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Have there been any lawyers who are or were US Supreme Court justices?
Yes. Unlike its requirement that the President be a "natural born" citizen, and the Senators and Representatives be at least "naturalized," the Constitution is silent on the c…itizenship and residency requirements for a Supreme Court Justice. Six Supreme Court justices were born outside the United States; however, only two listed* would be considered naturalized citizens under the laws operating at the time. James Wilson..........1789-1798.......(Scotland) James Iredell..........1790-1799.......(England) William Paterson......1793-1806.......(Ireland) David Brewer...........1889-1919........(Turkey) (born to American missionaries) George Sutherland...1922-1938.......(England)* Felix Frankfurter.......1939-1962.......(Austria)* George Sutherland George Sutherland was born in Buckinghamshire, England, in 1862, and emigrated to the United States with his parents in 1863. Sutherland attended the University of Michigan Law School, but left without earning a degree. He was admitted to the Michigan bar in 1883, then briefly entered private practice with his father, who had also become an attorney. Prior to joining the Supreme Court, Sutherland was a member of the House of Representatives (1901-1903) and US Senator from Utah (1905-1917). Warren Harding nominated Sutherland to the Supreme Court in September 1922. He was part of the ultra-conservative bloc of the Court, known collectively as the Four Horsemen, who opposed Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal legislation. Sutherland retired from the Court in 1938. Felix Frankfurter Felix Frankfurter (1882-1965), who was born in Austria and immigrated to America with his parents at the age of 12, graduated from Harvard Law School, and went on to become assistant to Henry Stimson (later Secretary of State under Hoover) as US Attorney for the Southern District of New York. He later followed Stimson to Washington when President Theodore Roosevelt appointed Stimson Secretary of War. Frankfurter was was a staunch supporter of Roosevelt, and worked on the "Bull Moose Campaign" of 1912, in an unsuccessful attempt to return Teddy to the Presidency after he lost the Republican nomination to William Howard Taft. After World War I, Frankfurter returned to Harvard as a Law Professor, where he remained until Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected in 1932. Frankfurter, an ardent supporter of President Roosevelt's New Deal, became a close and trusted advisor to the President. This lead to his nomination to the Supreme Court in 1939 (where he served until 1962). Although ideologically liberal, Frankfurter was the Court's most outspoken proponent of "judicial restraint," the belief that the Court should not interpret the law and Constitution in such as way as to place encumbering limits on the power of the Legislative and Executive branches. Although foreign-born, Frankfurter revered the Constitution and was considered extremely patriotic. Recent Supreme Court Hopefuls More recently, two-term Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, a naturalized citizen and Canadian by birth, was under consideration for nomination to the Supreme Court seat vacated by now-retired Justice David Souter, but her foreign birth (despite Canada being a neighboring country) became a major point of contention with political conservatives. You can draw several conclusions from this brief history: At present, Supreme Court Justices are most likely to be drawn from a pool of "natural born" citizens, but this is due to political considerations, rather than law. Naturalized citizens are eligible to serve on the Court. In order to become a naturalized citizen, a person must be at least 18 years old and must have been a permanent resident in the United States for at least five years, or for three years, if married to and continuously living with a spouse who's an American citizen. A person voluntarily serving in the US military is eligible to apply for citizenship after one year of service, or within six month of being honorably discharged. Non-citizen residents of the United States may or may not be legally eligible for a position on the Court, but politically, the likelihood of a non-citizen being nominated or confirmed by the Senate is virtually nil.
No. Congress has changed the number of justices on the US Supreme Court nine times in the history of the Court. This does not include years when vacancies were unfilled, reduc…ing the number of justices by one or more. The Judiciary Act of 1789 provided for a 6-member Court, with a Chief Justice and 5 Associate Justices. Congress adjusted the size of the Court a number of times through the during the 19th-century. Judiciary Act of 1789: Court size 6Judiciary Act of 1801: Court size, 5Repeal Act of 1802: Court size, 6Seventh Circuit Act of 1807: Court size, 7Judiciary Act of 1837: Court size, 9Tenth Circuit Act of 1863: Court size, 10Judicial Circuit Act of 1866: Court size, 7Habeas Corpus Act of 1867: Court size, 8Judiciary Act of 1869: Court size, 9 After the election of President Ulysses S. Grant, Congress passed the Judiciary Act of 1869, which set the Court's membership at nine. This number has remained the same ever since.
The Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court interpret the law. When we say "the Court" (meaning the U.S. Supreme Court), we mean the Justices of the Supreme Court. The Court (the J…ustices) decide "sticking points" in law and hand down a "final" decision on the matter. In general, the U.S. Supreme Court (collectively) will decide which cases to hear, and this from among those brought up to it. The Court (the Justices) review the particulars of each case, and then hear or decline to hear that case. For cases that are heard, the Court will review what has been done in the lower courts, and will consider new material presented to it. At the end of the presentation of all material, the Court will review all that is before them on a given case, and each justice will take a side and decide the case. The Court may split with "half" the Justices on one side and "half" on the other side. (There are an odd number of Justices, so there are no "ties" to be reckoned with.) Then a majority opinion and a minority opinion will be rendered. The cases heard by the Court allow the Court to offer final adjudication of the case, and set precedents in law. Supreme Court Justices hear a limited number of cases on final appeal, and interpret the law relative to the United States Constitution. They also have Original Jurisdiction (first court) over conflicts between the states. They judge certain court cases that usually improve the U.S. and make history. One of the most famous cases was "Brown vs. (The) Board of Education." They are also responsible for interpreting the Constitution and federal law, and monitoring how those rules are applied in the real world. Their main functions are to interpret the Constitution and to examine challenged laws to ensure they comply with constitutional mandates.
Thurgood Marshall was known as "The Little Man's Lawyer"; Louis Brandeis was called "The People's Lawyer." Both men were known for their dedication to protecting the constitut…ional rights of common citizens. For more information, see Related Questions, below.
Answer All 112 past and present Supreme Court Justices have held law degrees or have been admitted to the bar at some point before being appointed the bench. Those who served… in the early days of the Court would have been said to "read law" under the tutelage of another lawyer before being admitted to the local bar so may not have held a law degree, because there were few law schools back then, and it was not necessary to hold a degree in order to be admitted to the bar. Not all supreme court justices had been judges, though. Notable examples are John Marshall, William Rehnquist, and Earl Warren. Answer Although not required by the Constitution, all 112 members of the US Supreme Court have been lawyers, although not all attended or graduated law school. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the United States had few law schools, so a person who wanted to become a lawyer would read about the law and then apprentice under a practicing attorney. Levi Woodbury (1845-1851) was the first justice to graduate law school (Litchfield Law School, now defunct). Stanley Forman Reed (1938-1957) was the last justice to serve without a law degree. Today, candidates for the US Supreme Court are usually chosen from among those who attended the nation's top law schools, such as Harvard and Yale. For more information, see Related Questions, below.
Three US Supreme Court justices were Minnesotans: Pierce Butler................................1923-1939..........Harding Warren Burger (Chief Justice)........1969-1986...….......Nixon Harry Blackmun...........................1970-1994..........Nixon
Yes and no. The only justice ever removed involuntarily from the Supreme Court was John Rutledge, whose recess appointment (an appointment where the "advice and consent" of th…e Senate is deferred until the next session) as Chief Justice was rejected because the Senate was concerned about his mental status. He officially served only from July 1, 1795 - December 28, 1795. Supreme Court justices can also be impeached, if they commit "high crimes and misdemeanors," which would include any serious legal infraction (not traffic tickets) or ethics violation. Impeachment is a two-step process; the impeachment phase is similar to a Grand Jury hearing, where charges (called "articles of impeachment") are presented and the House of Representatives determines whether the evidence is sufficient to warrant a trial. If the House vote passes by a simple majority, the defendant is "impeached," and proceeds to trial in the Senate. The Senate trial, while analogous to a criminal trial, only convenes for the purpose of determining whether a Justice (or other officeholder) should be removed from office on the basis of the evidence presented at impeachment. The Senate must return a 2/3 Super Majority for conviction. Only one Supreme Court Justice, Samuel Chase (one of the signatories to the Declaration of Independence), has ever been impeached. The House of Representatives accused Chase of letting his Federalist political leanings affect his rulings, and served him with eight articles of impeachment in late 1804. The Senate acquitted him of all charges in 1805, establishing the right of the judiciary to independent opinion. Chase continued on the Court until his death in June 1811. Abe Fortas, who served on the Supreme Court from 1965-1969, was almost impeached due to a tax and financial scandal involving Wall Street financier, Louis Wolfson. Fortas was a Lyndon Johnson appointment. When the new President, Richard Nixon, learned of the scandal, he reportedly said Fortas should be "off of there," referring to the Supreme Court. The House of Representatives had already taken preliminary steps toward impeachment. Chief Justice Earl Warren urged Justice Fortas to resign, to save the reputation of the Court. Fortas resisted at first, but eventually told other members of the Court he was stepping down to avoid damaging his wife's legal career. Later, he admitted another reason for leaving the Court was to save his friend, William O. Douglas, who was also under investigation for judicial impropriety. The House of Representatives finally concluded Douglas had committed no impeachable offenses and dropped the investigation.
The technical answer is no, there are no Constitutional or legislative qualifications for US Supreme Court justices. All 112 past and present Supreme Court justices have bee…n lawyers, although those who served in the early days of the Court learned the law by reading and apprenticing with more experienced attorneys because there were few law schools back then. There have been some lawyers who were never judges appointed, most famously, Earl Warren. Eisenhower appointed him to the Supreme Court in 1953 to thank him for his support in CA during the Republican primaries. Warren was an ex-state Attorney General and an extremely popular governor of CA, but he had never been a judge. He went on to become one of the most active Chief Justices ever, greatly expanding legal protections, especially for minorities (e.g. Brown v. Board of Education, 1954) and criminal defendants (Miranda v. Arizona, 1966).
The US Supreme Court is the highest appellate court in the United States for cases involving federal law and constitutional issues. It is also considered the head of the Judic…ial branch of government. The function of a "Justice" is similar to that of a judge, but the term justice is used on most high courts, as a sign of respect. The US Supreme Court comprises nine justices that sit en banc (as a single group) to determine whether decisions in cases they've granted certiorari (agreed to review) are in keeping with federal and constitutional law. Sometimes, the law itself is being judged for constitutionality, under the Supreme Court's authority of "judicial review." Other times, the application of law is in question. The Supreme Court Justices are responsible for interpreting the Constitution and applying their interpretation to cases that set legal precedent for the lower courts to follow. Supreme Court justices are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate (per the "Advice and Consent Clause" of the Constitution, Article II, Section 2, Paragraph 2) for lifetime commissions. Justices may choose to leave the court through resignation or retirement, may serve in office until death, or may be impeached by the House and tried in the Senate for "high crimes and misdemeanors" (serious legal and ethical violations). The only justice to be impeached was Samuel Chase, in 1804. He was acquitted of charges by the Senate and served seven more years on the bench, until his death in 1811.
Yes. Although this is not a Constitutional or statutory requirement, Supreme Court justices need a solid understanding of the law to operate effectively. Not all justices atte…nded law school, however. In the 18th- and 19th-centuries, many lawyers studied and apprenticed under a more experienced attorney and were admitted to the bar without benefit of a degree. Today, most Supreme Court candidates have Ivy League law degrees.
Yes. Justice Samuel Chase was impeached by the House of Representatives in 1804, but was acquitted at his Senate trial in early 1805. Chase is the only US Supreme Court justic…e to have been impeached, but a few have had close calls. For more information, see Related Questions, below.
William Howard Taft was elected President in 1908, and served a single term in the White House, from 1909-1913. He was later appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, whic…h he presided over from 1921 until 1930. Taft is the only person who was both President and Chief Justice of the United States.
"Justice" is just a high-falutin' term for "judge." In the early days of the Court, there was a desire to establish the significance of the federal judiciary. And let's face i…t, at that point in time, there were oodles of judges in small courts in the plentiful counties among the states.
Four. There have only been four women, total, on the US Supreme Court in the nation's history. President Reagan appointed Sandra Day O'Connor as the first female justice in 19…81. Sandra Day O'Connor (1981 - 2006, retired)Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1993 - active)Sonia Sotomayor (2009 - active)Elena Kagan (2010 - active)
Only one US Supreme Court Justice, Samuel Chase (one of the signatories to the Declaration of Independence), has ever been impeached. The House of Representatives accused Chas…e of letting his Federalist political leanings affect his rulings, and served him with eight articles of impeachment in late 1804. The Senate acquitted him of all charges in 1805, establishing the right of the judiciary to independent opinion. Chase continued on the Court until his death in June 1811.