Federalist Papers No. 78

Should Supreme Court Justices get lifetime appointments? Is it right that such a powerful position is unelected and not accountable to the people? Hamilton presents arguments why lifetime appointments are essential to the purpose of the court. Over 200 years later, we get to ask if lifetime appointments are still essential, or is it weakening the legitimacy of the court?

Structure of the Court

U.S. Constitution, Article III

how judges are appointed

Federalists Arguments for Lifetime Tenure

impartial and insulated

stability on the court


judicial review

constitutional justification for amount of power (relative to two other branches)

Fed 78