The Supreme Court is considered to be the highest-ranking court in the United States. Decisions that make it all the way to the Supreme Court are decided officially and those decisions are often used as standards in similar cases around the country. The Supreme Court can overrule a ruling from any other court in the country if its justices decide that ruling was false. (Garner, 2004)
How a supreme court justice is elected on to the supreme court?
The Supreme Court is made up of a total of nine justices. One is the chief justice and the other eight are considered associate justices. The total number of justices in the court is an odd number to prevent ties during rulings. Each member votes on the outcome of a case and it is definitively answered. The U.S. Constitution allows a Supreme Court justice to serve for the rest of his life. A justice is allowed to both resign and retire should he decide it is needed. Supreme Court justices are nominated for their position by the U.S. president. The president normally will pick a person he feels to be the most qualified candidate but also someone whose views are similar to his own. A president can only nominate a person for Supreme Court justice during the term in which he is serving and only if a spot on the Supreme Court is available. He cannot unseat a sitting justice to appoint a new person.
Once the president nominates someone the U.S. Senate reviews the qualifications of that person and decides whether or not they are fit to serve. The Senate is the only body that can confirm a nominee or reject them. Once its decision has been made, the president has no authority to overrule it.
The system in which a person is appointed to justice to the U.S. Supreme Court is designed specifically to prevent a president from having too much power. (Garner, 2004) It is another of the many checks and balances seen throughout the federal government system. By allowing only the president to nominate a person (in theory) will ensure that the best possible candidate is selected for the job. By allowing only the U.S. Senate to confirm that nomination prevents the president from putting someone into the position of justice who will only act to serve the agenda of the president.
an ideologically diverse group of legal scholars is now not so sure. When it comes to the Supreme Court in particular, there seems to be growing doubt about life tenure, which increasingly translates into 25 to 30 years on the bench, extending into extreme old age.
Judges depart from the lower federal courts with regularity, assuring a steady turnover. But Supreme Court vacancies are rare events. It has been nearly 11 years since the last one, when Harry A. Blackmun stepped down at age 85 after 24 years on the Court. The current Chief Justice, William H. Rehnquist, is 80 years old and suffering from thyroid ...