1- Discussion Question: Think back to your essay on Federalist 78, in which Hamilton suggested a relatively weak judiciary. In light of today’s readings, do you think his assertion has proved right or wrong? In a two page paper, defend your position with reference to the brief histories of the Court.
2- Discussion Question: You are President Obama. Last week, Justice Antonin Scalia, one of the Court’s reliably conservative members, was tragically killed during a hunting accident while duck-hunting with his friend Dick Cheney. Now, you get to appoint a third person to the nation's highest Court! Given your political party, political ideology, the current makeup of the Senate (particularly the Judiciary Committee), your overall political strength (i.e., public and legislative support), and your lame duck status, what kind of individual are you likely to nominate? Explain your answer in a well-crafted argument of at least two pages.
3- Discussion Question: Based on the readings for today and the two previous class sessions, does the Supreme Court confirmation process discourage the nominees from being truthful about their judicial views?
4- Discussion Question: In a two-pager, describe the Roberts Court. Assuming the membership stays the same for the next several years, what do you see as the future of American jurisprudence?
5- Discussion Question: The above 2013 article describes the Roberts Court as becoming more conservative; only two years later, the article from 2015 describes a “surprising move leftward.” What could account for this apparent contradiction?
6- Discussion Question: You are no longer President Obama. Now, you are Chief Justice Roberts (ok, you've lost your secret service protection and that really neat house, but you've got better job security, considerably less stress, and a lot fewer people actively hate your guts). One night you wake up in a cold sweat - you've just had a really bad dream. And, something about that dream has convinced you that the system of Supreme Court clerkships is ALL SCREWED UP!! As head of the U.S. Judicial Conference, you decide to issue a report on the problems with clerkships, along with recommendations for reform.
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On May 28, 1788, Alexander Hamilton published the Federalist No. 78, which has remained one of the most quoted papers in the history of American law. In the paper, Hamilton insisted on the necessity to have a more independent and more empowered judicial system in the USA constitution. He argues that the subjectivity of the judges to the influence of the external forces reduced their ability to execute their duties for the fear of victimization because of reiteration from the other arms of the government (Ragsdale, 2006). He also opined that the judiciary is the weakest arm of the government despite its crucial task of overseeing the implementation of the laws and accountability of offices in other administration offices. One of the major issues raised by Hamilton is the inability of the judiciary to act notwithstanding its power to judge. Subsequent the limitation, the judiciary remains subjected to the processes of the other arms thus limiting the general liberty and political independence....
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