appeal, but in several cases (e.g. regarding diplomats) could be a court of first instance. THESIS: In my opinion, the Supreme Court is not only the weakest, but the strongest branch of power in the U.S.
The first argument consists in the fact, that judges of the Supreme Court are appointed by the President with the approval of the Senate for life (unlike the President or the Senate, who are appointed only on four years), and may terminate the authority only as a result of voluntary resignation or impeachment for crimes. To encourage the terms of office of the Supreme Court without pressure from outside there was passed the law on the right to retain salary for Supreme Court judges, retired at the age of not less than 70 years. During the period from 1789 to 2005 U.S. presidents of the U.S. offered 149 candidates for the post of judge of the Supreme Court, over 80% of whom were judges. According to statistics, the new judge is appointed every 22 months. In the court of 9 members, its chairman – Chief Justice has small additional powers. Members of the Court (as well as a candidate for the post of chief judge, even if he is already a member of the Court) are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate. However, in this case, the applicant must adhere largely centrist views, at least publicly. This right of the president is one of the main arguments that voters are referred to as the reason that they voted for personally offensive to them (but ideologically correct) presidential candidate, as stated in The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States.
The second argument is in the fact that judges are not subject of political pressure from the president, Congress or voters. Nevertheless, in U.S. history, there have been instances when the executive or the legislature tried to put the Supreme Court under its influence. The Supreme Court was established in 1789, its first decision was made in 1792. However, influence of Supreme Court sharply increased after 1803, when the Supreme Court took the role to evaluate the laws of the U.S. Constitution, that is actually the right to suspend laws, declaring them unconstitutional in the case null and void from the very beginning of their adoption (case Marbury vs. Madison) and subsequently in Europe for such functions has been created a separate type of court – the Constitutional Court, which is absent in the United States. At the same time, during its existence, several times the U.S. Congress received the necessary approval of the legislature 3/4 of the staff, threefold invalidate the decision of the Supreme Court (through amendments to the Constitution). In this way, in particular, has been introduced income tax, which was forbidden by the Supreme Court and established the right of births of African-Americans to automatically obtain U.S. citizenship, as described in Supreme Court – A Brief History.
The third and the strongest argument is that The Supreme Court has enormous power, because its solutions can abolish all laws and presidential decrees, and may be revised only to the adoption of amendments to the constitution. Supreme Court is the highest court in the United States. Theoretically, its jurisdiction is strictly limited to the U.S. Constitution (Article III, Section 2). Thus, the competence of the Supreme Court is cases arising under the Constitution, laws passed by the Congress of the United States and international treaties. The court may also hear cases involving ambassadors, admiralty and maritime jurisdiction. Additionally, the court may hear cases in which one party is the United States; affairs between two or more States; cases between a State and citizens of another State, between citizens of different states and countries. As a rule, the Senate recognizes the right of the president to nominate a judge of the same views as the president himself, even if the Senate is controlled by the opposition. However, the power of the Supreme Court is limited by the fact that in most cases, the court may only consider an appeal to the lawsuits. This means, in particular, that if the Supreme Court declared the law unconstitutional, anyone whose rights have been violated by this law should sue the federal government and the claim should go through all the necessary authority, as stated in Supreme Court.
To sum it up I would like to say that in my opinion, the Supreme Court is not only the weakest, but the strongest branch of power in the U.S. As a matter of fact, judges of the Supreme Court are appointed by the President with the approval of the Senate for life (unlike the President or the Senate, who are appointed only on four years), and may terminate the authority only as a result of voluntary resignation or impeachment for crimes. Also, judges of the Supreme Court are not subject of political pressure from the president, Congress or voters. Moreover, solutions of the Supreme Court can abolish all laws and presidential decrees, and may be revised only to the adoption of amendments to the constitution. I think that these arguments prove that the Supreme Court of the U.S. is the strongest and the most independent branch of power.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works cited

Kermit L. Hall. 2005. The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States. Oxford University Press. 1272 pages.

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