Despite only hearing about 80 court cases per year, the Supreme Court still has a profound impact on our society. Supreme justices serve decades, which means their appointment must be made with careful consideration. The following outlines some of the most admired and notorious Supreme Court justices. This information is provided in order to highlight the importance of the next president’s appointment.
Although President Obama nominated Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, the Senate has refused to vote on a nominee until after the election. Because of this, SCOTUS nominations are a huge part of the upcoming election. Who a nominee plans to appoint has a lot to do with a citizen’s decision to vote for that nominee. If you haven’t made a decision on which candidate to vote for, you may want to consider these past Supreme Court Justices who’ve impacted our society either for the worse or betterment of society.
Good: Supreme Court Justice Frank Murphy
Lauded as an excellent choice for the high court, Frank Murphy was selected by President Franklin Roosevelt. Raab Collection, an internationally recognized name in historical autographs, reports that Murphy established himself as a strong defender of labor and civil rights. His motto was “Speak softly and hit hard,” which he did often when crusading against crime syndicates and political racketeers.
Bad: Supreme Court Justice Stephen Johnson Field
Frank Murphy is a great example of a Supreme Court justice who is a champion of the working class. Almost his polar opposite, Justice Stephen Johnson Field was anti-government and pro-segregation. He upheld Plessy v. Ferguson, which determined that it was constitutional to separate races on passenger trains. He often upheld racial segregation, including in the landmark Strauder v. West Virginia case in which he voted to exclude African-Americans from juries despite the fact that such an exclusion was a clear violation of the 14th Amendment.
Bad: Chief Justice Roger Taney
There’s a definite pattern that the worst Supreme Court justices made racist decisions, and Chief Justice Roger Taney is no different. Despite emancipating his own slaves, Taney upheld Dred Scott v. Sandford which denied Scott freedom from slavery in a 7 to 2 vote. This decision has long been regarded as the single worst ruling the Supreme Court ever made. It favored white slave owners and reinforced the idea that people of African descent could be owned as property.
Good: Chief Justice Earl Warren
Chief Justice Earl Warren was popular with both Democrats and Republicans. President Dwight Eisenhower appointed him to Chief Justice. During his term, he oversaw some incredible rulings and landmark decisions. Among his most famous cases is 1954s Brown v. Board of Education which banned segregation in public schools. He served while Miranda Rights were established and he voted to recognize interracial marriages. He truly was a progressive Chief Justice and lent his credence to some of the country/s most important judicial decisions.
Supreme Court justices have a profound impact on our country, that’s why its important to take your vote seriously this election period. Whoever serves the next four years as president will also select at least one new Supreme Court Justice. Its important to choose a justice that is fair, balanced, and capable of making progressive decisions that benefit Americans for the long term, lest we end up with another Taney or Field.