All intelligent people who follow the Supreme Court carefully, as I have done for decades, know that the judges are chosen primarily for Party political and policy purposes. They do have to have some semblance of “judicial credibility” with the public at large, though they need never have served a day in court as a judge, as is obvious in the appointee now being rushed through confirmation to maintain her Stealth “purity” as “umpire.”
But there are a huge number of lawyers, judges, prosecutors, and others who meet that rapidly sinking requirement. Politics and the policy goals of the politicians appointing and confirming them are the overwhelming criteria actually used now, though all the conspirators in this hollow and vapid charade, as Kagan called it in one of her rare legal review articles, will deny this obvious truth, as they do so routinely with other vitally important obvious truths.
The primary purpose of the Supreme Court in the Constitution was to provide a means by which common law and vast experience in legal practice and judging could be used at the top to resolve conflicts over the meaning of the laws at lower levels. That purpose is still commonly met in the largely non-partisan, non-political, non-hot-issue cases that come before the Court. But the Justices are appointed to deal with the red-hot issues and gain support among the people for a Party’s selections.
Since the Court has become in fact a political institution and is still important at times to the nation as a whole, it should be elected by the people to represent them, not the Party leaders and their special interest groups and “contributors.” States and citizens should begin the Constitutional procedures for passing an Amendment to the Constitution to make this change, which is now of vital interest to the nation.
Jack D. Douglas [send him mail] is a retired professor of sociology from the University of California at San Diego. He has published widely on all major aspects of human beings, most notably The Myth of the Welfare State.