1. "Deciding to decide" is an important aspect of Supreme Court policymaking. Explain the
process by which (a) cases come to the Supreme Court and (b) the way in which the Court
controls its docket.
2. The solicitor general is an important actor in the federal judicial system. Give an example of
conflicting pressures he or she could face.
3. Explain two ways in which judges can exercise a policymaking role.
4. Explain the specific ways a chief justice may exert leadership and wield power on the Court.
5. Federal judges hold their jobs "during good behavior" which means for life. Explain the
process by which judges are selected for the federal judiciary.
6. Opinion writing is the justices' most critical function. What is an “opinion”?
7. A president's judicial appointments are likely to last far beyond his administration. They are
part of his political legacy. Contrast the philosophy of Presidents Carter, Reagan, Bush 41 an
43 and Clinton with regard to Supreme Court appointments.
b. Reagan, and Bush 41 and 43
8. Explain the specific reasons Judge Robert Bork's nomination was rejected by the Senate9.
9. What controversy arose during Clarence Thomas's nomination hearings ?
10. Describe the main difference between federal district courts and U.S. circuit courts.
a. district courts
b. circuit courts