Government, Per. B
16 December 2012
Understanding the 9 Supreme Court Justices In the Supreme Court there are nine justices. These justices’ can be classified as either a Liberal justice or a Conservative justice, or even both, which is known as a moderate justice. These nine Supreme Court Justices are, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Samuel A. Alito, Elena Kagen, and Sonia Sotomayor.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts:
Chief Justice John G. Roberts is one of the few justices who has always been and will always be a very conservative voter. “Roberts opposes the use of race in assigning students to particular schools, including for purposes such as maintaining integrated schools. He sees such plans as discrimination in violation of the constitution's equal protection clause and Brown v. Board of Education. In Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1, the court considered two voluntarily adopted school district plans that relied on race to determine which schools certain children may attend.” (1) As a conservative republican Roberts believes that there should be equality over race and diversity; not only that but the understanding of the word free speech. Free speech is what Roberts’s beliefs are mainly about.
Antonin Scalia is mainly on the conservative side of the Supreme Court. Scalia has mainly voted to take down laws that make distinctions by race, gender, or sexual orientation, just like Chief Justice John G. Roberts. Scalia has a very different mindset on abortion his view are "the Constitution says nothing about it. [He believes they should just make one, and move on,] unlike a Constitutional right to abortion created by a court can compromise… A Constitution is not meant to facilitate change. It is meant to impede change, to make it difficult to change." (2) Scalia is very particular about the way things are, he believes that an issued that is needed to be changed or enforced must be aligned with what it says in the constitution. According to factmonster, Scalia is “an outspoken conservative, Scalia is a prominent proponent of "textualism," the idea that one should focus on the text of the U.S. constitution or a law and its original meaning when seeking to interpret it, and that decisions of judges should be based on that original meaning”(3)
Anthony Kennedy is well known for his difference in voting; recently he has been considered the swing voter putting him in the more moderate bloc. Lately when Kennedy votes, his votes can be either liberal or conservative. “Kennedy sided with the conservatives on the Court, holding that the Second Amendment recognized an individual's right to keep and bear arms also in McDonald v. Chicago, Kennedy voted to extend the decision in Heller to the states.” But he also sides with the liberal bloc, “on June 12, 2008, [Boumediene v. Bush] challenged the legality of Lakhdar Boumediene’s detention at the Guantanamo Bay military. Kennedy joined the four more liberal judges in finding the right of habeas corpus that applies to people held in Guantanamo Bay.” (4) Therefore Kennedy is moderate because he sides with the bloc that best fits for the issue; since the environment was going to be harmed he sided with conservatives, since habeas corpus was applied in Guantanamo Bay vs. territory, he sided with liberal which would allow us to keep the land.
Clarence Thomas is also part of the conservative bloc. “Thomas is often described as an originalist, often described as most conservative member of the Supreme Court, although others give Justice Scalia that designation. Scalia and Thomas have similar but not identical judicial philosophies.” (5) “Thomas agreed with the judgment in McDonald v. Chicago (2010) that the right to keep and bear arms, but Thomas wrote a separate concurrence