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US Supreme court a court or a political body ?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by otago, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. otago

    otago Chieftain

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    To us from the Commonwealth it is surprising how Americans seem to be happy with a so called court that acts as a political body.
    Judges who are appointed by either Republican or Democratic Presidents whom then it seems are expected to do the bidding of the party that got them sitting on the bench, Bush versus Gore being a case in point, in other countries the Florida election Presidential 2000 would have been declared null and held again.

    Some argue that US law is mainly taken from English Common Law, so could any one name the political leanings of any of the judges on the English supreme court, a hint , they were appointed when Labour a liberal party was in power.

    If the US Supreme court is a political body should they be elected for four years at a time by the voters ?

    US judges going on book tours to sell books, now that is different, I doubt if a English Queen's Counsel would be touring selling a book he/she wrote.
     
  2. kramerfan86

    kramerfan86 Chieftain

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    There is no way to make the court neutral, either they will reflect the voters bias or their selector's bias.
     
  3. stormerne

    stormerne is just a Retired Moderator

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    I sympathize with the OP. Having immigrated to the US in 2009, I was surprised at the lack of an independent judiciary, such as I was used to in the UK. Sadly, I think universal healthcare is likely to happen here before an independent judiciary does, so I'll not be holding my breath in either case.
     
  4. timtofly

    timtofly One Day

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    It was supposed to be entirely netrual. It was supposed to be a check and balance against the other two: Presidential and the Legislative (Two Houses (One representing the people and the other the states)). It was supposed to be partial to the constitution and protect the rights of the people.

    We all know that after 180 years what is supposed to keep happening, never does.
     
  5. otago

    otago Chieftain

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    So would you say the English Supreme court would have a liberal bias because they were chosen when Labour was in power ?
     
  6. tycoonist

    tycoonist Chieftain

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    As if Labour were actually liberal...
     
  7. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    Neoliberal is technically a kind of liberal.
     
  8. Crezth

    Crezth 話說天下大勢分久必合合久必分

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  9. BvBPL

    BvBPL Pour Decision Maker

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    I don't know how people get the idea that any court is supposed to be neutral. They aren't. The court system of the English speaking world is based on an adversarial system of confrontation. The US Supreme Court takes this to its logic end game by creating a forum wherein ideas, laws, and what not can be directly challenged and defended by skilled litigators overlooked by justices who seek out any weakness in arguments.
     
  10. Leoreth

    Leoreth 心の怪盗団 Moderator

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    Sure, but there's a difference between left- or right-leaning judges and complete partisanship. It's completely intolerable that 8 of 9 votes are set in every issue simply by ideology and not judicial expertise.

    There are ways to avoid this, at least partially. Requiring consent between both parties in the selection of every judge, for example. But of course, that would require compromise, and that's not intended in the US political system.
     
  11. Joecoolyo

    Joecoolyo 99% Lightspeed

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    Judges have to be approved by Congress.
     
  12. MagisterCultuum

    MagisterCultuum Great Sage

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    Actually, federal judges have to be approved by The Senate. The House of Representatives has no say in the matter.


    I tend to think that, rather than simply naming a candidate and having the Senate say yea or nay, the president ought to provide several candidates for Congress to choose between (preferably by range voting). Or maybe it would be better the other way around, where the president decides between several Congressional suggestions.

    I still think that judges (and all government officials) should also be able to be fired by ballot initiative.
     
  13. Joecoolyo

    Joecoolyo 99% Lightspeed

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    Yeah, that's why I said Congress, I blanked and couldn't remember which one did it.
     
  14. kochman

    kochman Chieftain

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    Do you really believe that in the UK the judiciary is immune to political bias?
    The fact is, presidents tend to appoint those who follow their thinking... Reagan being an exception.
     
  15. Agent327

    Agent327 Observer

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    As been mentioned before, liberal has a completely different meaning outside the US.

    As per the OP, any court is a political body, whether its members are appointed or elected (like sheriffs). The judiciary is part of the so-called trias politica.

    Other than that, I don´t quite see what´s there to discuss.
     
  16. MagisterCultuum

    MagisterCultuum Great Sage

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    Wait, wasn't the House of Lords your highest court right up until the year you immigrated? Is that somehow not partisan?

    The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom is only 3 years old. Give it time. I'm sure it will become corrupted with partisanship eventually, it is isn't already/.
     
  17. ParkCungHee

    ParkCungHee Chieftain

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    You say that like the House of Lords wasn't horrifically partisan.
     
  18. uppi

    uppi Warlord

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    The structure of the US legal system gives the Supreme Court legislative power, because it is a source of law. Legislative powers are inherently political, so it should not be a surprise to anyone that the Supreme Court acts as a political body.
     
  19. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    I assume you're only speaking of the likelihood of making the court neutral within the American system, rather than the likelihood of having a semblance of neutrality in a court system.

    Of course, you can never have total neutrality; some judges will have different views on the law than others, and this could and does lead to different judgments at times (and that's why you have multi-judge benches; the opinions will balance out). But that's a far cry off the system actually being political, rather than simply just betraying unavoidable tendencies. So what is it that is so peculiar about the US that makes their judiciary so evidently political?
     
  20. kochman

    kochman Chieftain

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    No, it interprets laws made by the legislature to determine if they are Constitutional. It doesn't legislate, it reviews... checks and balances.
     

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