Is that your final answer?


By Karen Topakian

The time has come. President Obama can now select his first Supreme Court justice and hopefully not his last.

I’d like to suggest alternative methods of confirming a new justice other than the old school model of involving the Senate. It’s a new day; let’s find a new way.

Why not look to the geniuses of Hollywood for help?

Maybe the nominees could appear on Jeopardy where they would be presented with landmark Supreme Court decisions in the form of answers, and then phrase their responses in the form of a question.

For example, under Racist Decisions of the 19th Century for $50 dollars the answer is: The Court declared the “free soil” federal laws, which held that any slave on free soil was no longer the property of his master, were unconstitutional because they deprived a slave owner of the right to receive just compensation from the government for deprivation of property. What is the dreadful Dred Scott v. Sandford?

Or under Decisions of the Warren Court for $50 the answer is: The Supreme Court held that the defendant’s confession was inadmissible because he was not in any way [informed] of his right to council nor was his privilege against self-incrimination effectively protected in any other manner. What is Miranda v. Arizona? For extra points they could tell the vote count. 5-4.

The government could take a page from our friends across the pond. The nominees could appear on Who Wants to be a Supreme Court Justice? Where they could win the seat on the bench if they correctly answered 12 or 15 consecutive multiple-choice questions of increasing difficulty. Including questions about property rights, the death penalty and habeas corpus.

Some could be yes or no questions, i.e. do you agree with the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling? Which as we know was dodged by now Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.  No dodging the answer or you’re out!

Whatever test, they are put through to determine their eligibility and qualifications, I hope it includes my favorite from the extremely popular Spanish TV program El Gran Juego De La Oca where a barber’s chair is set up and the nominee has to answer three questions (the last of which was always impossible to answer in the five seconds allotted.) Getting any question wrong resulted in the player receiving a severe haircut by a deranged barber.


  1. Shivaun says:

    Brilliant! And also very, very funny! Let’s just hope that the Republicans don’t decide that this is their comeback issue and hold up the process for too long a time.

  2. Makes about as much sense as the process we currently employ! I’m all for El Gran Juego if the threat of a bad haircut is what it takes to pierce the veil of “legal ethics” which nominees so abuse to avoid answering any real questions about their approach to judicial decision-making.

  3. I never thought I would recommend reading USA Today, but there is a great article about the need for another woman on the Supreme Court.

    It is actually horrifying with Ruth Ginsburg discussing how the male justices just don’t get it about discrimination and harassment of women and girls, and also how they discount this brilliant woman in their discussions of important issues.

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