Lawyers Discuss Importance of Supreme Court Justice Selection


Filling just one seat on a nine member Supreme Court Justice is expected to have a dramatic effect on the American justice system. 

“The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest tribunal in the nation,” James Brown, Beckley lawyer, said.

Brown has practiced law for more than 40 years. He said almost everything in the legal profession is ultimately governed by what the U.S. Supreme Court decides. 

“What gives a policeman a right to search your car, to search you, what can go into evidence, what can be in a contract, what can’t be in a contract,” Brown said. “Almost everything in the legal profession.”

For Brown and other lawyers, a new Supreme Court Justice could mean changing how they practice law, in a variety of ways. 

“Issues dealing with voting rights sometimes affect how elections are run and affect lawyers,” Bill Wooton, another Beckley lawyer, said. “Issues dealing with criminal law can have a major impact on what we do in Beckley.”

The impact of the president’s selection for this position extends beyond lawyers. 

Police could be affected as well.

“The decisions direct how we do our jobs and the things we have and the powers we have in law enforcement,” Lonnie Christian, Beckley Police Chief, said.

Brown said there is always some anxiety among lawyers leading up to the decision about who will be selected for Supreme Court Justice.

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