December 26, 2006

Am. Gov't - Current Events and Supreme Court Notes

Class,
Here's news -
Saddam Hussein - http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13163805/
Sen. John McCain - http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16349599/
Chief Justice John Roberts - http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16353383/
Sens. Obama and Clinton - http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16343035/

Please spend an extra amount of time reading the article about Chief Justice Roberts' management of the Court. As we mentioned, the Supreme Court may be the least understood branch of Government. You know there are nine members, appointed by a President, and that they serve, for all intents and purposes, for life. But what is this Court made of, other than a group of Judges? How do they decide?

This article on John Roberts is intriguing; the Chief Justice of the United States occupies a unique role. He is not the leader of the Court per se - the Court has a collective personality. The Chief is the director of the federal judiciary, and considered the most 'senior' Justice, regardless of tenure. The Chief, when part of a majority opinion, has the authority to assign authorship of the opinion - sometimes, to himself. It is not unheard of, for a Chief to change his vote on an issue, just to be able to write a very narrow decision on an issue.

As emphasized in Marbury v. Madison, the Court decides what the law means. That is to say nine men and women decide what the law is. Therefore, personalities must play a role. Let us dig a little deeper. Please read up on the following justices:

Thurgood Marshall
Byron White
Chief Justice Earl Warren
Chief Justice William Rehnquist
Chief Justice John Roberts
Sandra Day O'Connor
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
John Paul Stevens

This is modern example of just a few of the Justices. We will address each member's specific philosophy before the end of the term.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Sadaam link isn't working, but the others did. I found them worth reading and am wondering if the news ones will be on an axam ;)

-Derek-

6:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Niether did Sandra D. O'conner :)

Derek

6:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The news articles helped me understand the subjects at hand even better. Also, the information on the justices was great, I learned a lot about them.
~Katie~

9:42 PM  

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