Party Government in the United States of America

By William Milligan Sloane | Go to book overview

XXXVI
PARTIES AND THE JUDICIARY

Character of the highest courts--Charges against the lowest courts --Projects for reform--Jurisdiction of federal courts--Their control in the conflict of laws--Where party influence is exerted --True character of the judiciary, bench, and bar--The resultant effect of party influences.

IN the relations of executive and legislative, party government has supplied much of what the Constitution does not. The effort was to separate and even antagonize the two powers; it was initially only too successful, and would have continued so to be except for the evolution of the extra-legal machinery supplied by parties. This has blended and harmonized the workings of the two as far as is imperative, and in the blending party influence is not at all concealed, but is, on the contrary, easily discernible. Upon the third great department of government, the judiciary, its influences have been more subtle. Of course, every judge, federal or State, is a partisan more or less intense; he is elevated to office either by party votes or by the appointment of an Executive who has been so elevated. To this party allegiance there are exceptions of considerable number. Conspicuously able and conscientious judges elected for long terms of office are often renominated by both parties, and so, unan-

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