Once appointed by the president and ratified by congress; justices of The Supreme Court have life tenure –
Unless they resign, retire, take senior status, or are removed after impeachment (though no justice has ever been removed).
Book Review: Supreme Justice
By: Max Allan Collins
The ratification of the United States Constitution established the Supreme Court in 1789. The Supreme Court is the only court specifically established by the Constitution. While having appellate jurisdiction over all federal and state courts, some might argue it rules more from personal discretionary position than from actual law. According to the US Constitution, the Supreme Court is the final interpreter of federal law.
The justices are often categorized as having conservative, moderate, or liberal philosophies. Those philosophies often carry to their interpretation of law. Each justice has one vote, and while many cases are decided unanimously, many of the highest profile cases often expose ideological beliefs that track with their philosophical or political categories.
Presidents have frequently been accused of trying to sway the power of the Supreme Court to their political or personal ideology. Appointing a Supreme Court justice is considered the highlight of any US president since doing so will continue that president’s personal and political ideology for the life of the justice he appointed.
So how do you change that ideology? By eliminating justices that don’t agree with yours.
Could an individual or group be trying to tip the balance of the Supreme Court by killing justices?
After taking a bullet for his commander-in-chief, Secret Service agent Joseph Reeder is a hero. But his outspoken criticism of the president he saved—who had stacked the Supreme Court with hard-right justices to overturn Roe v. Wade, amp up the Patriot Act, and shred the First Amendment—put Reeder at odds with the Service’s apolitical nature, making him an outcast.
So why is Reeder personally selected to assist in the investigation of a robbery gone wrong? Was Justice of The Supreme Court, Henry Venter, a hero or victim of his own conservative ideology? Can Reeder, using his extraordinary ability to “Read” people, decipher the mystery and get to the bottom?
Partnered with FBI agent Pattie Rogers, Reeder is forced into a personal dilemma – Should he be an active member of the investigation team or stand on the sidelines. Those on the team, who know Reeder, hate him. He, in their eyes, is a traitor to his sworn oath to control his personal beliefs and feelings regarding the people he protects. Reeder didn’t agree with that oath and found himself on the outside looking in.
Is a mastermind mounting an unprecedented judicial coup aimed at replacing ultra-conservative justices with a new liberal majority? To crack the conspiracy and save the lives of not just the justices but also Reeder’s own family, rising star Rogers and legendary investigator Reeder must push their skills—and themselves—to the limit.
Collins developed both sides of the mystery so solidly, I had to wonder if such a conspiracy could actually be accomplished in today’s world.
For years people and organizations have called for term limits for Justices of the Supreme Court. Collins presents one way to artificially create those term limits. I wonder what would happen if one or more of the present justices were to suddenly resign or become unable to fulfill their terms.
[Tweet “Would the first black president of the United States stuff the Supreme Court with his cronies?”] Or would he try to appoint middle of the road justices who would look at the law from the middle ground?
This book goes onto the list of books that I will re-read. That list is short and only has books that kept my interest, had a strong plot, wonderfully developed characters, and a premise that could be true if circumstances permitted.
Sign up for the Manifest Vision Publishing Newsletter and receive updates about new blog postings, updates on new and interesting topics, advanced notice of newly published books, and more. Simply complete the form below.