Outside the Box: Could Brett Kavanaugh spell the end of the Supreme Court?

From the nation’s earliest days, Americans have idealized the federal courts as nonpartisan and objective, insulated from the political pressures felt by elected officials.

In the Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton explained that life tenure would allow judges to independently review the constitutionality of legislative and executive actions without courting popularity or fearing a backlash from members of Congress or the president.

Reality has never quite matched the ideal. Judges are human beings with a personal set of biases, political philosophies, and experiences. And, as human beings, they are not immune to political pressure — even if they know that no decision they make from the bench will cost them their jobs, absent impeachment and removal from office.

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