Dopke 1

Joe Dopke

Mrs. Smith

A.P. Government

5 March 2013

Reaction Paper On Supreme Court Decision Making Process

Throughout William J. Brennan’s description of how the Supreme Court goes about its

business, the main point to be taken remains clear: most critics of the Supreme Court and its

decisions should be more educated upon the process by which those decisions they so disagree

with are made. Brennan makes sure that this happens to at least a small extent by the end of his

writing, offering basic, fundamental details as to the decision process, and even offers a glimpse

into the world of life as a Supreme Court Justice. Commencing, Brennan essentially debunks the

misconception that the Supreme Court makes “its own law” as soon as he writes “The judges are

charged with deciding according to the law.” However he also says in the following paragraph

“…he must preserve his authority by cloaking himself in the majesty of an over-shadowing past,

but he must discover some composition with the dominant trends of his times.” Giving him and

other justices a reasonable justification for some more “activist” style decisions. This, along with

his paragraphs regarding the challenges of having the responsibility of interpreting the

constitution in abstract instances set the stage for his description as to how the Supreme Court

does its job. The accounts of this large section offer basic facts, most of which are most likely on

the internet and don’t require a Justice’s take on the process, however since this paper is a

Justice’s take, interesting facts and details are reported, such as the description of the conference

room, how often or when certain actions occur (such as when a brief is reviewed or when an

Although mean obviously to describe the Supreme Court in detail rather than the toil to which a justice must go through in order to make a personal decision. Of course. Indeed. the paper heavily relies on the philosophy of the more known about an institution – in this case. . any initial knowledge of Brennan’s political leanings or ideology can be temporarily discarded. people may have radically different viewpoints on this case or that case. economically. consequently makes decisions which at least both attempt to please citizens and remain Constitutionally sound. and philosophically involving cases through the glasses of the U. the Supreme Court. Dopke 2 opinion is written) and most importantly. Luckily in most cases. a Justice’s perspective on having to make difficult decisions.S Constitution. Considering this report of Justice Brennan’s is meant to be a nonpartisan outlook on what being a justice entails. The appeal to which Brennan makes is an honest appeal. at least the knowledge that the decision was probably a close match (in terms of the number of votes for either side) is comforting if there is a fear that the court has been completely taken over by a party which you don’t support.the more likely sympathy will be felt. but overall. the Supreme Court in making judgments of Constitutionality certainly has a task on their hands: interpreting what are often socially. and often. the Supreme Court takes careful notice of constituencies that might be affected. whether the Supreme Court makes a decision for the left or right.