The Politicizing Effects of Campaign Finance on State Judicial Elections

After the passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a great amount of controversy was generated by Republicans and Democrats, each seeking to appoint a justice who would readily make decisions attuned to the specific party. Hoping to position an agreeable judge prior to the presidential inauguration, President Barack Obama nominated federal circuit court judge Merrick Garland. With fierce opposition from Senate Republicans such as Sen. Grassley (R-IA), who sits on the Senate judiciary committee responsible for overseeing federal judicial appointments, Scalia’s seat remained vacant for the rest of Obama’s…

How the Confirmation Process of Judge Gorsuch is Entirely Political

Following Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court on January 31, a predictably polarizing debate ensued. While the Constitution requires an independent judiciary, judicial appointments, especially to the highest Court in the nation, have become partisan battles. Judge Gorsuch undoubtedly possesses the academic and professional credentials to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Court, yet the history behind this particular vacancy ensures a hostile confirmation process. Considering President Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland this past year was denied any Senate hearings due to Republican obstruction, it is…

What Neil Gorsuch Means for the Future of the Supreme Court

On Tuesday evening, President Trump revealed his nominee to fill the open vacancy on the Supreme Court left by the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who passed away unexpectedly last February. The President’s choice, Neil Gorsuch, is considered by many to be a worthy successor to Scalia given his reputation as a dependable conservative jurist within the legal community. Judge Gorsuch boasts rock-solid credentials that should make even the most obstinate Democratic senator consider his nomination. The son of a former EPA administrator, Judge Gorsuch was originally educated at Columbia and…

Why True Conservatives Should Never Be “Never Trump”

The late, great William F. Buckley, founder of the National Review, once advised his fellow conservatives that when deciding on the next president, they should choose the “most right, viable candidate who could win.” Those words – originally spoken in 1967 – are especially fitting for 2016, given how much is at stake this election cycle, and moreover, the relative unorthodox nature of the populist-conservatism Donald Trump has brought to the ticket. Though I understand many conservatives have been turned off by his rhetoric, Trump has sworn to rollback the…

Republicans, Scalia, Garland, and the Future of the Supreme Court

Justice Antonin Scalia’s unexpected death on Feb. 13 has significantly altered the landscape of the 2016 presidential election, leading the remaining candidates of both political parties to zealously praise or condemn our outgoing president’s handling of the matter. As with any issue in today’s hyper polarized political climate, many leading Republican figures contested the president’s constitutional duty – including presidential candidates and current senators, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, alongside senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, who have repeatedly vowed to strike down any Obama judicial appointment that comes his way prior…

Affirmative Action and Inequality in American Education

By this Christmas, Abigail Fisher will have visited the Supreme Court of the United States twice in four years. Abigail is the plaintiff in a case regarding the admissions policy at the University of Texas at Austin, which, like many colleges around the country, includes race as one factor in its competitive evaluation of prospective students. Since 2008, Ms. Fisher has claimed she was illegally rejected from the school, as it admitted less-qualified candidates of minority races, thus violating her right to equal protection under the law as defined in…

The Supreme Court is in Danger

The Supreme Court has long been an institution that enjoys a high approval rating among American citizens. It tends to be regarded as the most trusted branch of United States government, one that does not allow the overwhelming influence of party politics to persuade its influence the way it does on Capitol Hill or in the White House. However, in the latter half of the last century, the Court has begun to generate a more politicized presence than years past. Since deciding Brown v. Board of Education in 1956, the…

The Lessons of Consensus Building in the Jurisprudence of Stephen Breyer

Pragmatic liberal technocrat—sounds exciting, right? If you’re not exactly squirming in your seat to read more, I understand. After all, technicians don’t excite a crowd in the same way as ideologues. The more provocative philosophies on the Supreme Court—the “insistence on original intent as the only legitimate source of constitutional authority” present in Justice Antonin Scalia’s jurisprudence and the focus on America’s “evolving notions of opportunity and equality” underlining the jurisprudence of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg—attract admirers and enthusiastic supporters from their respective ideological corners because of their passion, intellectual…