Wednesday, May 19, 2010

U.S. Supreme Court Candidate

The U.S. Supreme Court is the third separate and independent branch of our government. Justices are appointed by the president and approved by the U.S. Senate. They do not have to run in an election and their appointments are for life. One would hope that current politics did not play a part in their decisions but if you look at the current court system which is run by Chief Justice Roberts one dose have to seriously question that assumption.

So what makes a good U.S. Supreme Court candidate? Maybe intelligent should be one thing on that list. An ability to listen before you disagree would be another. Someone who works well, has a political personality, with everyone around them without being willing to always give into peer pressure would be very helpful.

Someone who has a broad understanding of the constitution and codified law would be very helpful. Experience both as a trial lawyer and as a trail judge would make a difference which would give the candidate an understanding of how a case can go well and/or what can happen to make a case turn out with serious flaws.

An education from one of our top law schools so we know they understand a broad array of legal issues and legal fields of study would also be helpful.

Humility so that they do not think themselves superior to the people of this country should be a requirement for a good justice. An understand of all walks of life would be helpful. Some idea as to how business works and what makes for a successful business would also be helpful.

An overwhelming respect for our system of government which includes open and free elections of government officials should be a defining belief for any good candidate. A desire to follow the original intent of our founding fathers which include the spirit of freedom for the American People and not just to the letter of the law could be seen as a positive characteristic. A desire to render unto César what is his and unto God what is his. In simpler terms a separation of Church and State.

Someone not easily moved by either the press or popular option when it comes to unpopular decision as long as they do not change the basic characteristics of our current legal system or make major changes to our current form of government. Judicial activists often see themselves as changing or interpreting the laws for a better country but that has not always been proven to be the case.

A candidate who is willing to answer difficult personal questions such as her/his sexual orientation and other difficult personal questions that could affect how they view the world and future cases would be helpful.

No one ever said that getting appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court should be easy but a life time job appointment to a job that you love should in the long run be well worth the difficulties faced in order to achieve that level of career success. No candidate can or will ever fit perfectly all of the requirements but we should demand one that can fit most of the characteristics that we the people desire in a candidate since we don't get to vote them in or out of office.