Supreme Court justices shouldn’t be chosen by the president

By Matt Kyle | Staff Writer

Recently, Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court nomination was confirmed by the Senate, making her the first Black woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court. This was an important moment in American history, but Jackson’s hearings were wrought with hostile questioning from many Republicans.

Much of this questioning had nothing to do with whether or not Jackson is qualified for the court — which she absolutely is — but rather with political tomfoolery as senators grilled her on topics like transgender identity and critical race theory. I have no idea how or why these topics would ever come up in a court of law, much less the Supreme Court. They are completely irrelevant to this process. It was ridiculous, and to me, it shows the problem with the nomination process of the Supreme Court: It should not be politicized.

It is absurd that the president is the one who picks Supreme Court justices. This turns the whole process into political theater and creates division. At the beginning of Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination process in 2020, Lindsey Graham said Barrett’s nomination was basically guaranteed, saying “All Republicans will vote yes, and all Democrats will vote no.” That pretty much shows how much of a game this is to them, as the president can pick whoever they want to continue their political agenda.

Furthermore, why are justices appointed for life? This means whichever judge is confirmed can exert their political beliefs through their decisions potentially for the rest of their life. Every other branch of government has an end to their term, so why should the Supreme Court be any different?

Politics should have no place in the Supreme Court. Rather, justices should be completely objective. I know this is basically impossible, but it is scary to think that rulings on laws or cases can be made based on political beliefs of the justices rather than constitutionality.

Take how many people are scared now about the court overturning Roe v. Wade. Abortion has been one of the most divisive issues politically, and it is unbelievably frightening to think that Roe may be overturned simply because Republicans happened to win the political game and get more Supreme Court justices. This case should be decided on whether these abortion laws are constitutional or not, and personal political biases should have no impact on that decision. Either side, Republican or Democrat, can overturn whichever cases it wants as long as it has more justices who are on its side sitting on the court.

The law affects everyone equally, regardless of political opinions. So why then is the highest court in America politically divided? I don’t know what could be done to fix this, as electing justices by the people would just lead to more political division, but something must be done.

I’m tired of Supreme Court nomination processes being political theater. Politics should have no place in the law.