Flashcards in Supreme Court Deck (68)
What is the Judicial system in the US?
13 courts of appeal (Circuit)
94 trial courts (District)
What % of cases does the Supreme Court hear?
How are Supreme Court Justices appointed?
Nominated by President and confirmed by a simple majority in the Senate
What is the nuclear option?
Filibusters can no longer be used in the confirmation process, meaning the 60 votes to overrule is no longer necessary
Which SCJ resigned in 1968 so as to avoid Impeachment?
Who is currently on the Supreme Court
What is a strict constructionist approach, and what do they tend to favour?
Justice of the Supreme Court who interprets the Constitution in a strict, literal of conservative fashion
Favour state rights over the federal government power
What is a loose constructionist approach, and what do they favour?
Justice of the Court who interprets the Constitution in a loose or liberal fashion
Tend to favour the power of the federal government over state rights
What is Judicial Activism?
Making decisions which hold that a judge should use their power to promote desirable social ends
Give two examples of activist courts?
Warren Court - Brown vs Board 1954
Burger Court - Roe vs Wade 1973
What is judicial restraint?
The idea that a judge should defer power to the legislative and executive branches, and should put great emphasis on precedence established previously
What kind of court is more likely to declare an Act of Congress unconstitutional?
A judicially active court
How many justices did Clinton and Bush Jnr appoint?
How many vacancies were there between 1995 and 2004?
Why are Supreme Court nominations so important?
The justice tends to out serve the President
Eg. Nixon left office in 1974, died in 1994. Rehnquist served until 2005
What are the 3 key pools of recruitment for Supreme Court Justices?
Department of Justice
Federal Courts of Appeals
How many of the current Justices come from the circuit courts?
8, only Kagan isn't
What court of appeals did Neil Gorsuch come from?
From which state court was Sandra Day O'Connor from?
Arizona in 1981
What was Kagans job when appointed in 2010?
Solicitor General at the Department of Justice
When did Trump announce Neil Gorsuch as his appointment?
31st January 2017
Before which committee does a nominee appear?
Senate Judicial Committee
Why is the Senate hearing so important?
If it goes badly the candidate may have to withdraw
Harriet Miers withdrew is 2005 after Republican opposition
How does the Senate Commitee pass the candidate to the floor?
Makes a recommendatory decision that's normally quite accurate
Bork (5-9) - 42-58
Gorsuch (11-9) - 55-45
How many nominee has the Senate rejected, and who was the most recent?
Who was Sotomayor appointed to replace and when?
David Souter, May 2009
Why were Republicans keen not to reject Sotomayor? 
Didn't want to be seen to be rejecting a Hispanic nominee
Had similar philosophy to Souter so didn't change the balance of the court
How did the Committee vote on Sotomayor, and how did the Senate vote?
Why was Kagans nomination key? 
At the age of 50, she was the youngest member of the court
First time the court included 3 females