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Judicial Politics, Philosophy and Decision-Making

Decision Making

From the Brethren, Justice Powel as a judge was among the jurists; he interviewed in person. Powell had a file called The Book that people thought was the primary source of Woodward’s content in The Brethren (Armstrong, 2021). The file was supposed to be a secret because it contained all the secrets on how the judges behaved during the conference meeting. Earl Warren was the Chief Justice by then, and he needed to keep the details of the conference meetings away from the people. Warren demanded a conference in which they were to discuss the file. After the meeting, Powell wrote a letter, but he did not send it. He acknowledged that he had talked to Woodward about his book in the letter, but he never revealed anything concerning the conference room. He said that he never told his wife about anything that goes on in the conference hall. He noted that justices should not disclose any information concerning the Court to the media.

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Powell felt there should be no communication to any media men if those chosen to represent the Court thought that those who were not selected are the ones revealing confidential information. Powell’s decisions were wise; he choosing to be loyal to both the people and the Court was wise (Armstrong, 2021). Powell agreed to be interviewed by Woodward but did not betray his fellow justices by revealing what was going on in the conference hall. Sandra O Connor was also a member of the nine justices discussed by Tobin Jeffrey in his book The Nine; she was also a senator in Arizona. She once in 2000 thousand made a decision that offended the public and tinted the courts’ reputation. She was just needed to put a signature, but she regretted it and said that it was better if the Court had not taken the case (Jeffrey, 2021). It was meant to be the Court’s sole decision, but they turned to Sandra for her thoughts. Finally, the results ended by counting the votes again, and whatever the results were, Sandra had to defend them again in public.

Judicial Philosophy

Judicial philosophy is a set of rules that a magistrate belief in and follows before giving a verdict about a particular case. Powel never thought of himself having any judicial philosophy. Powel said that he knew those cases were important, especially to the defendant’s side. Powell chose to do Justice rather than use principles that were renewed now and then and some of which turned out to be unfair. He was nominated to the Court unexpectedly by President Richard Nixon, giving him his second career (Armstrong, 2021). He gained his experience by practice throughout the decades of his nomination. There was a conflict at his retirement in 1987 when Robert Bork succeeded him. Powell’s period in power had seen balance in the institution’s ideas, and that is why people protested when he retired. Before the nomination, Powell had been the head of three major legal organizations in Virginia. Powell had headed the American College of Trial Lawyers, American Bar Foundation, and American Bar Association. He was among the oldest partners in these organizations and also a trusted member.

Powell played a vital role in Court, where he tried to note and merge any ideological disagreements. When it came to doctrinal firmness, Powell was a compromiser, a balancer, and hated any heated debates concerning the doctrines. His votes were highly regarded by both his colleagues and lawyers who worked before the Court. Powell’s decisions were final, and to convince him, people had to have tangible evidence and valid argument to persuade him. Whether the case at hand was about solutions for racial discrimination, rights of legal foreigners, or parochial schools, his vote was always the decisive one. According to Powell, the opinion that he wrote to himself was the most vital.

On the other hand, being elected to be a justice in Court was one of Sandra’s judicial philosophy experiences. Politically and inconsistently, Sandra was a Republican and a conservative more than the president who nominated him, George Bush, but George was the best president for her. Sandra could not handle the case of a woman who wanted to remove her husband’s feeding tubes because she was concerned with her husband’s worsening condition of Alzheimer’s disease (Gelpi, 2016). Later she left the Court, but she asked George Bush to put his stamp and that of her Republican party in the Court. Sandra did not have a significant chance to exercise her judicial philosophy like Powell did (Jeffrey, 2021). The short time Sandra had in Court was spent differently than that of Powell. Sandra welcomed views from other people on the cases she handled, but that was not the case with Powell. Sandra allowed people to make amends about her decisions, but Powell never allowed anyone to challenge him; most of the time, his decisions were final.

When Sandra left the Court, she still made follow up on what her successors were doing. Sandra tries to convince states to appoint judges rather than elect them. Sandra’s central argument is that elections require campaigns and the operations need expenses; the capital used in activism can do something better. She insists on this movement because she is afraid that Court may rid her most significant accomplishments. Sandra’s most important achievement was that she once wrote an opinion that permitted the assenting act in admissions of advanced education. Sandra’s decision was compromised in that she had ethnic preferences, black people were considered, but they had an age limit, twenty-five years (Jeffrey, 2021). For Powel, he left the office at his retiring age, but that was not the case with Sandra. The people were not happy when Powel left the office because of his ability to balance ideas in Court. Sandra was not contented with what he delivered during her time, and that is why she still made follow up on those who succeeded her.

Relation with other justices

Jeffrey states that Powell was a good listener, a gentleman, and he respected people’s views. Even though he regarded his decisions as perfect, he still allowed his fellow justices to share their views. He ensured that there was a boundary between the politicians and his judges. He wanted to ensure transparency in the Court and honest when dealing with cases, so mixing the legislature and the judiciary could bring problems. As one of his Justices David Stewart, he always addressed his justices by their names, said in an interview. David Stewart also mentioned that he was a person full of attitude from his childhood, and it was offensive for anyone to voice his perspective (Armstrong, 2021). He welcomed sensible conversations with his justices and encouraged them to be open-minded. He taught his judges to deal with cases from the right point of view and not just rely on the sometimes offensive principles. He taught them how to keep illegal pieces of evidence away from the Court. In his period as the Chief Justice, he discouraged the police from interrogating suspects.

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Lawyers were intimidated by him and so strived to win in any argument with him. Lawyers knew that if they were able to convince Powell that meant that they would attract the votes of at least four justices. The justices changing their minds show how much they trusted Powell’s ability to make wise decisions (Spencer, 2019). Powell worked hard to maintain the power of the federal courts by building a margin between the elected parties and the states of administration from the judiciary. He was against the idea of strict adherence to the constitutional law and so allowed his justices to approach matters freely, especially those that directly concerned the case. Powel chose to remain quiet about what takes place in the conference hall. (Armstrong, 2021). He was approached severally with the media men but never revealed the secret about the conference hall.

Powell choosing to remain silent about the happenings in the Conference hall showed how loyal he was to the fellow justices. Powel goes ahead and says in his letter to Warren that not even his wife knew what happened in the conference meetings. Sandra was also the main decision-maker about votes in Court. Sandra ensured that women also perused law, so any female justice in her era was highly regarded. Most of the time, she wrote concurring opinions just like her fellow justices. Her supportive thoughts and good ideas are what made her famous among the other judges. She was also open-minded and welcomed views without making rash decisions.

Before proceeding to the conference room, the justices could confer with the law clerks to learn more about the case. According to the Supreme Court order, only Justices, no police, assistants, or law clerks are permitted in the conference room (Cushman, 2020). When the Paramount Justice calls the meeting to command, all of the justices should shake hands as a token of the society’s shared existence. They first go through the petitions from the previous week and determine which ones to approve and which ones to refuse. These meetings are held twice a week, usually on Wednesday and Friday, to address the petition on Monday and Tuesday, respectively (Ward, 2021). After each Justice has completed talking, the Chief Justice votes first, followed by the judges, with the most Chief Justices voting. While the options are being tallied, the Main Magistrate or the senior-most Justice assigns a majority magistrate to draft a court opinion.

Most lawyers were afraid of Powell, and their main aim was to win in any argument with him because they thought that by doing so, they would get votes from other judges too. That was not the case with Sandra; she had no considerable influence on the justices like Powel. Though they had different personalities, they both had respect for their judges, and their views were accepted. Powell took his time to also educate other justices on approaching cases freely without using the constitution that was sometimes unfair. Sandra did not depict any interest in educating other judges, but her decision-making was good too.

Cases Authored

The stem of The nine is the depiction of Sandra O Connor, who was expelled from the Republican Party she treasured most. Sandra admired George Bush, a politician because Bushs’ theme was compassionate conservatism, a popular theme for Sandra (Jefrrey, 2021). Sandra handled many cases for the Americans, especially where the supreme Court wanted to fight against their sodomy so that gay could have rights too(Gay, 2018. At this time, judges declared a crime for people of the same sex to have sexual intimacy. But later, they allowed private rights for Americans to reduce people meddling into lesbians and gay rights. Another case is that she handled was about allowing citizens to give speeches freely. She said that regulations on people’s private addresses about their property were not allowed.

When the Supreme Court gave powers to limit civil rights while enforcing the laws, she said that traffic trespass should not be an excuse to oppress people. This is because the police tended to use minor mistakes in traffic to publish people, especially African Americans (Kemes, 2020). To regulate drugs, roadblocks in place should not inconvenience people who are traveling. The roadblocks were not to be used as an excuse for the unlawful methods that the police used. About parents raising their children, Sandra said that parents had a right to raise their kids the way they pleased. Even though they were given the liberty to raise their kids at their pleasure, children’s rights should be strictly followed. Any kid that was not taken care of properly would be taken away from the parents and put under foster care.

Another Justice was Lewis Powel, who also served as a chairman in Richmond Schools. As a justice, he mainly represented tobacco institutes. He made sure that the farmers who worked in the farms were paid and rights that protected them were followed. He also ensured that the Court gave legal services to the less privileged. A case presented to Powell concerning freedom He said that by improving the benefits of the lawyers, good health for Americans is safeguarded, and it is only an independent bar that will sustain a strong government structure (Best et al., 2017). Powell denied Nixon a chance to do serve as president in the Supreme Court because he felt that he needed someone younger with vigor to succeed him.

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Armstrong, S. (2021). The Brethren, Achor Books.

Gay, D. (2018). Church and State in Scotland: Developing Law. By Francis Lyall. Journal of Church and State, 60(3), 545-547.

Gelpi, A. (2016). Did a university retaliate against a professor because of her husband’s actions? Student Affairs Today, 18(12), 8-8.

Jeffrey, t. (2021). The Nine, Anchor Books.

Spencer, S. (2019). How Stress Can (Sometimes) Make Us Eat More. Frontiers for Young Minds, 7.

Ward, A. (2021). The American Judicial Process, Achor Books.

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