Supreme Court Polarization

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In recent history the Supreme Court of the United States has grown to become a more polarized and divisive body. The number of 5-4 decisions has increased substantially in recent times, and public support of the United States justice system lags behind much of the rest of the democratic world. Additionally, reformers cite the perceived unfairness of the current system of nominating justices, as factors outside of Presidential control determine when or if an individual President gets to nominate a new justice to the court during his presidency. As a solution to these occurrences, supporters wish to place term limits on Supreme Court justices, creating a regular and scheduled of turnover for the Court. In addition to drastically going against…show more content…
Also, the Court would become even more polarized, as candidates for President would increase the focus of their campaigns on the Supreme Court, opening the door to the influence of special interest. Many political scientists, such as David Kuhn of New Republic cite the increase in polarization as a reason for enacting a drastic change to the makeup and composition of the Supreme Court. Proponents of these changes want to enact term limits for all Supreme Court justices, spreading them out so each new justice serves for an eighteen year term, and those currently on the bench retire at two year increments, starting with the most senior justice (Kuhn). As a result, the President would…show more content…
He argues several points for why the Supreme Court should be separate of the political nature of the legislature. For starters, he claims that the legislature is inherently politicized, and that this does not lend itself to just rulings on legal issues. He wants the Court to be free of the “pestilential breath of faction may poison the fountains of justice” (Hamilton). Hamilton, like the other Framers, expresses fear over the ability for political factions to disproportionately impact the decisions of the government. Life terms are an important part of this balance. Justices do not feel pressure to follow the policies of those that appoint them, as shown in the history of the court. Several justices were appointed by Republicans and often sided with the liberal wing of the Court, and vice versa. The reason these justices felt the freedom to do so is because they know that once on the bench, they can remain there for life, even if they take stances against the party of those that nominated them. They also know they have the rest of their life to cement their legacy, and do not feel pressure to vote along with what the current popular sentiment is. This is a crucial reason why justices are able to withstand the pressures of public opinion, and prevents factions from impacting rulings. While true that under this

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