Dispute Over The Constitution
The legal divide over voting and elections begins with a basic dispute over how to read the Constitution and American history.
As written in 1787, it gave voters a very limited role. Members of the House were to be chosen by the people, but state legislatures would choose their U.S. senators, appoint the electors who chose the President and set rules for elections.
But the Constitution has been repeatedly amended to broaden and bolster voting rights, including protections against discrimination based on gender and race.
The Warren court saw this evolution as putting the voters in charge of Americas democracy, but todays conservative justices espouse originalism and focus on the words of the 18th century Constitution.
Its a very different court now, USC law professor Franita Tolson said, much more deferential to the states, but also, she added, they are privileging the status quo of 1787 when the electorate was mostly white men and ignoring the more egalitarian Reconstruction Amendments.
The major ruling weakening the Voting Rights Act highlights the difference. Congress passed that law under the 15th Amendment, enacted after the Civil War to protect Black Americans from having their votes denied or their voting power diluted.
Bonica And Woodruff Campaign Finance Scores
In October 2012, political science professors Adam Bonica and Michael Woodruff of Stanford University attempted to determine the partisan outlook of state supreme court justices in their paper, “State Supreme Court Ideology and ‘New Style’ Judicial Campaigns.” A score above 0 indicated a more conservative-leaning ideology while scores below 0 were more liberal. The state Supreme Court of Pennsylvania was given a campaign finance score , which was calculated for judges in October 2012. At that time, Pennsylvania received a score of -0.02. Based on the justices selected, Pennsylvania was the 24th most liberal court. The study was based on data from campaign contributions by judges themselves, the partisan leaning of contributors to the judges, orin the absence of electionsthe ideology of the appointing body . This study was not a definitive label of a justice but rather an academic gauge of various factors.
Prior Public Service Of Incumbents
Brett Busby and Jane Bland are former Court of Appeals justices from Houston, whose re-election bids failed in November 2018 when Democrats won all of the judicial races in that election. Blacklock previously served Governor Greg Abbott as general counsel. Huddle was a justice on the First Court of Appeals in Houston.
Blacklock replaced Don Willett, who now sits on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the federal appellate court that hears appeals from federal district courts in Texas. Busby succeeds Phil Johnson, who retired in 2018, and was sworn in onÂ March 20, 2019. Jane Bland was appointed in September 2019 to fill the vacancy left by Jeff Brown, who resigned from the SCOTX to accept appointment to a U.S. district court bench. Rebeca Huddle was appointed in October 2020 to replace Paul Green, who retired from the Court on August 31, 2020. Eva Guzman, the second-most senior member of the Court, resigned on June 11, 2021, and is preparing to challenge incumbent Attorney General Ken Paxton in the GOP primary for that office.
Go For It Democrats Pack The Court
Youve got a plan to pack the Supreme Court with four new justices. And nothing says unity like Democratic dominance.
Soon you can add the whole of the federal government to your grip on the culture academia, journalism, entertainment, sports, philanthropy and now even corporate America.
As an earlier president once said, Elections have consequences.
With your 50-50-plus-one split in the Senate and your hulking six-person advantage in the 435-member House, you have all the mandate you need to control the court. To control all of us.
Make all of your policy fantasies come true your Green New Deal, defund the police, reparations for slavery, the $15 minimum wage, critical race theory, soaring corporate taxes. They can all be a river to your people.
Please dont read this as sour grapes. This is encouragement. After the Capitol riot, many of us conservatives thought the Republican Party would spend the next decade in the wilderness.
But you wont let that happen. Your hard push to the left is awakening conservatives across the country.
Dissenting Opinion Byron White
Bryon White was born in 1917 in Fort Collins, Colorado, and was educated at Yale Law School and the University of Oxford. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, where he met the future President John F. Kennedy. He worked as a law clerk and in private practice and later ran campaigns for John F. Kennedy. President Kennedy appointed him Deputy Attorney General and nominated him as Associate Justice to the Supreme Court in 1962. White was a notable conservative, and he dissented in the Roe v. Wade decision on what he viewed as disregard for potential life.
Some Republicans Feel Protected By 6
WASHINGTON Republican voters fearing a potential Joe Biden presidency are taking some solace in the belief that a newly conservative Supreme Court with Justice Amy Coney Barrett will restrain Democratic ambitions.
Some of President Donald Trumps supporters believe the new 6-3 majority of Republican appointees will be a bulwark against a Biden administrations attempts to move the country in a more progressive direction.
We have no fears because theres a conservative Supreme Court now, said Cynthia Manville of Buckeye, Arizona, who attended a Trump rally in Phoenix last Wednesday. We feel if Democrats cast legislation thats radical liberal, it wouldnt stand the test of time.
God has a certain way of watching over this country, said Manville, who attended with her husband, Steve, both of them wearing red Make America Great Again hats.
Associate Justice Samuel Alito
President George W. Bush nominated Samuel Alito to replace Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who had decided to step down from the bench earlier in the year. He was confirmed by a vote of 58-42 in January of 2006. Aliton has proven to be the better of the Justices appointed by President Bush. Chief Justice John Roberts ended up being the deciding vote in favor of keeping Obamacare, to the befuddlement of many conservatives. Alito dissented in major opinions on Obamacare, as well as a ruling in 2015 that effectively legalized gay marriage in all 50 states. Alito was born in 1950 and could serve ont he court for decades to come.Justice Alito was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2006 by Republican President George W. Bush.
Was Roe Vs Wade Decided By A Republican Court
The landmark abortion case of Roe v. Wade was decided by what theoretically should have been a “conservative” Supreme Court. The decision recognized a womans right to make individual medical decisions, including abortion in line with the constitutional right to privacy. The Court ruled that the state had no interests in a womans pregnancy in the first trimester and the woman thus had a right to terminate the pregnancy. The decision remains the most controversial of the Supreme Courts rulings in the US.
Is The Us Supreme Court Republican Or Democrat
The Supreme Court of the United States is composed of nine justices who have been given lifelong appointments by sitting presidents upon approval of the Senate. As the highest component of the judicial branch of the government of the United States, SCOTUS is responsible for reviewing the constitutionality of all U.S. laws. Sometimes they uphold the laws, sometimes they do not. SCOTUS was established by the U.S. Constitution and is one of the checks and balances to the other two branches of the government legislative and executive .
The justices who sit on the Supreme Court have been nominated by a president and confirmed by the Senate. SCOTUS is particularly important because when one side or another push through legislation or executive order, the courts and the justices evaluate and determine the constitutionality and legitimacy of the said items. They also decide legal disputes among states and discrepancies in lower court rulings. This is why an impartial reviewing of the law would be critical.
The Supreme Court should be non-partisan: judges who are appointed to it are not supposed to bring their allegiances as Republicans or Democrats to the bench. However, as the appointments are made by presidents, judges are often perceived as having ideological leanings, whether to the Republican side or the Democratic side.
Former Chief Justice William Rehnquist
From his appointment by President Ronald Reagan in 1986 until his death in 2005, Supreme Court Justice William Hubbs Rehnquist served as Chief Justice of the United States and became a conservative icon. Rehnquist’s term on the High Court began in 1972, when he was appointed by Richard M. Nixon. He wasted no time in distinguishing himself as a conservative, offering one of only two dissenting opinions in the controversial 1973 abortion-rights case, Roe v. Wade. Rehnquist was a strong supporter of state’s rights, as outlined in the Constitution, and took the concept of judicial restraint seriously, consistently siding with conservatives on the issues of religious expression, free speech and the expansion of federal powers.
Liberal Push To Expand Supreme Court Is All But Dead Among Hill Dems
Senate Republicans are still seizing on the issue in the lead-up to the 2022 midterms.
04/26/2021 04:30 AM EDT
Supreme Court expansion was one of the lefts most galvanizing ideas during the 2020 Democratic primary. But the idea is going nowhere with sitting Democratic senators.
I dont think the American public is interested in having the Supreme Court expanded, said Sen. Michael Bennet .
Sen. Mark Kelly , who represents a particularly valuable swing state, said the more responsible thing to do is to keep it at nine justices. And Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto said she opposes adding seats that politicize the court.
That trio is facing reelection in 2022, making their opinions particularly important to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer . But as Sen. Ed Markey formally pushes for high court expansion, resurfacing the popular progressive cause in response to the GOPs relentless drive to fill court seats during the Trump years, its clear that few of Markeys colleagues agree with him.
While liberal measures on election reform, police bias and congressional ethics remain relatively popular with the 50-member Senate majority, expanding the Supreme Court is close to dead among the chambers Democrats.
This is in the category of things that couldnt muster 50 votes and probably couldnt muster 40 votes, said Sen. Brian Schatz . We have a historic opportunity to make change here and we should focus on those issues where we can get a majority.
How Many Republicans Are In The Supreme Court
As of October 6, 2018, of the 9 judges on the Supreme Court, 5 were appointed by a Republican president, and 4 were appointed by a Democratic president. As of February 11, 2020, of the 13 federal appeals courts, Republican appointees have a majority on 7 courts, while Democrat appointees have a majority on 6 courts.
Secondly, how many Supreme Court Justices are conservative? Both graphs indicate that the current Roberts Court remains conservative, with four conservative justices and the median position held by Justice Anthony Kennedy , who has also become more liberal (except Kennedy
who are the 9 Supreme Court Justices and who appointed them?
Who is currently on the Supreme Court?
Current justicesThe Supreme Court consists of a chief justice, currently John Roberts, and eight associate justices.
Nonpartisan Election Of Judges
In a nonpartisan election, some states require candidates to declare their party affiliations, while some states prohibit them from doing so. If primaries are held, they do not narrow the candidates to one per party; instead, they typically narrow the candidates to two for each seat regardless of party.
In 2020, there were 31 nonpartisan state supreme court elections. Of these elections, there were:
- 31 nonpartisan seats.
Associate Justice Elena Kagan
Justice Elena Kagan joined the Supreme Court in 2010 after being nominated by former President Barack Obama.
Elena Kagan, 58, has served on the Supreme Court since 2010. She was nominated by former President Barack Obama.
Kagan has degrees from Princeton University, Oxford University and Harvard Law School. She previously was a law professor at the University of Chicago Law School and Harvard Law School. A Democrat, she also served in the Clinton administration, clerked for former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and served as the Dean of Harvard Law School.
Facts About The Supreme Court
For the second time in four years, the U.S. Supreme Court will begin its term on Monday with only eight of nine justices, following the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg in mid-September. The high court last carried out its duties with eight justices after the death of Antonin Scalia in 2016.
As it did four years ago, the death of a sitting justice has thrust the court into the center of a bruising political campaign for the White House. Republican President Donald Trump has nominated federal appellate judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill the vacancy left by Ginsburg, even as Trumps opponent, Democrat Joe Biden, calls for confirmation proceedings to be postponed until after voters have cast their ballots for president. Republicans control the U.S. Senate and have vowed to move forward with Barretts confirmation over the objections of Biden and other Democrats.
As the high court gets back to work and hears arguments in a new set of cases including one that seeks to invalidate the 2010 Affordable Care Act here are five facts about the Supreme Court, based on surveys and other recent analyses by Pew Research Center:
In the summer, before Ginsburgs death, seven-in-ten U.S. adults said they had a favorable view of the Supreme Court. That included three-quarters of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents and two-thirds of Democrats and Democratic leaners, according to an online survey using the Centers American Trends Panel.
In 2013 Reid And Democrats Lowered Vote Threshold On Most Nominees But Not For Supreme Court Picks
In 2013, Democrats held a majority in the Senate while President Barack Obama occupied the White House.
For four decades, a 60-vote supermajority had been required to advance all federal judicial nominees and executive-office appointments, per The Washington Post.
Then, Senate Republicans attempted to filibuster multiple Obama nominees to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, his pick for Defense secretary, and his choices to lead the National Labor Relations Board and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
In response, Reid orchestrated a move to lower the Senate vote threshold to 51 to confirm most presidential appointments but not nominees to the Supreme Court.
Those nominees, and legislation, could still be filibustered.
The Democrat-controlled Senate voted 52-48 in favor of the change, which was dubbed the “nuclear option.”
At the time, McConnell condemned the move.
Its a sad day in the history of the Senate, he told reporters, calling it a power grab” by Democrats.
Agreement Among The Justices
While the highest levels of agreement were among justices in the same ideological blocs, some pairs, particularly among the more conservative justices, agreed much less often than they did last term.
On the whole, Justice Breyers voting record in the last term tilted left. He voted with Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the courts most liberal member, 91 percent of the time in divided cases in which all of the justices participated, up 18 percentage points from the previous term. Only one other pair of justices agreed that often: Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Kavanaugh, also at 91 percent.
At the other end of the spectrum, Justices Alito and Sotomayor agreed just 22 percent of the time. And there were signs of division on the right side of the court. Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, Mr. Trumps first two appointees, agreed 65 percent of the time, down 20 percentage points from the previous term.
The court decided just 54argued cases with signed opinions, the second-smallest number since the 1860s. The smallest was in the last term, at 53.
The Court Is Deciding Fewer Cases
The number of decisions in argued cases has fallen fairly steadily since the 1980s.
The courts docket in the term that starts in October may not be larger, but it will contain at least two potentially far-reaching cases: a challenge to the constitutional right to abortion established in Roe v. Wade and the most important Second Amendment case in more than a decade.
Marin K. Levy, a law professor at Duke, said the decision issued on Thursday upholding voting restrictions in Arizona fundamentally changed how this term will be remembered.
It puts an exclamation point on what had otherwise been a fairly quiet term, she said. It also sets the tone for next year, when the court will hear cases on hot-button topics including gun regulation and abortion.
How Republicans Have Packed The Courts For Years
Jackie CalmesTimesDissent: The Radicalization of the Republican Party and Its Capture of the Court
While Republicans lately have been attacking Democrats for plotting to pack the federal courts with like-minded judges, their party has been doing it for years.
Through bare-knuckle tactics in the Senate, an animated base of voters and an institutionalized and well-funded pipeline for judges, Republicans have stocked the federal bench at all levels with conservatives who share the rights support for whacking at the wall between church and state and at the powers of federal regulatory agencies, banning abortion and expanding gun rights.
Republicans ruthless success in the judicial wars is most evident on the highest court in the land. As the Supreme Court with its new 6-3 conservative majority ends its term this month, the question for court-watchers isnt whether it will rule in a conservative way. Its how far-reaching will those rulings be.
The courts bent was perhaps most evident in its decision last month to review a Mississippi law generally barring abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy, after two lower courts ruled the statute plainly violated Supreme Court precedents that the Constitution protects a womans right to have an abortion until a fetus is viable. The case will be decided in the courts next term that starts in October.
List Of Elections In 2020
The map and table below detail which states held elections for supreme court seats in 2020. The darker shade of green a state appears in the map, the more seats were on the ballot. States shown in gray in the map did not hold supreme court elections in 2020.
|2020 State Supreme Court Elections|
|November 3, 2020|
Incumbent Win Rates By Year
Incumbents tend to do better in elections for any office than newcomers facing incumbents. This is no less true in state supreme court elections. Across all types of state supreme court elections, incumbent justices running for re-election won 93% of the time from 2008-2020. No more than six incumbent justices have lost in a single year during this time frame. 2008 was the year with the lowest incumbent win rate at 89%.
|Incumbent win rates in state supreme court elections|
How Conservative Is The New Supreme Court Majority Really
The 360 shows you diverse perspectives on the days top stories and debates.
The Supreme Court began its summer recess last week, bringing an end to a term that served as the first test of its new 6-3 conservative majority, with all three of former President Donald Trump’s appointees on the bench.
During Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation to replace liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the final weeks before the 2020 presidential election, Democrats warned and some Republicans hoped that a court dominated by conservatives would be primed to radically rewrite the nations laws on a host of major issues through a series of partisan decisions. That prediction, for the most part, didnt come to pass.
Over the course of this past term, the court considered a number of controversial cases, but only a few ended in 6-3 rulings along ideological lines. All nine justices sided with a religious foster care agency that had sued the city of Philadelphia after having its contract canceled because it refused to place children with same-sex couples. In a 7-2 vote, the court rebuffed the latest Republican attempt to kill the Affordable Care Act. The justices were also unanimous in knocking down restrictions on education-related spending for college athletes. Trumps efforts to challenge the results of the election were rejected by the court, with the only disagreement being among conservative justices.
Why theres debate
List Of Nominations To The Supreme Court Of The United States
|This article is part of the series on the|
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest ranking judicial body in the United States. Established by Article III of the Constitution, the Court was organized by the 1st United States Congress through the Judiciary Act of 1789, which specified its original and appellate jurisdiction, created 13 judicial districts, and fixed the size of the Supreme Court at six, with one chief justice and five associate justices. During the 19th century, Congress changed the size of the Court on seven occasions, concluding with the Judiciary Act of 1869 which stipulates that the Court consists of the chief justice and eight associate justices.
George Washington holds the record for most Supreme Court nominations, with 14 nominations . Making the second-most nominations were Franklin D. Roosevelt and John Tyler, with nine each . Three presidentsâWilliam Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, and Jimmy Carterâdid not make any nominations, as there were no vacancies while they were in office, and there have not been any vacancies during the current administration of Joe Biden.
Retention Election Of Judges
In a retention election, an incumbent judge does not face an opponent. A question is placed on the ballot asking whether each judge shall be retained for another term, and voters choose “yes” or “no.” Judges must receive majority “yes” votes in order to remain in their seats.
In 2020, there were 29 retention state supreme court elections. Of these elections, there were:
- 28 nonpartisan seats
- one Democratic-controlled seat
Roe V Wade Was Decided By A Republican
One of the major issues in this presidential election concerns the nomination and subsequent appointment of at least one Supreme Court justice and possibly two or more justices.
It seems that among evangelical Christians, two issues in particular are driving support for Donald Trump: the nomination/appointment of Supreme Court justices, and the fact that he is Republican.
During the final debate between Clinton and Trump, held at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, on October 19, 2016, and moderated by Chris Wallace of Fox News, Wallace opened the debate with discussion of the Supreme Court. Below are the excerpted responses from Clinton and Trump on the issue of nominating Supreme Court justices, especially as such concerns Roe vs. Wade.
Clinton:But I feel that at this point in our countrys history, it is important that we not reverse Roe v.Wade.
Thats how I see the court, and the kind of people that I would be looking to nominate to the court would be in the great tradition of standing up to the powerful, standing up on behalf of our rights as Americans.
Trump:I feel that the justices that I am going to appoint and Ive named 20 of them the justices that Im going to appoint will be pro-life. They will have a conservative bent.
But let us consider the assumption that justices nominated by Republican presidents will lead to overturning Roe vs. Wade.