Is the Supreme Court Still Impartial?


Jose Fuste Raga

The Supreme Court. Courtesy of the Pew Research Center.

Jessica Cheng '20

The Supreme Court is the highest federal judicial court in our land and was made by our founding fathers in order to defend the Constitution at times when it may be difficult to interpret. The Supreme Court is responsible to make non-partisan decisions that reflect the values of the Constitution made by our forefathers. This impartiality, although consistently questioned since its founding, is one of the defining traits of the Supreme Court, setting it apart from the Executive and Legislative branches. The justices that sit in these seats have the legal responsibility to make these non-partisan decisions that will be reflected in our everyday lives. However, the impartiality of the Supreme Court is now once again in question due to the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

As many may know by now, Justice Brett Kavanaugh has just been granted a lifetime seat to the Supreme Court, winning only by a close margin, 50-48. His nomination battle has been one of the most controversial topics these past weeks for good reasons.

Amidst it all, it is important to note that Justice Brett Kavanaugh is qualified to sit on the Supreme Court due to his vast knowledge of and experience with the law. However, there are more important questions to consider about his qualifications. These questions include whether or not his past actions and his behavior throughout his confirmation process might disqualify him and whether or not the impartiality of the Supreme Court could be affected by his actions.

Now the ninth judge on the Supreme Court, Kavanaugh replaces Justice Anthony Kennedy, a republican-nominated swing-vote who demonstrated an open mind in every case–something that is valued in judges. Kavanaugh, in contrast, is a person who has repeatedly lashed out at the “far left” and has even accused his three sexual assault allegations as something done by “anti-Trump” and “pro-Clinton” forces that were orchestrated and paid for by the Left. For Justice Kavanaugh, who will be making decisions that are expected to be non-partisan and also affect the fate of the nation, this does not seem like appropriate behavior. How can we trust someone who cannot even remain impartial in his own hearings and nomination process to be impartial when making decisions that affect the entire nation?

Besides his angry tirades and denunciations of senators during his nomination process, there are other reasons for us to question his reliability and decision making as a member of the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh has been involved in some of the most politically-fraught battles in the past two decades, including the impeachment of President Bill Clinton as well as his questionable role throughout in the Bush administration, both showing strong political colors. As someone who has rarely demonstrated impartiality in his past, will he be able to demonstrate it in the highest court in America?

Now that Brett Kavanaugh is our newest Supreme Court justice, we must all reflect on the values that this country was founded upon. The Supreme Court was not made to be a place of political debate and competition; it was rather made as a place where justice is decided upon and where the Constitution is upheld. In simpler terms, the Supreme Court is like the referee in a sports match; imagine the annoyance fans feel when a referee holds bias for one team over the other. The Supreme Court is the most sacred ground for legal justice in America, and it has the job of upholding the constitutional ideals that are the building blocks for this nation. The Supreme Court is where impartiality and the Constitution should rest above all, especially the political ideologies of the justices. We should not stand by idly and watch the Supreme Court become a partisan political circus, which may just be its current path.