US Supreme Court Appointee: A President’s Responsibility


February 26, 2016

What President Barack H.Obama is looking for in a Supreme Court nominee:

With the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia, the President now has a duty to nominate someone to sit on the bench of our nation’s highest court. Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution makes that responsibility clear. It’s a responsibility President Obama takes seriously — and one he hopes the Senate will take seriously, too.

A Responsibility I Take Seriously

by President Barack H. Obama

February 24, 2016

http://www.scotusblog.com/2016/02/a-responsibility-i-take-seriously/

The Constitution vests in the President the power to appoint judges to the Supreme Court.  It’s a duty that I take seriously, and one that I will fulfill in the weeks ahead.

It’s also one of the most important decisions that a President will make.  Rulings handed down by the Supreme Court directly affect our economy, our security, our rights, and our daily lives.

Needless to say, this isn’t something I take lightly.  It’s a decision to which I devote considerable time, deep reflection, careful deliberation, and serious consultation with legal experts, members of both political parties, and people across the political spectrum.  And with thanks to SCOTUSblog for allowing me to guest post today, I thought I’d share some spoiler-free insights into what I think about before appointing the person who will be our next Supreme Court Justice.

First and foremost, the person I appoint will be eminently qualified.  He or she will have an independent mind, rigorous intellect, impeccable credentials, and a record of excellence and integrity.  I’m looking for a mastery of the law, with an ability to hone in on the key issues before the Court, and provide clear answers to complex legal questions.

Second, the person I appoint will be someone who recognizes the limits of the judiciary’s role; who understands that a judge’s job is to interpret the law, not make the law.  I seek judges who approach decisions without any particular ideology or agenda, but rather a commitment to impartial justice, a respect for precedent, and a determination to faithfully apply the law to the facts at hand.

But I’m also mindful that there will be cases that reach the Supreme Court in which the law is not clear.  There will be cases in which a judge’s analysis necessarily will be shaped by his or her own perspective, ethics, and judgment.  That’s why the third quality I seek in a judge is a keen understanding that justice is not about abstract legal theory, nor some footnote in a dusty casebook.  It’s the kind of life experience earned outside the classroom and the courtroom; experience that suggests he or she views the law not only as an intellectual exercise, but also grasps the way it affects the daily reality of people’s lives in a big, complicated democracy, and in rapidly changing times.  That, I believe, is an essential element for arriving at just decisions and fair outcomes.

A sterling record.  A deep respect for the judiciary’s role.  An understanding of the way the world really works.  That’s what I’m considering as I fulfill my constitutional duty to appoint a judge to our highest court.  And as Senators prepare to fulfill their constitutional responsibility to consider the person I appoint, I hope they’ll move quickly to debate and then confirm this nominee so that the Court can continue to serve the American people at full strength.

 

3 thoughts on “US Supreme Court Appointee: A President’s Responsibility

  1. Qualities needed to be a US Supreme Court Judge:

    (a) He or she will have an independent mind, rigorous intellect, impeccable credentials, and a record of excellence and integrity.

    (b) someone who recognizes the limits of the judiciary’s role; who understands that a judge’s job is to interpret the law, not make the law and who approaches decisions without any particular ideology or agenda, but rather a commitment to impartial justice, a respect for precedent, and a determination to faithfully apply the law to the facts at hand.

    (c) someone with a keen understanding that justice is not about abstract legal theory, nor some footnote in a dusty casebook. It’s the kind of life experience earned outside the classroom and the courtroom; experience that suggests he or she views the law not only as an intellectual exercise, but also grasps the way it affects the daily reality of people’s lives in a big, complicated democracy, and in rapidly changing times.

    Being a Supreme Court Judge in the US is the highest honour that can be conferred on a Jurist. That is why both US President and the US Senate take it seriously. Unfortunately, in an election year, this appointment has become a political issue. –Din Merican

  2. In the end we are all products of our environment. If it allows us to ride motorcycle to school without a helmet and Lesen Pemandu we will do it. If it allows us to park our cars in the middle of the road we will do it. If we can use government property for personal use we will do it. And if the environment allows him to appoint his son to the Supreme Court he will do it.

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