View Full Version : A question for the septics regarding the Supremes

Onan the Clumsy
15th Sep 2005, 21:20
Why is is that when the head one croaks, you get another head guy?

Wouldn't it make more sense to make one of the current nine...well eight I suppose... the top dude and then look for a junior?

15th Sep 2005, 21:27
Diana Ross has died?

15th Sep 2005, 23:00
I was thinking the same thing but on NPR (National Public Radio),the other day the "experts" were discussing said question.

The statement was made that out of the 16 Supreme Justices only 5 had been promoted from within. Of that 5 only a couple, and they named Renquist as one, had made a succesful "chief". The others had been less than stellar.

Doesnt answer the question I suppose but there is a precedent.

Send Clowns
15th Sep 2005, 23:06
It allows greater influence. The President's own appointee gets the top job, rather than one of a limited choice.

15th Sep 2005, 23:24
It also allows a younger man to get the job, thus ensuring some continuity and stability for longer.

15th Sep 2005, 23:37
An Associate Justice when nominated to be Chief Justice of the United States, has to be confirmed by the US Senate. Should the Associate Justice not be confirmed as Chief Justice, he remains an Associate Justice.

This factor alone may have been the reason Roberts has been nominated as Chief Justice....as the first nomination will be easier than a second one when the courts makeup will switch from Liberal to Conservative as the President is thought to surely nominate conservative judges for both vacant positions. Roberts is less conservative than expected thus the next nominee may well be a hard fought confirmation.

In addition to the duties of the Associate Justices, the Chief Justice has the following duties:

The Chief Justice is considered to be the justice with most seniority, independent of the number of years he or she has served.

In any vote, the most senior Justice in the majority has the power to decide who will write the Opinion of the Court. Since the Chief Justice is always considered the most senior member, if he or she is in the majority then the Chief Justice may decide to write the Opinion of the Court, or assign it to some other member of the majority of his or her choice (the Opinion must still receive the votes of a majority of Justices after being written; on occasion votes have been known to switch depending on the written drafts, making someone else's draft the Opinion of the Court).

Chairs the conferences where cases are discussed and voted on by the Justices. The Chief Justice normally speaks first, and so has great influence in framing the discussion.

The Constitution stipulates that the Chief Justice shall preside when the Senate tries an impeachment of the President of the United States.

Two Chief Justices, Salmon P. Chase and William Rehnquist, have had the duty of presiding over the trial in the Senate that follows an impeachment of the President Chase in 1868 over the proceedings of President Andrew Johnson and Rehnquist in 1999 over the proceedings against President Bill Clinton.

Presides over the impeachment trial of the Vice President if the Vice President is serving as Acting President (no Vice President has been impeached, though Spiro Agnew resigned under threat of impeachment, and none has been Acting President for more than a few hours).

Administers the oath of office at the inauguration of the President of the United States. This is a traditional, not a constitutional, responsibility of the Chief Justice. All federal and state judges, as well as notaries public, are empowered by law to administer oaths and affirmations.

Serves as the Chancellor of the Smithsonian Institution.
Serves as the head of the Judicial Conference of the United States, the chief administrative body of the U.S. federal courts. The Judicial Conference is empowered by the Rules Enabling Act to promulgate rules to ensure the smooth operation of the federal courts. Major portions of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Evidence have been adopted by most state legislatures and are considered canonical by American law schools.