Hema's Musings - Blog

Impartial Judiciary

Letter to the Editor Moscow Pullman Daily News

While members of executive and legislative branches of government are elected based on their party affiliations, the judicial branch is supposed to be non-partisan. Unlike the other two branches, members of judiciary do not have to play politics to get the popular votes. The Supreme Court Justices are nominated by the president with the advice and consent of the Congress, to insure that no party or branch of government can influence the Supreme Court and the justices can interpret the constitution on an unbiased and rational basis.

However, that doesn’t seem to be the case in the current polarized environment. Within a few hours of Justice Scalia’s death, the Republicans in the Congress said nomination of a replacement should be postponed until after the election. E-mails from the Democrats explained why it was important to have a Democrat in the White House, so the Supreme Court could become more liberal. Although the last two Justices were nominated on partisan basis, President Obama is considering a Republican this time.

Retired Justice Sandra Day O’Conner, a Republican, said that the Supreme Court seat should not remain vacant until next year. After the president nominates a candidate, the Congress has the right to vote against him or her, but they don’t have the right to prevent the president from nominating a justice for consideration.

Once nominated by the president and approved by the Congress, Supreme Court Justices remain on the bench no matter which party controls the executive or legislative branch. They shouldn’t make judgements as liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican. If they are going to be partisan, then perhaps they should be elected by popular votes every four years along with the president and the members of congress.