Gabriel Maliha is a senior at the University of Pennsylvania studying criminology.
The recent nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, to the Supreme Court touched upon the usual debate about the predictability of a nominee’s judicial philosophy and ideological leanings. It is hoped that his writings, his record as a judge, and his Senate confirmation hearings will provide some clue as to his votes on potential issues that will come before the Court. 
Article III, Section one of the U.S. Constitution states: “The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish” and “The judges, both of the Supreme Court and inferior Courts, shall hold their offices during good behavior.” The Constitution is silent on the qualifications of justices. There is no age, legal experience, or citizenship requirement. However, all those who have been nominated or served have been lawyers. The framers have clearly understood “good behavior” to be a lifetime appointment meant to preserve the independence of the judiciary against encroachment by the other branches. The “good behavior” standard is considered to be lower than “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Still, only fifteen federal judges have been impeached (none from the the Supreme Court) and eight convicted by the Senate in the history of the republic.