The Current Makeup Of The Supreme Court

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1. What is unique about the current makeup of the Supreme Court? The current Supreme Court is the most powerful branch of government, and one that may shape the course of democracy for generations to come. The current Supreme Court is made up of nine justices. The four oldest justices are 79, 76, 75, and 73 years of age; Five of the nine justices are Conservative Republicans; Three of the justices are women: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan; One of the justices is African-American: Clarence Thomas; and Sonia Sotomayor is the first Hispanic-American to serve on the Supreme Court. Eight of the justices come out of the appellate court system, and Elena Kagan was the solicitor general. The Court today is divided almost equally along partisan lines. On the corporate front, this is an extremist court, a court that has shifted extremely to the far right. In important cases decided 5-4, it is usually the Republican-chosen quintet that provides the victory. The Supreme Court is now a corporate court that by giving big business the advantage is shrinking access to justice for everyday citizens (Edwards, chapter 15 and Bill Moyer). 2. Why do the two commentators call this the “one-percent court”? The two commentators call this the “one percent court” as it is made up of five conservative republican justices that are working to preserve the power and influence of a minority of wealthy special interests. The Court has empowered the one percent at the

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