The 2020 U.S. Supreme Court and Political Identity

Authors

  • Paweł Laidler Jagiellonian University in Kraków

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.12797/Politeja.17.2020.68.11

Keywords:

political identity, U.S. Supreme Court, constitutionalization, judicialization, political justice

Abstract

This article aims to determine current political identity of the U.S. Supreme Court by analyzing the process of appointment of its recent Justices and their ideology. The Author claims that ideology and politics play decisive role on Court’s jurisprudence, but that it was Anthony Kennedy’s retirement in 2018 which defined the direction of Court’s adjudication for years to come. The analysis shows important role of the President and Senate in the process of indirect interpretation of the Constitution by the appointment of Justices representing certain ideology.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Paweł Laidler, Jagiellonian University in Kraków

Professor of political science at the Institute of American Studies and Polish Diaspora of the Jagiellonian University, lawyer, expert in the U.S. political and legal systems, currently engaged in an international project on trust and transparency in an age of surveillance, as well as the process of constitutionalization of politics in the United States.

References

Abraham H.J., Justices, Presidents, Senators, Revised: The History of the U.S. Supreme Court Appointments from Washington to Bush II, Lanham 2007.

Alderman M., Pickard D., “Justice Scalia’s Heir Apparent? Judge Gorsuch’s Approach to Textualism and Originalism”, Stanford Law Review, vol. 69 (2017), at <https://www.stanfordlawreview.org/online/spotlight-textualism-originalism>.

“Anthony Kennedy: U.S. Supreme Court Justice to Retire”, The Guardian, 27 June 2018, at <https://www.theguardian.com/law/2018/jun/27/anthony-kennedy-us-supreme-courtjustice-to-retire>.

Benwell B., Stokoe E., Discourse and Identity, Edinburgh 2013.

Bernstein M., “Identity Politics”, Annual Review of Sociology, vol. 31 (2005), https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.soc.29.010202.100054.

Buchanan M.J., “Trump’s Ideological Judges Have Led to Politicized Courts”, Center for American Progress, 23 October 2020, at <https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/courts/news/2020/10/23/492268/trumps-ideological-judges-led-politicized-courts/>.

Cerulo K.A., “Identity Construction: New Issues, New Directions”, Annual Review of Sociology, vol. 23 (1997), https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.soc.23.1.385.

Chemerinsky E., “Justice Gorsuch Fulfills Expectations from the Right and the Left”, American Bar Association Journal, 1 August 2019, at <https://www.abajournal.com/news/article/chemerinsky-justice-gorsuch-fulfills-expectations-from-right-and-left>.

Colby C., “U.S. Supreme Court is Headed for Dramatic 2021. Here are 5 Things that May Change”, C-Net, 12 November 2020, at <https://www.cnet.com/how-to/us-supremecourt-is-headed-for-a-dramatic-2021-here-are-5-things-that-may-change/>.

Collins P.M., Friends of the Supreme Court: Interest Groups and Judicial Decision Making, New York 2008, https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195372144.001.0001.

Colucci F.J., Justice Kennedy’s Jurisprudence: The Full and Necessary Meaning of Liberty, Lawrence 2009.

Confirmation Hearing on the Nomination of Hon. Neil M. Gorsuch to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, Senate Judiciary Committee, United States Senate, 20-23 March 2017, at <https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CHRG-115shrg28638/pdf/CHRG-115shrg28638.pdf>.

Cotter D.A, The Chief Justices. The Seventeen Men of the Center Seat, Their Courts, and Their Times, New York 2019.

Dias E., Ruiz R.R., LaFraniere S., “Rooted in Faith, Amy Coney Barrett Represents New Conservatism”, The New York Times, 11 October 2020, at <https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/11/us/politics/amy-coney-barrett-life-career-family.html>.

“Did Anthony Kennedy Just Destroy His Legacy?”, Politico Magazine, 27 June 2018, at <https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/06/27/anthony-kennedy-legacysupreme-court-218900>.

Dodson S. (ed.), The Legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, New York 2015, https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781107477131.

Eckerstrom P.J., “The Garland’s Nomination, the Senate’s Duty, and the Surprising Lesson of Constitutional Text”, Journal of Constitutional Law, vol. 21, no. 1 (2018).

Ehrman J., Flamm M.W., Debating the Reagan Presidency, Lanham 2009.

Estrada G., “The Politicization of Justice in Latin America”, Open Democracy, 19 June 2018, at <https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/democraciaabierta/politicization-of-justice-inlatin-america/>.

Farber D. (ed.), Security v. Liberty: Conflicts Between Civil Liberties and National Security in American History, New York 2008.

Gersen J.S., “What the Democrats Achieve by Threatening to Pack the Supreme Court”, The New Yorker, 28 October 2020, at <https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/what-democrats-achieve-by-threatening-to-pack-the-supreme-court>.

Goldstein J., Reyner J., “The Politics of Identity in Late Modern Society”, Theory and Society, vol. 23, no. 3 (1994).

Gramlich J., “How Trump Compares with Other Recent Presidents in Appointing Federal Judges”, Pew Research Center, 15 July 2020, at <https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/07/15/how-trump-compares-with-other-recent-presidents-in-appointing-federaljudges/>.

Greenhouse L., “Senate, 97 to 0, Confirms Kennedy to High Court”, The New York Times, 4 February 1988, at <https://www.nytimes.com/1988/02/04/us/senate-97-to-0-confirmskennedy-to-high-court.html>.

Hamilton A., “Federalist 78”, in The Federalist Papers, New York 1999.

Hatch O., “Amy Coney Barrett Deserves to be Confirmed, She’s One of the Most Impressive Nominees I’ve Ever Seen”, Fox News, 26 October 2020, at <https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/amy-coney-barrett-confirmed-nominee-orrin-hatch>.

Hill J.D., Wilson T.M., “Identity Politics and the Politics of Identities”, Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power, vol. 10 (2003), https://doi.org/10.1080/10702890304336.

Isaac-Dovere E., “Cory Booker on Why Democrats Haven’t Stopped Barrett”, The Atlantic, 23 October 2020, at <https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/10/cory-bookeramy-coney-barrett/616834/>.

“Important Issues in the 2020 Election”, Pew Research Center, 13 August 2020, at <https://www.pewresearch.org/politics/2020/08/13/important-issues-in-the-2020-election/>.

Jacobsohn G.J., Roznai Y., Constitutional Revolution, New Haven 2020, https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctv10sm8x0.

Jesse N.G., Williams K.P., Identity and Institutions. Conflict Reduction in Divided Societies, SUNY Press, New York 2005.

“Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh: His Jurisprudence and Potential Impact on the Supreme Court”, Congressional Research Service, 21 August 2018, at <https://www.everycrsreport.com/reports/R45293.html>.

Kennedy A., Speech, American Bar Association meeting (2003), at <http://www.november.org/stayinfo/breaking/Kennedyspeech.html>.

Knowles H.J., The Tie Goes to Freedom: Justice Anthony M. Kennedy on Liberty, Lanham 2009.

Laidler P., Sąd Najwyższy Stanów Zjednoczonych Ameryki. Od prawa do polityki, Kraków 2011.

Leuchtenburg W.E., Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal: 1932-1940, New York 2009.

Levine M., “McConnell, Schumer Trade Insults ahead of Barrett Confirmation”, Politico, 22 October 2020, at <https://www.politico.com/news/2020/10/22/mcconnell-schumerbarrett-scotus-confirmation-431240>.

Mutch R.J., Buying the Vote: A History of Campaign Finance Reform, New York 2014.

Nemacheck C., Strategic Selection: Presidential Nominations for Supreme Court Justices from Herbert Hoover through George W. Bush, Charlottesville 2008.

Popova M., Politicized Justice in Emerging Democracies: A Study of Courts in Russia and Ukraine, New York 2012, https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139055345.

Pramuk J., Steinberg M., “Anthony Kennedy Retiring from Supreme Court”, CNBC, 27 June 2018, at <https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/27/anthony-kennedy-retiring-from-supremecourt.html>.

“President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court of the United States”, The White House, 26 September 2020, at <https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/president-donald-j-trump-announces-intentnominate-judge-amy-coney-barrett-supreme-court-united-states/>.

Reynolds M., Robert A., “4 Major Takeaways from the Amy Coney Barrett Confirmation Hearings”, American Bar Association Journal, 15 October 2020, at <https://www.abajournal.com/web/article/four-takeaways-from-the-amy-coney-barrett-confirmation-hearings>.

Rountree C., Judging the Supreme Court: Constructions of Motives in Bush v. Gore, East Lansing 2007.

Schmidt C.W., “The Supreme Court and the 2016 Presidential Campaign”, Chicago-Kent Law Review, vol. 93 (2018).

“Schumer Floor Remarks on the Supreme Court Vacancy”, Senate Democrats, 27 June 2018, at <https://www.democrats.senate.gov/newsroom/speeches/schumer-floor-remarks-on-thesupreme-court-vacancy>.

Shear M.D., Davis J.H., Harris G., “Obama Pick Engages Supreme Court Battle”, New York Times, 17 March 2016.

Shipan C.R., Shannon M.L., “Delaying Justice(s): A Duration Analysis of Supreme Court Confirmations”, American Journal of Political Science, vol. 47, no. 4 (2003), https://doi.org/10.1111/1540-5907.00046.

Simon P., Advice and Consent: Clarence Thomas, Robert Bork, and the Intriguing History of the Supreme Court Nomination Battles, Washington DC 1992.

“Supreme Court”, Gallup, at <https://news.gallup.com/poll/4732/Supreme-Court.aspx>. The Constitution of the United States, Articles I-III.

Thomson-DeVeaux A., Bronner L., Wiederkehr A., “How Conservative is Amy Coney Barrett?”, FiveThirtyEight, 14 October 2020, at <https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/howconservative-is-amy-coney-barrett/>.

Tomlins C. (ed.), The United States Supreme Court: The Pursuit of Justice, Boston 2005.

Toobin J., “There Should Be No Doubt Why Trump Nominated Amy Coney Barrett”, The New Yorker, 26 September 2020, at <https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/there-should-be-no-doubt-why-trump-will-nominate-amy-coney-barrett>.

Trautwein C., Inside the Kavanaugh Hearings: An Oral History, 21 May 2019, at <https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/supreme-court-kavanaugh-collins-flake-heitkampblasey-ford/>

Tribe L., Matz J., Uncertain Justice. The Robert’s Court and the Constitution, New York 2014.

“Trump, Biden Debate Amy Coney Barrett Supreme Court Nomination”, NBC News, 30 September 2020, at <https://www.nbcnews.com/video/trump-biden-debate-amy-coneybarrett-supreme-court-nomination-92820549541>.

Weiden D.L., “Judicial Politicization, Ideology, and Activism at the High Courts of the United States, Canada, and Australia”, Political Research Quarterly, vol. 64, no. 2 (2011), https://doi.org/10.1177/1065912909352775.

Wolf R., “Supreme Friends: Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia”, USA Today, 20 September 2020, at <https://eu.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/09/20/supremefriends-ruth-bader-ginsburg-and-antonin-scalia/5844533002/>.

Woodward C., “Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh and His Carefully Constructed Life”, Chicago Tribune, 1 September 2018, at <https://www.chicagotribune.com/nationworld/ct-supreme-court-nominee-kavanaugh-profile-20180901-story.html>.

Zoll F., Wortham L., “Judicial Independence and Accountability: Withstanding Political Stress in Poland”, Fordham International Law Journal, vol. 42, no. 3 (2019).

Zurcher A., “Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Death Sparks Political Firestorm”, BBC News, 19 September 2020, at <https://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2020-54215483>.

Downloads

Published

2021-04-19

How to Cite

Laidler, Paweł. 2021. “The 2020 U.S. Supreme Court and Political Identity”. Politeja 17 (5(68):215-35. https://doi.org/10.12797/Politeja.17.2020.68.11.

Issue

Section

NATIONAL IDENTITIES, REGIONAL IDENTITIES, ETHNIC IDENTITIES

Funding data