Demystifying the Supreme Court Confirmation Process

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Hear ye, hear ye, hear ye. This video is now in session. The honorable Danny Karon, your Lovable Lawyer presiding. Thank you, thank you. Please be seated.

Ketanji Brown Jackson has been confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court, replacing Justice Stephen Breyer. A lot of people ask me how the mysterious and partisan Supreme Court confirmation process works. Let’s break it down.

First, there’s democratic Senator Dick Durbin. He chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee. They held the hearings. Second, the confirmation timeline varies. For instance, with the 2020 election bearing down in the likelihood that republicans would lose control of the Senate, they pushed through Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination in less than a month. Now with democrats concerned about this same thing, they pushed Justice Jackson through. Third, it takes only 51 Senate votes to confirm a new Supreme Court Justice. Here’s why: the republicans are adamant about maintaining a 60-vote threshold for legislation. During the Trump administration, they nuked the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees. That’s why Justice Jackson’s confirmation required only a simple majority. By the way, you’ll note that there’s no constitutional requirement for a Supreme Court Justice to even be a lawyer. Justice Jackson makes it nine Supreme Court Justices but there’s been talk about increasing the size of the court. You might remember that from the last election. Well, the constitution doesn’t set the number of justices. Congress does. That’s why the size of the court varied regularly during our country’s first 100 years. But since the 1860s, it stayed at nine. Whether the Supreme Court will ever expand, I doubt it. Besides, with Justice Jackson on the court, there are plenty of other issues ready to decide.

If you’d like to learn more about legal wellness, please subscribe to my YouTube channel or join me on Until next time, I’m Danny Karon, your Lovable Lawyer and this video is adjourned.

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