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The Supreme Court History and Structure Are Narrative Worth Explorations!

Supreme Court was established by the Judiciary Act of 1789 making it the most powerful court of the land. The Supreme court held the unique status of an independent branch of government that coexists and shares power with the Executive and Legislative branches.

Why was the Supreme Court made an Independent Judiciary?

Perhaps the detailed answer to that question can wait, but for now let’s stick to its existence as a branch of the government that ensures its supreme power in interpreting the national, state, and local laws are in agreement with the Constitution…that its interpretation of the meaning of the constitution and laws is final and authoritative…that its decisions serve as a guideline for every other court in the nation and can be changed only by constitutional amendment or by Supreme Court itself…But what if Supreme Court is wrong in its decision? Or when they rule as conservative justices or liberal justices?

“By making the judicial branch independent, they protected the court from domination by either Congress or the President. Consequently, although presidential nominees to the Supreme Court must be confirmed by the majority vote of the Senate, once they are appointed to the court, they serve for life and can only be removed for serious wrongdoing, and only through a cumbersome impeachment process”.

So, Supreme Court is the only federal branch that is comprised of non-elected members, because its justices are appointed by the president with the “advice and consent” of Congress, hence one can argue that, with the increasingly growing of partisan politics, this set a dangerous path that can give rise to the competition of conservative justices and liberal justices appointments cementing the partisan elements than the impartiality to the law and the body itself as an independent judiciary branch.

The Supreme Court has been shaping the laws of the United States since 1789, and the number of the Justices has changed over time, starting with six and currently settling at the total of Nine including a Chief Justice since 1869.

During the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1937 and the economic Great Depression going on, the Supreme Court overruled most of his New Deal legislative policies proposals as unconstitutional as a result of this Roosevelt decided to enlarge the court by appointing one additional justice for every sitting justice reached age 70 years and failed to retire, a proposal that was designed to enable President Roosevelt to appoint six new justices favored by his programs, hence secure a majority member in the supreme court! Does this sound familiar or resemble what recently happened under Trump's presidency?

Although Roosevelt’s court-parking” legislation as it was known didn’t survive, the Supreme Court has had an average of a new Justice joins the Court almost every two years. And one can argue that this happened in a recent situation while the nation is under the threat of a deadly pandemic, just as FDR was during the Great Depression one party or both can engage in “court-packing” as the case of Donald Trump who spent his presidency packing the court with far-right conservative judges, and now the Supreme Court has the conservative majority justices threatening our voting rights, same-sex marriage, and women rights.

This unprecedented act of “court-packing” has sparked a debate about the future of the Supreme Court as an 'independent Judiciary' that is capable of functioning impartially given the appointments of its Justice members based on partisan. If the number of justices is to remain unfixed will set unprecedented political turmoil sooner than later.

As Robert Reich put it, “Should the Supreme Court Be REFORMED?” (, ). He suggested several proposals that need to be adapted to strengthen the Supreme Court. I believe the Supreme Court term limiting and expanding the court members to be very crucial to avoid partisan loyalty due to how the Justices are appointed nowdays-the competition and maneuvers between the two political parties as to whom should appoint the Supreme Court Justices is becoming too political jeopardizing the whole functioning of the Judicial branch.

And yes, the “Supreme Court drive its strength not from the use of force or political power, but from the integrity as an impartial judicator. In the era of increasing political polarization, we should rethink how the court is organized, to rebuild public trust with neither the sword nor the purse; trust is all it has”.

Currently, we see a Supreme Court lacking its supreme leadership as an Independent Judiciary branch even under its leader, “The Chief Justice, John G. Roberts, Jr. who was not interested in presiding over the Senate impeachment trial against former president Donald Trump-whether the constitution offered him such leverage or there was/is judicial integrity challenged or missed led to many questions about the Supreme Court power of impartiality. Or recently the Supreme Court ruling against women's rights-reproductive rights by siding with the states of Texas and Mississippi to restrict/ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy which undermines the constitutional rights to reproductive rights for women established in Roe V. Wade.

All Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr. could do was to issue a warning against inappropriate political influence in federal courts, stressing the need for Judicial independency, “The Judiciary’s power to manage its internal affairs insulates courts from inappropriate political influence and is crucial to preserving public trust in its work as a separate and co-equal branch of government…Decisional independence is essential to due process, promoting impartial decision-making, free from political or other extraneous influence”.

That warning should not be taken lightly, for it is a sign that more needs to be done to curb political influence in the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court needs to be impartial, not political, abiding by the rule of law, and remain unpartisan, however, given the most recent Supreme Court involvements on issues pertaining to public safety and individual rights it seems inevitable to call for the Supreme Court reforms to bring and ensure public trust on the highest court of the land.

The recent announcement by Justice Stephen Breyer, age 83 set to retire at the end of the current term in June has spiked the debate once again as to who will replace him, conservative or liberal? However, this time the debate is about whether a black woman could fill in the position. The debate has intensified because President Joe Biden hinted that he would appoint a Black woman.

I would argue that most Americans would want to see a more diverse and inclusive Supreme Court. As it stands today, only two Black men, Justice Thurgood Marshall appointed by the 36thPresident, Lyndon B. Jackson in 1967, and Justice Clarence Thomas appointed by the 41st President Georg H.W. Bush in 1991, all were Republicans, appointed by Republican presidents!!!

It will be enough, to agree on two critical realities: One, that it is overdue to have another Black Justices in the Supreme Court. It has been 30 years since the last Black Justice was appointed to the Supreme Court. But second, that appointment should come from a Democrat president, though by the essence of the Supreme Court functions as impartial and independent branch who nominate which Justices should not carry water; but more importantly, its time to make the Supreme Court more diverse and inclusive to represent true ideals and principles of the founding fathers about equal representation in all levels.

Not only that Joe Biden must consider a Black woman to appoint for Supreme Court to make the Supreme Court diverse, but also less gender bias, at the same time honor what makes America of all stripes equal in serving their government.

Is it an intentional or unintentional bias when the media make an argument that President Joe Biden should have not said that he will appoint a Black Woman to the Supreme Court?

Not only that it is biased, but also shameful remarks consider that his predecessors said the same thing about who they would nominate for the Supreme Court when the opportunity avails itself to make appointments of the Supreme Court Justices, yet there was no outcry argument about their choices of nominees as it has been on Joe Biden. Why?

The critiques of Joe Biden as to why he would suggest a Black Woman for the Supreme Court have failed miserably or purposefully to recognize that it has been 233 years history of the Supreme Court existence without a representation of a Black Woman Justice in the Supreme Court.

Now in the 21st Century, a Black Woman is ought to be nominated for a Supreme Court Justice especially since there are capable and qualified Black Women layers/Judges in all levels of the legal system to hold such a position. That is what the principles of equality, justice, and liberty for all US citizens stand for, i.e., an equal opportunity and freedom to become, and the rights to acquire and possess a job that you are qualified for.

The Federalist paper 78 Alexander Hamilton writes, the Judicial branch “will be the least dangerous” to the liberty of the American people, but that reality is far from the truth if the Supreme Court continues to exist under the current political sphere of influence, instead of an 'Independent Jucicialry' as envisioned in the Constitution.

Recently, we saw Supreme Court supporting the state's laws by trucking down federal laws that have been previously passed to protect the liberty of American women-Roe v. Wage, the siding with the big corporations on vaccines mandate at the expense of the overall public health and safety.

Another, political scenario: Let assume Donald Trump decides to run again, and his party nominate him, ignoring the fact that he has been previously impeached twice, supported insurrections, staged fake election electors, and violated many laws and the constitution, including the 14th amendment section 3 that states:

“No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer in the United State, or a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same or given aid or comfort to the enemies there”.

Will the current Supreme Court with a conservative majority tied in loyalty to the party than to the constitution, act impartially to stop him, or will they further ignore the Constitution and rule in favor of the party/Donald Trump?

There is no higher court than the Supreme Court. If so, what is the higher purpose of the Supreme Court than interpreting and applying the laws impartially, not as conservative justices or liberal justices?

In a nutshell

Joe Biden’s Supreme Court Justice appointment must be viewed as nominating a law-abiding judge worth the Supreme Court position, at the same time as an acknowledgment of the long-past-due denial of equal representation that gives all citizens equal rights to serve in their government, including the Supreme Court.

Instead of arguing and worrying about whether to nominate a conservative or a liberal justice, it is time to act and say unequivocally appoint a Back Woman to the Supreme Court because that makes the Supreme Court diverse and inclusive as envisioned by the founding fathers’ ideals and principles of the government of the people, by the people, and for the people.


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