Law Essay Example on Judicial Philosophy and Ideology

Published: 2019-10-16
Law Essay Example on Judicial Philosophy and Ideology
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Politics Law Judicial system
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 929 words
8 min read

The American judicial system is highly influenced by political decisions. United States judges are chosen from ordinary lawyers in the country with no prior judicial training. This applies even to Supreme Court judges who are ranked the highest in the judiciary. The chosen judges receive training that is beyond their legal education. Lawyers can specialize in different judiciary roles but there are no courses which prepare students for a judicial career. However, justices may have a prior court experience to help them gain adequate judicial experience.

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Sonia was the first Latin judge in the United States. Her dedication towards work and her outstanding performance made her eligible for the Supreme Court judge position. The president can propose candidates for Supreme Court judge positions. However, each candidate nominated by the President must be approved by the Senate majority. Supreme Court judges have no mandatory retirement contracts, thus, they can serve until they opt to retire (Ball, Dagger & O'Neill, 2015). This makes vacancies in the Supreme Court sporadic. The political views of Supreme Court justices depend on the current political landscape at the period when they were appointed. For instance, a popular president, who belongs to party with the majority Senate members, can make different justice choices compared to an unpopular president who has a minority Senate support.

Nevertheless, all the Justices chosen for the Supreme Court have a commitment to uphold the countrys constitution. The fidelity of the Justices when upholding the constitution enables the United States to follow the rule of law rather than popular vote. Therefore, the Senate can refuse a nominee appointed by the President if he or she does not suit the position in terms of qualification and their political ideologies. For instance, Sonia was the right candidate for the judicial position because she had dedicated most of her life towards serving legal firms that fought for the minority groups in the United States. Moreover, she was possessed an outstanding character as a lawyer.

Observers of the judiciary process usually question the role of Justices appointed in the Supreme Court based on their political views. Some justices may be reluctant to change previous laws enacted by federal and state legislatures. In comparison, other judges consider legislature oversights carefully because they are the guardians of the constitution. The decision making process embodied by judges depends on their political and philosophical ideologies. For instance, some judges are reluctant to change laws because they believe the constitution should be interpreted according to its original meaning. Judges with this judicial philosophy may seem to be unsympathetic to cases where individuals violate constitutional rights. Further, some judges may attribute the lack of sympathy in the decisions to politics rather than using judicial philosophies.

Moreover, the personal experience and life background of a judge may have a great influence over how they approach different cases (Mason & Stephenson, 2015). For instance, a judge who grew up in poor conditions may have a sense of empathy towards the poor. Further, a judge who has a good experience in government or military bodies can provide good judgment to cases concerning government and military cases. In Sonias case, she was the right candidate for the Supreme Court job because she has a good experience with social problems and she had shown great dedication in her work as a legal consultant. Therefore, the Senate was impressed by her judicial philosophy and her work ethic. Some candidates proposed by the President may fail to win the majority Senate support because of their political ideologies that may conflict with some judicial philosophies.


Sonias case explains the essence of judicial philosophies compared to political ideologies. The Supreme Court has the power to oversee the actions of the congress and the president. Thus, the Supreme Court can rule against a Presidents decision if it is unconstitutional (Ball, Dagger & O'Neill, 2015). Consequently, the judiciary is essential in upholding the constitution. For instance, the judiciary limits the performance of a democratic government to ensure that the majority do not take advantage of the minority. Sonia was a well qualified justice for the position and all the odds were against her because previous justices were from wealthy backgrounds and there was gender superiority. It is the role of the judiciary through the congress to ensure that justices are elected after critical evaluation of their career.

The President and the Congress act as players in the judiciary whereas the Supreme Court acts as the moderator. The cooperative functioning of these parties ensures there is an improvement in the performance of the judicial systems. In the United States, some issues are addressed by using justices who have experience in the conflicting issue. For instance, Sonia was elected as the head of the southern New York district court after an approval by the congress. This election was justified because Sonia had experience in different legal issues such as social issues and corporate issues. Moreover, she had a first experience with racism and other social issues that affect people in the United States.


It is the role of every democratic government to ensure that they follow due process when electing justices. Justices should be elected based on the judicial philosophies rather than their political ideologies. This helps to improve the performance of judicial systems when making court rulings. The evaluation of the justices professional and social background is necessary to understand their character.


Ball, T., Dagger, R., & O'Neill, D. I. (2015). Political ideologies and the democratic ideal. Routledge.

Mason, A. T., & Stephenson, G. (2015). American constitutional law: introductory essays and selected cases. Routledge.

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