Flashcards in 17.2i Supreme Court: Judicial Independence Deck (6)
Extent of US judicial independence
Supreme Court judges sit on the Supreme Court for life which protects them from political pressure.
Judges can only be removed from the Supreme Court by impeachment.
Judicial independence enables the Supreme Court to check the power of the president and Congress, and rule against them.
Limits of US judicial independence 1
The appointment process is often polticised.
The president will nominate judges whose political views and judicial philosophy is similar to their own, which influences the court's decisions on many issues.
The Senate often votes to confirm a judge on party lines (with their political party) rather than on a candidate’s ability and competency for the role.
Limits of US judicial independence 2
There is political interference in Supreme Court cases from the executive.
In 2012 President Obama said it would be “unprecedented” if the Supreme Court overruled the Affordable Care Act ahead of the National Federation of Independent Business v Sebelius case.
The US Supreme Court rules on important political issues which are important to the Democrats and Republicans.
The 2000 Bush v Gore case decided the presidential election result in favour of George W. Bush.
Campaign funding was ruled on in the 2014 McCutcheon v FEC case.
Limits to UK judicial independence
Judges have commented on political issues in recent times, which limits their independence.
The government has interfered in the judicial process by criticising a number of Supreme Court rulings.
In 2013 Theresa May criticised the judiciary for ruling not to deport foreign criminals.
The Supreme Court does not often rule against the government in cases.
This suggests a lack of independence in practice, and that the government has some influence over the Supreme Court.