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Landmark Decisions

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The process for appointment of judges to the Supreme Courts in the United States is guided and provided for by the Constitution in the “Appointments Clause” (Article II Section 2 Clause 2). The president nominates candidates who are then debated by the senate and upon its advice and consent appointed into office. It seems to be some form of power sharing between the president and the senate when making the appointments. More often the appointments are politically influenced in that the president nominates judges with whom he shares the same political and ideological views (Rutkus; Eisgruber, 2009).

The Supreme Court makes critical rulings after the other state courts and thus the appointment of judges to this organ of the Judiciary is critical. It is therefore important to understand the role of the Supreme Court and how it can be achieved before appointing judges to serve there. The appointments have to be based on demonstrated competence of the judges in previous rulings. It is critical to have formal qualifications for appointment to the Supreme Court that have to be strictly followed besides political mileage. Various interest groups’ views such as the civil society and news media commentators influence should be considered. Justices who are currently sitting in the courts are also at a good position to make just recommendations.  The senate confirmation process should be publicized before appointment. Most important however, from previous rulings, is to choose individuals who fully understand, interpret and will abide by the constitution in making decisions as breach of laws has serious consequence to the nation at large. Analysts and experts argue that it is time to sanitize and change image of the Supreme Court through proper appointments and may be lifetime appointments could be the way to go as such judges will not be influenced by changes in governance (Hulbary and Walker; Rutkus). 

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