Scholarly Articles and Other Contributions
 

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2016

Abstract

The vacancy arising as a result of the death of Antonin Scalia, one of the nine justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, paralyzed the Court’s work for a few months. Even Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election did not immediately resolve the problem of political balance in the Court.

This article, commenting on the stalemate over the Supreme Court, tries to answer some questions. Is the process of politicization of formally politically independent justices a natural result of mutual attrition of the authorities? Does the situation after Scalia’s death undermine the separation of powers, a fundamental concept for the US system?

In the author's opinion, the politicization of the US judicial system is not the beginning of a ‘new era’. The impact of judicial decisions on politics, and the impact of political priorities on the line of case law is embedded in the US concept of checks and balances. The US Constitution establishes this system, but does not provide mechanisms that can unequivocally resolve the described above stalemate. The activity of federal judges is limited by the nomination process. The Constitution provides no deadline binding the President and the Senate to make a nomination decision and the Supreme Court itself has clearly stated that situations such as this one do not violate the Constitution.

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