Justice

Justice, in its broadest context, includes both the attainment of that which is just and the philosophical discussion of that which is just. The concept of justice is based on numerous fields, and many differing viewpoints and perspectives including the concepts of moral correctness based on ethics, rationality, law, religion, equity and fairness. Often, the general discussion of justice is divided into the realm of social justice as found in philosophy, theology and religion, and, procedural justice as found in the study and application of the law.

The concept of justice differs in every culture. Early theories of justice were set out by the Ancient Greek philosophers Plato in his work The Republic, and Aristotle in his Nicomachean Ethics. Throughout history various theories have been established. Advocates of divine command theory argue that justice issues from God. In the 1600s, theorists like John Locke argued for the theory of natural law. Thinkers in the social contract tradition argued that justice is derived from the mutual agreement of everyone concerned. In the 1800s, utilitarian thinkers including John Stuart Mill argued that justice is what has the best consequences. Theories of distributive justice concern what is distributed, between whom they are to be distributed, and what is the proper distribution. Egalitarians argued that justice can only exist within the coordinates of equality. John Rawls used a social contract argument to show that justice, and especially distributive justice, is a form of fairness. Property rights theorists (like Robert Nozick) also take a consequentialist view of distributive justice and argue that property rights-based justice maximizes the overall wealth of an economic system. Theories of retributive justice are concerned with punishment for wrongdoing. Restorative justice (also sometimes called "reparative justice") is an approach to justice that focuses on the needs of victims and offenders.

Iustitia van Heemskerck
‘’Justitia’’ by Maarten van Heemskerk, 1556. ‘’Justitia’’carries symbolic items such as: a sword, scales and a blindfold[1]
Justice Alberi Palazzo Altemps
Justice, one of the four cardinal virtues, by Vitruvio Alberi, 1589–1590. Fresco, corner of the vault, studiolo of the Madonna of Mercy, Palazzo Altemps, Rome

Harmony

Luca Giordano 013
Justice by Luca Giordano

In his dialogue Republic, Plato uses Socrates to argue for justice that covers both the just person and the just City State. Justice is a proper, harmonious relationship between the warring parts of the person or city. Hence, Plato's definition of justice is that justice is the having and doing of what is one's own. A just man is a man in just the right place, doing his best and giving the precise equivalent of what he has received. This applies both at the individual level and at the universal level. A person's soul has three parts – reason, spirit and desire. Similarly, a city has three parts – Socrates uses the parable of the chariot to illustrate his point: a chariot works as a whole because the two horses' power is directed by the charioteer. Lovers of wisdom – philosophers, in one sense of the term – should rule because only they understand what is good. If one is ill, one goes to a medic rather than a farmer, because the medic is expert in the subject of health. Similarly, one should trust one's city to an expert in the subject of the good, not to a mere politician who tries to gain power by giving people what they want, rather than what's good for them. Socrates uses the parable of the ship to illustrate this point: the unjust city is like a ship in open ocean, crewed by a powerful but drunken captain (the common people), a group of untrustworthy advisors who try to manipulate the captain into giving them power over the ship's course (the politicians), and a navigator (the philosopher) who is the only one who knows how to get the ship to port. For Socrates, the only way the ship will reach its destination – the good – is if the navigator takes charge.[2]

Divine command

Domenico Beccafumi 012
Allegorical fresco cycle (cardinal virtues) by Renaissance painter Domenico di Pace Beccafumi from the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena, scene: ’’Justitia’’

Advocates of divine command theory argue that justice, and indeed the whole of morality, is the authoritative command of God. Murder is wrong and must be punished, for instance, because God says it so. Some versions of the theory assert that God must be obeyed because of the nature of his relationship with humanity, others assert that God must be obeyed because he is goodness itself, and thus doing what he says would be best for everyone.

A meditation on the Divine command theory by Plato can be found in his dialogue, Euthyphro. Called the Euthyphro dilemma, it goes as follows: "Is what is morally good commanded by God because it is morally good, or is it morally good because it is commanded by God?" The implication is that if the latter is true, then justice is arbitrary; if the former is true, then morality exists on a higher order than God, who becomes little more than a passer-on of moral knowledge. A response, popularized in two contexts by Immanuel Kant and C. S. Lewis, is that it is deductively valid to argue that the existence of an objective morality implies the existence of God and vice versa.

Natural law

VD-04-3
Lex, justitia, pax (Latin for "Law, justice, peace") on the pediment of the Supreme Court of Switzerland

For advocates of the theory that justice is part of natural law (e.g., John Locke), it involves the system of consequences that naturally derives from any action or choice. In this, it is similar to the laws of physics: in the same way as the Third of Newton's laws of Motion requires that for every action there must be an equal and opposite reaction, justice requires according individuals or groups what they actually deserve, merit, or are entitled to. Justice, on this account, is a universal and absolute concept: laws, principles, religions, etc., are merely attempts to codify that concept, sometimes with results that entirely contradict the true nature of justice.

Despotism and skepticism

In Republic by Plato, the character Thrasymachus argues that justice is the interest of the strong – merely a name for what the powerful or cunning ruler has imposed on the people.

Mutual agreement

Advocates of the social contract agree that justice is derived from the mutual agreement of everyone concerned; or, in many versions, from what they would agree to under hypothetical conditions including equality and absence of bias. This account is considered further below, under 'Justice as fairness'. The absence of bias refers to an equal ground for all people concerned in a disagreement (or trial in some cases).

Subordinate value

According to utilitarian thinkers including John Stuart Mill, justice is not as fundamental as we often think. Rather, it is derived from the more basic standard of rightness, consequentialism: what is right is what has the best consequences (usually measured by the total or average welfare caused). So, the proper principles of justice are those that tend to have the best consequences. These rules may turn out to be familiar ones such as keeping contracts; but equally, they may not, depending on the facts about real consequences. Either way, what is important is those consequences, and justice is important, if at all, only as derived from that fundamental standard. Mill tries to explain our mistaken belief that justice is overwhelmingly important by arguing that it derives from two natural human tendencies: our desire to retaliate against those who hurt us, or the feeling of self-defense and our ability to put ourselves imaginatively in another's place, sympathy. So, when we see someone harmed, we project ourselves into her situation and feel a desire to retaliate on her behalf. If this process is the source of our feelings about justice, that ought to undermine our confidence in them.[3]

Theories of distributive justice

Theories of distributive justice need to answer three questions:

  1. What goods are to be distributed? Is it to be wealth, power, respect, opportunities or some combination of these things?
  2. Between what entities are they to be distributed? Humans (dead, living, future), sentient beings, the members of a single society, nations?
  3. What is the proper distribution? Equal, meritocratic, according to social status, according to need, based on property rights and non-aggression?

Distributive justice theorists generally do not answer questions of who has the right to enforce a particular favored distribution. On the other hand, property rights theorists argue that there is no "favored distribution." Rather, distribution should be based simply on whatever distribution results from lawful interactions or transactions (that is, transactions which are not illicit).

This section describes some widely held theories of distributive justice, and their attempts to answer these questions.

Social justice

Social justice is concerned with the just relationship between individuals and their society, often considering how privileges, opportunities, and wealth ought to be distributed among individuals.[4] Social justice is also associated with social mobility, especially the ease with which individuals and families may move between social strata.[5] Social justice is distinct from cosmopolitanism, which is the idea that all people belong to a single global community with a shared morality.[6] Social justice is also distinct from egalitarianism, which is the idea that all people are equal in terms of status, value, or rights, as social justice theories do not all require equality.[7] For example, sociologist George C. Homans suggested that the root of the concept of justice is that each person should receive rewards that are proportional to their contributions.[8][9] Economist Friedrich Hayek argued that the concept of social justice was meaningless, saying that justice is a result of individual behavior and unpredictable market forces.[10] Social justice is closely related to the concept of relational justice, which is concerned with the just relationship with individuals who possess features in common such as nationality, or who are engaged in cooperation or negotiation.[11][12]

Fairness

Justice statue
J. L. Urban, statue of Lady Justice at court building in Olomouc, Czech Republic

In his A Theory of Justice, John Rawls used a social contract argument to show that justice, and especially distributive justice, is a form of fairness: an impartial distribution of goods. Rawls asks us to imagine ourselves behind a veil of ignorance that denies us all knowledge of our personalities, social statuses, moral characters, wealth, talents and life plans, and then asks what theory of justice we would choose to govern our society when the veil is lifted, if we wanted to do the best that we could for ourselves. We don't know who in particular we are, and therefore can't bias the decision in our own favour. So, the decision-in-ignorance models fairness, because it excludes selfish bias. Rawls argues that each of us would reject the utilitarian theory of justice that we should maximize welfare (see below) because of the risk that we might turn out to be someone whose own good is sacrificed for greater benefits for others. Instead, we would endorse Rawls's two principles of justice:

  • Each person is to have an equal right to the most extensive total system of equal basic liberties compatible with a similar system of liberty for all.
  • Social and economic inequalities are to be arranged so that they are both
    • to the greatest benefit of the least advantaged, consistent with the just savings principle, and
    • attached to offices and positions open to all under conditions of fair equality of opportunity.[13]

This imagined choice justifies these principles as the principles of justice for us, because we would agree to them in a fair decision procedure. Rawls's theory distinguishes two kinds of goods – (1) the good of liberty rights and (2) social and economic goods, i.e. wealth, income and power – and applies different distributions to them – equality between citizens for (1), equality unless inequality improves the position of the worst off for (2).

In one sense, theories of distributive justice may assert that everyone should get what they deserve. Theories disagree on the meaning of what is "deserved". The main distinction is between theories that argue the basis of just deserts ought to be held equally by everyone, and therefore derive egalitarian accounts of distributive justice – and theories that argue the basis of just deserts is unequally distributed on the basis of, for instance, hard work, and therefore derive accounts of distributive justice by which some should have more than others.

According to meritocratic theories, goods, especially wealth and social status, should be distributed to match individual merit, which is usually understood as some combination of talent and hard work. According to needs-based theories, goods, especially such basic goods as food, shelter and medical care, should be distributed to meet individuals' basic needs for them. Marxism is a needs-based theory, expressed succinctly in Marx's slogan "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need".[14] According to contribution-based theories, goods should be distributed to match an individual's contribution to the overall social good.

Property rights

In Anarchy, State, and Utopia, Robert Nozick argues that distributive justice is not a matter of the whole distribution matching an ideal pattern, but of each individual entitlement having the right kind of history. It is just that a person has some good (especially, some property right) if and only if they came to have it by a history made up entirely of events of two kinds:

  • Just acquisition, especially by working on unowned things; and
  • Just transfer, that is free gift, sale or other agreement, but not theft (i.e. by force or fraud).

If the chain of events leading up to the person having something meets this criterion, they are entitled to it: that they possess it is just, and what anyone else does or doesn't have or need is irrelevant.

On the basis of this theory of distributive justice, Nozick argues that all attempts to redistribute goods according to an ideal pattern, without the consent of their owners, are theft. In particular, redistributive taxation is theft.

Some property rights theorists (like Nozick) also take a consequentialist view of distributive justice and argue that property rights based justice also has the effect of maximizing the overall wealth of an economic system. They explain that voluntary (non-coerced) transactions always have a property called Pareto efficiency. The result is that the world is better off in an absolute sense and no one is worse off. Such consequentialist property rights theorists argue that respecting property rights maximizes the number of Pareto efficient transactions in the world and minimized the number of non-Pareto efficient transactions in the world (i.e. transactions where someone is made worse off). The result is that the world will have generated the greatest total benefit from the limited, scarce resources available in the world. Further, this will have been accomplished without taking anything away from anyone unlawfully.

Welfare-maximization

According to the utilitarian, justice requires the maximization of the total or average welfare across all relevant individuals. This may require sacrifice of some for the good of others, so long as everyone's good is taken impartially into account. Utilitarianism, in general, argues that the standard of justification for actions, institutions, or the whole world, is impartial welfare consequentialism, and only indirectly, if at all, to do with rights, property, need, or any other non-utilitarian criterion. These other criteria might be indirectly important, to the extent that human welfare involves them. But even then, such demands as human rights would only be elements in the calculation of overall welfare, not uncrossable barriers to action.

Theories of retributive justice

Theories of retributive justice are concerned with punishment for wrongdoing, and need to answer three questions:

  1. why punish?
  2. who should be punished?
  3. what punishment should they receive?

This section considers the two major accounts of retributive justice, and their answers to these questions. Utilitarian theories look forward to the future consequences of punishment, while retributive theories look back to particular acts of wrongdoing, and attempt to balance them with deserved punishment.

Utilitarianism

According to the utilitarian, justice requires the maximization of the total or average welfare across all relevant individuals. Punishment fights crime in three ways:

  1. Deterrence. The credible threat of punishment might lead people to make different choices; well-designed threats might lead people to make choices that maximize welfare. This matches some strong intuitions about just punishment: that it should generally be proportional to the crime.
  2. Rehabilitation. Punishment might make bad people into better ones. For the utilitarian, all that 'bad person' can mean is 'person who's likely to cause bad things (like suffering)'. So, utilitarianism could recommend punishment that changes someone such that they are less likely to cause bad things.
  3. Security/Incapacitation. Perhaps there are people who are irredeemable causers of bad things. If so, imprisoning them might maximize welfare by limiting their opportunities to cause harm and therefore the benefit lies within protecting society.

So, the reason for punishment is the maximization of welfare, and punishment should be of whomever, and of whatever form and severity, are needed to meet that goal. This may sometimes justify punishing the innocent, or inflicting disproportionately severe punishments, when that will have the best consequences overall (perhaps executing a few suspected shoplifters live on television would be an effective deterrent to shoplifting, for instance). It also suggests that punishment might turn out never to be right, depending on the facts about what actual consequences it has.[15]

Retributivism

The retributivist will think consequentialism is mistaken. If someone does something wrong we must respond by punishing for the committed action itself, regardless of what outcomes punishment produces. Wrongdoing must be balanced or made good in some way, and so the criminal deserves to be punished. It says that all guilty people, and only guilty people, deserve appropriate punishment. This matches some strong intuitions about just punishment: that it should be proportional to the crime, and that it should be of only and all of the guilty. However, it is sometimes argued that retributivism is merely revenge in disguise.[16] However, there are differences between retribution and revenge: the former is impartial and has a scale of appropriateness, whereas the latter is personal and potentially unlimited in scale.

Restorative justice

Restorative justice (also sometimes called "reparative justice") is an approach to justice that focuses on the needs of victims and offenders, instead of satisfying abstract legal principles or punishing the offender. Victims take an active role in the process, while offenders are encouraged to take responsibility for their actions, "to repair the harm they've done – by apologizing, returning stolen money, or community service". It is based on a theory of justice that considers crime and wrongdoing to be an offense against an individual or community rather than the state. Restorative justice that fosters dialogue between victim and offender shows the highest rates of victim satisfaction and offender accountability.[17]

Mixed theories

Some modern philosophers have argued that Utilitarian and Retributive theories are not mutually exclusive. For example, Andrew von Hirsch, in his 1976 book Doing Justice, suggested that we have a moral obligation to punish greater crimes more than lesser ones. However, so long as we adhere to that constraint then utilitarian ideals would play a significant secondary role.

Theories

Bonino da Campione, Justice, c. 1357, NGA 46013
Bonino da Campione, Justice, c. 1357, National Gallery of Art

Rawls' theory of justice

It has been argued[18] that 'systematic' or 'programmatic' political and moral philosophy in the West begins, in Plato's Republic, with the question, 'What is Justice?'[19] According to most contemporary theories of justice, justice is overwhelmingly important: John Rawls claims that "Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is of systems of thought."[20] In classical approaches, evident from Plato through to Rawls, the concept of 'justice' is always construed in logical or 'etymological' opposition to the concept of injustice. Such approaches cite various examples of injustice, as problems which a theory of justice must overcome. A number of post-World War II approaches do, however, challenge that seemingly obvious dualism between those two concepts.[21] Justice can be thought of as distinct from benevolence, charity, prudence, mercy, generosity, or compassion, although these dimensions are regularly understood to also be interlinked. Justice is the concept of cardinal virtues, of which it is one. Metaphysical justice has often been associated with concepts of fate, reincarnation or Divine Providence, i.e., with a life in accordance with a cosmic plan. The association of justice with fairness is thus historically and culturally inalienable.[22]

Equality before the law

Law raises important and complex issues concerning equality, fairness, and justice. There is an old saying that 'All are equal before the law'. The belief in equality before the law is called legal egalitarianism. In criticism of this belief, the author Anatole France said in 1894, "In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets, and steal loaves of bread."[23] With this saying, France illustrated the fundamental shortcoming of a theory of legal equality that remains blind to social inequality; the same law applied to all may have disproportionately harmful effects on the least powerful.

Classical liberalism

Equality before the law is one of the basic principles of classical liberalism.[24][25] Classical liberalism calls for equality before the law, not for equality of outcome.[24] Classical liberalism opposes pursuing group rights at the expense of individual rights.[25]

Religion and spirituality

Abrahamic justice

Jews, Muslims and Christians traditionally believe that justice is a present, real, right, and, specifically, governing concept along with mercy, and that justice is ultimately derived from and held by God. According to the Bible, such institutions as the Mosaic Law were created by God to require the Israelites to live by and apply His standards of justice.

The Hebrew Bible describes God as saying about the Judeo-Christian patriarch Abraham: "No, for I have chosen him, that he may charge his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice;...." (Genesis 18:19, NRSV). The Psalmist describes God as having "Righteousness and justice [as] the foundation of [His] throne;...." (Psalms 89:14, NRSV).

The New Testament also describes God and Jesus Christ as having and displaying justice, often in comparison with God displaying and supporting mercy (Matthew 5:7).

Theories of sentencing

In criminal law, a sentence forms the final explicit act of a judge-ruled process, and also the symbolic principal act connected to his function. The sentence can generally involve a decree of imprisonment, a fine and/or other punishments against a defendant convicted of a crime. Laws may specify the range of penalties that can be imposed for various offenses, and sentencing guidelines sometimes regulate what punishment within those ranges can be imposed given a certain set of offense and offender characteristics. The most common purposes of sentencing in legal theory are:

Theory Aim of theory Suitable punishment
Retribution Punishment imposed for no reason other than an offense being committed, on the basis that if proportionate, punishment is morally acceptable as a response that satisfies the aggrieved party, their intimates and society.
  • Tariff sentences
  • Sentence must be proportionate to the crime
Deterrence
  • To the individual – the individual is deterred through fear of further punishment.
  • To the general public – Potential offenders warned as to likely punishment
  • Prison Sentence
  • Heavy Fine
  • Long sentence as an example to others
Rehabilitation To reform the offender's behavior
  • Individualized sentences
  • Community service orders
  • moral education
  • vocational education
Incapacitation Offender is made incapable of committing further crime to protect society at large from crime
  • Long prison sentence
  • Electronic tagging
  • Banning orders
Reparation Repayment to victim(s) or to community
  • Compensation
  • Unpaid work
  • Reparation Schemes
Denunciation Society expressing its disapproval reinforcing moral boundaries
  • Reflects blameworthiness of offense
  • punishment in public
  • punishment reported to public

In civil cases the decision is usually known as a verdict, or judgment, rather than a sentence. Civil cases are settled primarily by means of monetary compensation for harm done ("damages") and orders intended to prevent future harm (for example injunctions). Under some legal systems an award of damages involves some scope for retribution, denunciation and deterrence, by means of additional categories of damages beyond simple compensation, covering a punitive effect, social disapprobation, and potentially, deterrence, and occasionally disgorgement (forfeit of any gain, even if no loss was caused to the other party).

Evolutionary perspectives

Gerechtigkeit-1537
"Justice as a naked woman with a sword and balance" by Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1537

Evolutionary ethics and an argued evolution of morality suggest evolutionary bases for the concept of justice. Biosocial criminology research argues that human perceptions of what is appropriate criminal justice are based on how to respond to crimes in the ancestral small-group environment and that these responses may not always be appropriate for today's societies.

Reactions to fairness

Justitia, Jost Amman
‘’Justitia’’, copper engraving by Jost Amman, made between 1539 and 1591

Studies at UCLA in 2008 have indicated that reactions to fairness are "wired" into the brain and that, "Fairness is activating the same part of the brain that responds to food in rats... This is consistent with the notion that being treated fairly satisfies a basic need".[26] Research conducted in 2003 at Emory University involving capuchin monkeys demonstrated that other cooperative animals also possess such a sense and that "inequity aversion may not be uniquely human".[27]

Institutions and justice

Coat of Arms pope Paulus V Vatican 7
Painted Coat of Arms of Pope Paul V, ceiling of the room of the geographical maps, Vatican City
27. Église Saint-Paul Montluçon
Stained glass of the Saint-Paul church in Montluçon France
Allegoria della Giustizia - galleria del Poccetti
Allegory of Justice. Ceiling of galleria del Poccetti in the Palazzo Pitti (Florence)

In a world where people are interconnected but they disagree, institutions are required to instantiate ideals of justice. These institutions may be justified by their approximate instantiation of justice, or they may be deeply unjust when compared with ideal standards – consider the institution of slavery. Justice is an ideal the world fails to live up to, sometimes due to deliberate opposition to justice despite understanding, which could be disastrous. The question of institutive justice raises issues of legitimacy, procedure, codification and interpretation, which are considered by legal theorists and by philosophers of law.

See also

Other pages

Types of justice

References

  1. ^ Cuban Law's Blindfold, 23.
  2. ^ Plato, Republic trans. Robin Waterfield (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984).
  3. ^ John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism in On Liberty and Other Essays ed. John Gray (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991), Chapter 5.
  4. ^ "social justice | Definition of social justice in English by Oxford Dictionaries". Oxford Dictionaries | English. Retrieved 2018-11-13.
  5. ^ Ornstein, Allan C. (2017-12-01). "Social Justice: History, Purpose and Meaning". Society. 54 (6): 541–548. doi:10.1007/s12115-017-0188-8. ISSN 1936-4725.
  6. ^ Kleingeld, Pauline; Brown, Eric (2014), Zalta, Edward N., ed., "Cosmopolitanism", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2014 ed.), Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University, retrieved 2018-12-14
  7. ^ "egalitarianism | Definition of egalitarianism in English by Oxford Dictionaries". Oxford Dictionaries | English. Retrieved 2018-11-13.
  8. ^ Rubinstein, David (1988). "The Concept of Justice in Sociology". Theory and Society. 17 (4): 527–550. JSTOR 657654.
  9. ^ Homans, George Caspar (1974). Social behavior; its elementary forms (Rev. ed.). New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich. pp. 246–249. ISBN 978-0-15-581417-2. OCLC 2668194.
  10. ^ 1899-1992., Hayek, F.A. (Friedrich August) (1976). Law, legislation and liberty : a new statement of the liberal principles of justice and political economy. Routledge & Kegan Paul. p. 78. ISBN 978-0-7100-8403-3. OCLC 769281087.
  11. ^ Poblet, Marta; Casanovas, Pompeu (2008), "Concepts and Fields of Relational Justice", Computable Models of the Law, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp. 323–339, doi:10.1007/978-3-540-85569-9_21, ISBN 978-3-540-85568-2
  12. ^ Nagel, Thomas (2005). "The Problem of Global Justice". Philosophy & Public Affairs. 33 (2): 113–147. doi:10.1111/j.1088-4963.2005.00027.x. ISSN 1088-4963.
  13. ^ John Rawls, A Theory of Justice (revised edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), p. 266.
  14. ^ Karl Marx, 'Critique of the Gotha Program' in Karl Marx: Selected writings ed. David McLellan (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977): 564–70 [569].
  15. ^ C.L. Ten, 'Crime and Punishment' in Peter Singer ed., A Companion to Ethics (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 1993): 366–372.
  16. ^ Ted Honderich, Punishment: The supposed justifications (London: Hutchinson & Co., 1969), Chapter 1.
  17. ^ Michael Braswell, and John Fuller, Corrections, Peacemaking and Restorative Justice: Transforming Individuals and Institutions (Routledge, 2014).
  18. ^ See, e.g., Eric Heinze, The Concept of Injustice (Routledge, 2013), pp. 4–10, 50–60.
  19. ^ Plato, The Republic, Book I, 331b–c.
  20. ^ John Rawls, A Theory of Justice (revised edn, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), p. 3
  21. ^
    • See, e.g., Eric Heinze, The Concept of Injustice (Routledge, 2013).
    • Clive Barnett The Priority of Injustice: Locating Democracy in Critical Theory
  22. ^ Daston, Lorraine (2008). "Life, Chance and Life Chances". Daedalus. 137: 5–14. doi:10.1162/daed.2008.137.1.5.
  23. ^ (France, The Red Lily, Chapter VII).
  24. ^ a b Chandran Kukathas, "Ethical Pluralism from a Classical Liberal Perspective," in The Many and the One: Religious and Secular Perspectives on Ethical Pluralism in the Modern World, ed. Richard Madsen and Tracy B. Strong, Ethikon Series in Comparative Ethics (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2003), 61 (ISBN 0-691-09993-6).
  25. ^ a b Mark Evans, ed., Edinburgh Companion to Contemporary Liberalism: Evidence and Experience (London: Routledge, 2001), 55 (ISBN 1-57958-339-3).
  26. ^ "Brain reacts to fairness as it does to money and chocolate, study shows". UCLA Newsroom. UCLA. April 21, 2008. Retrieved January 15, 2015.
  27. ^ Nature 425, 297–299 (18 September 2003)

Further reading

  • Clive Barnett, The Priority of Injustice: Locating Democracy in Critical Theory (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2017), ISBN 978-0-8203-5152-0
  • Brian Barry, Theories of Justice (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989)
  • Harry Brighouse, Justice (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2004)
  • Anthony Duff & David Garland eds, A Reader on Punishment (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994)
  • Colin Farrelly, An Introduction to Contemporary Political Theory (London: Sage, 2004)
  • Barzilai Gad, Communities and Law: Politics and Cultures of Legal Identities (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2003)
  • David Gauthier, Morals By Agreement (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986)
  • Robert E. Goodin & Philip Pettit eds, Contemporary Political Philosophy: An anthology (2nd edition, Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell, 2006), Part III
  • Serge Guinchard, La justice et ses institutions (Judicial institutions), Dalloz editor, 12 edition, 2013
  • Eric Heinze, The Concept of Injustice (Routledge, 2013)
  • Ted Honderich, Punishment: The supposed justifications (London: Hutchinson & Co., 1969)
  • James Konow (2003) "Which Is the Fairest One of All? A Positive Analysis of Justice Theories", Journal of Economic Literature, 41(4)pp. 1188–1239
  • Will Kymlicka, Contemporary Political Philosophy: An introduction (2nd edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002)
  • Nicola Lacey, State Punishment (London: Routledge, 1988)
  • John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism in On Liberty and Other Essays ed. John Gray (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991)
  • Robert Nozick, Anarchy, State, and Utopia (Oxford: Blackwell, 1974)
  • Amartya Sen (2011). The Idea of Justice. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-06047-0.
  • C.L. Ten, Crime, Guilt, and Punishment: A philosophical introduction (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987)
  • Plato, Republic trans. Robin Waterfield (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994)
  • John Rawls, A Theory of Justice (revised edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999)
  • David Schmidtz, Elements of Justice (New York: Columbia University Press, 2006)
  • Peter Singer ed., A Companion to Ethics (Oxford: Blackwell, 1993), Part IV
  • Reinhold Zippelius, Rechtsphilosophie, §§ 11–22 (6th edition, Munich: C.H. Beck, 2011), ISBN 978-3-406-61191-9

External links

Antonin Scalia

Antonin Gregory Scalia ( (listen); March 11, 1936 – February 13, 2016) was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1986 until his death in 2016. Appointed to the Court by President Ronald Reagan in 1986, Scalia was described as the intellectual anchor for the originalist and textualist position in the Court's conservative wing.

Scalia was born in Trenton, New Jersey. He attended Xavier High School in Manhattan and then college at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He obtained his law degree from Harvard Law School and spent six years in a Cleveland law firm before becoming a law school professor at the University of Virginia. In the early 1970s, he served in the Nixon and Ford administrations, eventually as an Assistant Attorney General. He spent most of the Carter years teaching at the University of Chicago, where he became one of the first faculty advisers of the fledgling Federalist Society. In 1982, Ronald Reagan appointed him as judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

In 1986, Reagan appointed him to the Supreme Court. Scalia was unanimously confirmed by the Senate, becoming the Court's first Italian-American justice. He served on the Court for nearly thirty years until his death on February 13, 2016.

Scalia espoused a conservative jurisprudence and ideology, advocating textualism in statutory interpretation and originalism in constitutional interpretation. He was a strong defender of the powers of the executive branch, believing presidential power should be paramount in many areas. He believed that the Constitution permitted the death penalty and did not guarantee the right to abortion or same-sex marriage, and that affirmative action and most other policies that afforded special protected status to minority groups were unconstitutional. These positions earned him a reputation as one of the most conservative justices on the Court. He filed separate opinions in many cases, often castigating the Court's majority using scathing language. Scalia's most significant opinions include his lone dissent in Morrison v. Olson (against the constitutionality of an Independent-Counsel law), his majority opinion in Crawford v. Washington (defining a criminal defendant's confrontation right under the 6th Amendment), and his majority opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller (holding that the 2nd Amendment guarantees a right to individual handgun ownership).

Scalia was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2018.

Captain Marvel (DC Comics)

Captain Marvel, also known as Shazam (), is a fictional comic book superhero appearing in publications by the American publisher DC Comics. Artist C. C. Beck and writer Bill Parker created the character in 1939. Captain Marvel first appeared in Whiz Comics #2 (cover-dated Feb. 1940), published by Fawcett Comics. He is the alter ego of Billy Batson, a boy who, by speaking the magic word "SHAZAM" (acronym of six "immortal elders": Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, and Mercury), can transform himself into a costumed adult with the powers of superhuman strength, speed, flight and other abilities.

Based on book sales, the character was the most popular superhero of the 1940s, outselling even Superman. Fawcett expanded the franchise to include other "Marvels", primarily Marvel Family associates Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel Jr., who can harness Billy's powers as well. Captain Marvel was also the first comic book superhero to be adapted into film, in a 1941 Republic Pictures serial titled Adventures of Captain Marvel, with Tom Tyler as Captain Marvel and Frank Coghlan, Jr. as Billy Batson.

Fawcett ceased publishing Captain Marvel-related comics in 1953, partly because of a copyright infringement suit from DC Comics, alleging that Captain Marvel was a copy of Superman. In 1972, DC licensed the Marvel Family characters from Fawcett, and returned them to publication. By 1991, DC had acquired all rights to the characters. DC has since integrated Captain Marvel and the Marvel Family into their DC Universe and has attempted to revive the property several times, with mixed success. Due to trademark conflicts over another character named "Captain Marvel" owned by Marvel Comics, DC has branded and marketed the character using the trademark Shazam! since his 1972 reintroduction. This, in turn, led many to assume that "Shazam" was the character's name. DC later officially renamed the character "Shazam" when relaunching its comic book properties in 2011, and his associates became known as the "Shazam Family" the following year. Captain Marvel/Shazam and his family battle an extensive rogues' gallery, primarily archenemies Dr. Sivana and Black Adam.

The character has been featured in two television series adaptations by Filmation: one live action 1970s series with actors Jackson Bostwick and Michael Gray portraying the character, and one animated 1980s series. An upcoming New Line Cinema/Warner Bros. Shazam! feature film is scheduled for release in April 2019 as part of the DC Extended Universe, with Zachary Levi and Asher Angel portraying the title role. Captain Marvel was ranked as the 55th greatest comic book character of all time by Wizard magazine. IGN also ranked Captain Marvel as the 50th greatest comic book hero of all time, stating that the character will always be an enduring reminder of a simpler time. UGO Networks ranked him as one of the top heroes of entertainment, saying, "At his best, Shazam has always been compared to Superman with a sense of crazy, goofy fun."

Chief Justice of India

The Chief Justice of India (CJI) is the head of the judiciary of India and the Supreme Court of India. The CJI also heads their administrative functions.

As head of the supreme court, the chief justice is responsible for the allocation of cases and appointment of constitutional benches which deal with important matters of law. In accordance with Article 145 of the Constitution of India and the Supreme Court Rules of Procedure of 1966, the Chief Justice allocates all work to the other judges who are bound to refer the matter back to him or her (for re-allocation) in any case where they require it to be looked into by a larger bench of more judges.

On the administrative side, the Chief Justice carries out the following functions: maintenance of the roster; appointment of court officials and general and miscellaneous matters relating to the supervision and functioning of the Supreme Court.

It has been an unbroken convention for decades now, to appoint the senior-most judge of the supreme court as the CJI.The present CJI is Justice Ranjan Gogoi, and is the 46th CJI since January 1950, the year the Constitution came into effect and the supreme court came into being. He succeeded Justice Dipak Misra on 2 October 2018, and will remain in office till 17 November 2019, the day he retires on turning 65 years in age.

Chief Justice of the United States

The Chief Justice of the United States is the chief judge of the Supreme Court of the United States, and as such the highest-ranking judge of the federal judiciary. Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the Constitution grants plenary power to the President of the United States to nominate, and with the advice and consent of the United States Senate, appoint a chief justice, who serves until they resign, are impeached and convicted, retire, or die.

The chief justice has significant influence in the selection of cases for review, presides when oral arguments are held, and leads the discussion of cases among the justices. Additionally, when the Court renders an opinion, the chief justice, if in the majority, chooses who writes the Court's opinion. When deciding a case, however, the chief justice's vote counts no more than that of any associate justice.

Article I, Section 3, Clause 6 of the Constitution designates the chief justice to preside during presidential impeachment trials in the Senate; this has occurred twice. Also, while nowhere mandated, the presidential oath of office is typically administered by the Chief Justice.

Additionally, the chief justice serves as a spokesperson for the federal government's judicial branch and acts as a chief administrative officer for the federal courts. The Chief Justice presides over the Judicial Conference and, in that capacity, appoints the director and deputy director of the Administrative Office. The Chief Justice is also an ex officio member of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution and, by custom, is elected chancellor of the board.

Since the Supreme Court was established in 1789, 17 people have served as chief justice. The first was John Jay (1789–1795). The current chief justice is John Roberts (since 2005). John Rutledge, Edward Douglass White, Charles Evans Hughes, Harlan Fiske Stone, and William Rehnquist served as associate justice prior to becoming chief justice.

DC Extended Universe

The DC Extended Universe (DCEU) is the official term used to refer to an American media franchise and shared universe that is centered on a series of superhero films, distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures and based on characters that appear in American comic books by DC Comics. The shared universe, much like the original DC Universe in comic books and the television programs, was established by crossing over common plot elements, settings, cast, and characters. The films have been in production since 2011 and in that time Warner Bros. has distributed six films. The series has grossed over $4.91 billion at the global box office, currently making it the 12th highest-grossing film franchise.

The films are written and directed by a variety of individuals and feature large, often ensemble, casts. Several actors, including Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, and Ray Fisher, have appeared in numerous films of the franchise, with continued appearances in sequels planned. In May 2016, DC's chief creative officer Geoff Johns and Warner Bros. executive vice president Jon Berg were appointed to co-run the DC Films division and oversee creative decisions, production and story-arcs in order to create a cohesive overarching plot within the films. In January 2018, Walter Hamada was appointed the president of DC Films, replacing Berg.

The first film in the DCEU was Man of Steel in 2013 followed by Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad in 2016, Wonder Woman and Justice League in 2017, and Aquaman in 2018. The franchise will continue with scheduled release dates for Shazam! in 2019, Birds of Prey and Wonder Woman 1984 in 2020, The Batman, The Suicide Squad and The Flash in 2021, and Aquaman 2 in 2022. A multitude of other projects are in various stages of development.

International Court of Justice

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations (U.N.). It settles legal disputes submitted by states and gives advisory opinions on legal issues referred by authorized U.N. organs and specialized agencies. Through its opinions and rulings, the ICJ also serves as a source of international law.

The ICJ is the successor of the Permanent Court of International Justice (PCIJ), which was established by the League of Nations in 1920 and began its first session in 1922. After the Second World War, both the League and PCIJ were dissolved and replaced by the United Nations and ICJ, respectively. The Statute of the ICJ is based heavily on that of the PCIJ.

The ICJ comprises a panel of 15 judges elected by the General Assembly and Security Council for nine-year terms. It is seated in the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands, making it the only principal U.N. organ not located in New York City. Its official working languages are English and French,

Justice League

The Justice League is a team of fictional superheroes appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The Justice League was conceived by writer Gardner Fox, and they first appeared together, as Justice League of America (JLA) in The Brave and the Bold #28 (March 1960).The Justice League is an assemblage of superheroes who join together as a team. The seven original members were Aquaman, Batman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, Superman and Wonder Woman. The team roster has rotated throughout the years, consisting of various superheroes from the DC Universe, such as The Atom, Big Barda, Black Canary, Cyborg, Green Arrow, Elongated Man, the third Flash, the third Green Lantern, Hawkgirl, Hawkman, Metamorpho, Plastic Man, Power Girl, Orion, Red Tornado, Stargirl, Captain Marvel/Shazam and Zatanna, among many others.

The team received its own comic book title called Justice League of America in November 1960. With the 2011 relaunch, DC Comics released a second volume of Justice League. In July 2016, the DC Rebirth initiative again relaunched the Justice League comic book titles with the third volume of Justice League. Since its inception, the team has been featured in various films, television programs and video games.

Justice League (film)

Justice League is a 2017 American superhero film based on the DC Comics superhero team of the same name, distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It is the follow-up to 2016's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and the fifth installment in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). The film is directed by Zack Snyder, written by Chris Terrio and Joss Whedon, and features an ensemble cast that includes Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Amy Adams, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane, Connie Nielsen, and J. K. Simmons. In the film, Batman and Wonder Woman recruit The Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg after Superman's death to save the world from the catastrophic threat of Steppenwolf and his army of Parademons.

The film was announced in October 2014, with Snyder on board to direct and Terrio attached to write the script. Initially titled Justice League Part One, with a second part to follow in 2019, the second film was indefinitely delayed to accommodate a standalone Batman film with Affleck. Principal photography commenced in April 2016 and ended in October 2016. After Snyder stepped down to deal with the death of his daughter, Joss Whedon was hired to oversee the remainder of post-production, including directing additional scenes written by himself; Snyder retained sole directorial credit, while Whedon received a screenwriting credit. Justice League premiered in Beijing on October 26, 2017, and was released in the United States in 2D, Real D 3D, and IMAX on November 17, 2017.

With an estimated production budget of $300 million, Justice League is one of the most expensive films ever made. The film grossed $657 million worldwide against a break-even point of $750 million, becoming a box office bomb and losing the studio around $60 million, while also making it the lowest overall gross of the DCEU. The film received mixed reviews from critics; although the action sequences and performances (particularly Gadot and Miller) were praised, the plot, writing, pacing, villain, and overuse of CGI were criticized. The film's tone was met with a polarized reception, with some appreciating the lighter tone compared to the previous DCEU films, and others finding it inconsistent.

Justice of the peace

A justice of the peace (JP) is a judicial officer of a lower or puisne court, elected or appointed by means of a commission (letters patent) to keep the peace. In past centuries the term commissioner of the peace was often used with the same meaning. Depending on the jurisdiction, such justices dispense summary justice or merely deal with local administrative applications in common law jurisdictions. Justices of the peace are appointed or elected from the citizens of the jurisdiction in which they serve, and are (or were) usually not required to have any formal legal education in order to qualify for the office. Some jurisdictions have varying forms of training for JPs.

List of Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States

The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest ranking judicial body in the United States. Its membership, as set by the Judiciary Act of 1869, consists of the Chief Justice of the United States and eight associate justices, any six of whom would constitute a quorum. Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the Constitution grants plenary power to the President of the United States to nominate, and with the advice and consent (confirmation) of the United States Senate, appoint justices to the Supreme Court. Justices have life tenure, and receive a salary which is set at $255,500 per year for the chief justice and at $244,400 per year for each associate justice as of 2014.The Supreme Court was created by Article III of the United States Constitution, which stipulates that the "judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court," and was organized by the 1st United States Congress. Through the Judiciary Act of 1789, Congress specified the Court's original and appellate jurisdiction, created thirteen judicial districts, and fixed the number of justices at six (one chief justice and five associate justices).Since 1789, Congress has occasionally altered the size of the Supreme Court, historically in response to the country's own expansion in size. An 1801 act would have decreased the Court's size to five members upon its next vacancy. However, an 1802 act negated the effects of the 1801 act upon the Court before any such vacancy occurred, maintaining the Court's size at six members. Later legislation increased its size to seven members in 1807, to nine in 1837, and to ten in 1863. An 1866 act was to have reduced the Court's size from ten members to seven upon its next three vacancies, and two vacancies did occur during this period. However, before a third vacancy occurred, the Judiciary Act of 1869 intervened, restoring the Court's size to nine members, where it has remained since.While the justices of the Supreme Court are appointed for life, many have retired or resigned. Beginning in the early 20th century, many justices who left the Court voluntarily did so by retiring from the Court without leaving the federal judiciary altogether. A retired justice, according to the United States Code, is no longer a member of the Supreme Court, but remains eligible to serve by designation as a judge of a U.S. Court of Appeals or District Court, and many retired justices have served in these capacities. Historically, the average length of service on the Court has been less than 15 years. However, since 1970 the average length of service has increased to about 26 years.

My Hero Academia

My Hero Academia (Japanese: 僕のヒーローアカデミア, Hepburn: Boku no Hīrō Akademia) is a superhero manga series written and illustrated by Kōhei Horikoshi. It has been serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump since July 2014, and 20 volumes have been collected in tankōbon format. The story follows Izuku Midoriya, a boy born without superpowers (called quirks) in a world where they have become commonplace, but who still dreams of becoming a hero himself. He is scouted by the world's greatest hero, who shares his quirk with Izuku after recognizing his potential, and later enrolls him in a high school for heroes in training.

The manga was adapted into an anime television series by Bones. Its first season aired in Japan from April 3 to June 26, 2016, followed by a second season from April 1 to September 30, 2017, then a third season from April 7 to September 29, 2018, and an animated film titled My Hero Academia: Two Heroes was released on August 3 of that year.The series has been licensed for English-language release by Viz Media and began serialization in their weekly digital manga anthology Weekly Shonen Jump on February 9, 2015.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg (, born Joan Ruth Bader; March 15, 1933) is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Ginsburg was appointed by President Bill Clinton and took the oath of office on August 10, 1993. She is the second female justice (after Sandra Day O'Connor) of four to be confirmed to the court (along with Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, who are still serving). Following O'Connor's retirement, and until Sotomayor joined the court, Ginsburg was the only female justice on the Supreme Court. During that time, Ginsburg became more forceful with her dissents, which were noted by legal observers and in popular culture. She is generally viewed as belonging to the liberal wing of the court. Ginsburg has authored notable majority opinions, including United States v. Virginia, Olmstead v. L.C., and Friends of the Earth, Inc. v. Laidlaw Environmental Services, Inc.

Ginsburg was born in Brooklyn, New York. Her older sister died when she was a baby, and her mother, one of her biggest sources of encouragement, died shortly before Ginsburg graduated from high school. She then earned her bachelor's degree at Cornell University, and became a wife and mother before starting law school at Harvard, where she was one of the few women in her class. Ginsburg transferred to Columbia Law School, where she graduated tied for first in her class. Following law school, Ginsburg turned to academia. She was a professor at Rutgers Law School and Columbia Law School, teaching civil procedure as one of the few women in her field.

Ginsburg spent a considerable part of her legal career as an advocate for the advancement of gender equality and women's rights, winning multiple victories arguing before the Supreme Court. She advocated as a volunteer lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union and was a member of its board of directors and one of its general counsels in the 1970s. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter appointed her to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, where she served until her appointment to the Supreme Court. Ginsburg has received attention in American popular culture for her fiery liberal dissents and refusal to step down; she has been dubbed the "Notorious R.B.G."

Social justice

Social justice is a concept of fair and just relations between the individual and society. This is measured by the explicit and tacit terms for the distribution of wealth, opportunities for personal activity, and social privileges. In Western as well as in older Asian cultures, the concept of social justice has often referred to the process of ensuring that individuals fulfill their societal roles and receive what was their due from society. In the current global grassroots movements for social justice, the emphasis has been on the breaking of barriers for social mobility, the creation of safety nets and economic justice.Social justice assigns rights and duties in the institutions of society, which enables people to receive the basic benefits and burdens of cooperation. The relevant institutions often include taxation, social insurance, public health, public school, public services, labor law and regulation of markets, to ensure fair distribution of wealth, and equal opportunity.Interpretations that relate justice to a reciprocal relationship to society are mediated by differences in cultural traditions, some of which emphasize the individual responsibility toward society and others the equilibrium between access to power and its responsible use. Hence, social justice is invoked today while reinterpreting historical figures such as Bartolomé de las Casas, in philosophical debates about differences among human beings, in efforts for gender, racial and social equality, for advocating justice for migrants, prisoners, the environment, and the physically and developmentally disabled.While the concept of social justice can be traced through the theology of Augustine of Hippo and the philosophy of Thomas Paine, the term "social justice" became used explicitly from the 1840s. A Jesuit priest named Luigi Taparelli is typically credited with coining the term, and it spread during the revolutions of 1848 with the work of Antonio Rosmini-Serbati. However, recent research has proved that the use of the expression "social justice" is older (even before the 19th century). In the late industrial revolution, progressive American legal scholars began to use the term more, particularly Louis Brandeis and Roscoe Pound. From the early 20th century it was also embedded in international law and institutions; the preamble to establish the International Labour Organization recalled that "universal and lasting peace can be established only if it is based upon social justice." In the later 20th century, social justice was made central to the philosophy of the social contract, primarily by John Rawls in A Theory of Justice (1971). In 1993, the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action treats social justice as a purpose of human rights education.Some authors such as Friedrich Hayek criticize the concept of social justice, arguing the lack of objective, accepted moral standard; and that while there is a legal definition of what is just and equitable "there is no test of what is socially unjust", and further that social justice is often used for the reallocation of resources based on an arbitrary standard which may in fact be inequitable or unjust.

Supreme Court of the United States

The Supreme Court of the United States (also referred to by the acronym SCOTUS) is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States. Established pursuant to Article III of the U.S. Constitution in 1789, it has original jurisdiction over a small range of cases, such as suits between two or more states, and those involving ambassadors. It also has ultimate (and largely discretionary) appellate jurisdiction over all federal court and state court cases that involve a point of federal constitutional or statutory law. The Court has the power of judicial review, the ability to invalidate a statute for violating a provision of the Constitution or an executive act for being unlawful. However, it may act only within the context of a case in an area of law over which it has jurisdiction. The Court may decide cases having political overtones, but it has ruled that it does not have power to decide nonjusticiable political questions. Each year it agrees to hear about 100–150 of the more than 7,000 cases that it is asked to review.According to federal statute, the Court normally consists of the Chief Justice of the United States and eight associate justices who are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Once appointed, justices have lifetime tenure unless they resign, retire, or are removed from office. Each justice has a single vote in deciding the cases argued before it, the chief justice's vote carries no more weight. However, when the Chief Justice is in the majority they decide who writes the court's opinion; this is otherwise assigned by the senior justice in the majority. In modern discourse, the justices are often categorized as having conservative, moderate, or liberal philosophies of law and of judicial interpretation. While a far greater number of cases in recent history have been decided unanimously, decisions in cases of the highest profile have often come down to just one single vote, exemplifying the justices' alignment according to these categories. The Court meets in the Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C. Its law-enforcement arm, the United States Marshals Service, is under the oversight of the U.S. Department of Justice.

United States Attorney General

The United States Attorney General (A.G.) is the chief lawyer of the federal government of the United States and head of the United States Department of Justice per 28 U.S.C. § 503, concerned with all legal affairs.

Under the Appointments Clause of the United States Constitution, the officeholder is nominated by the President of the United States and appointed with the advice and consent of the United States Senate. The U.S. Constitution provides that civil officers of the United States, which would include the U.S. Attorney General, may be impeached by Congress for treason, bribery or high crimes and misdemeanors. The United States Attorney General may be removed at will by the President of the United States under the Supreme Court decision Myers v. United States, which found that executive branch officials may be removed without the consent of any entity. In cases of the federal death penalty, the power to seek the death penalty rests with the U.S. Attorney General.

The current Attorney General is William Barr.

United States Department of Justice

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ), also known as the Justice Department, is a federal executive department of the U.S. government, responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice in the United States, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries. The department was formed in 1870 during the Ulysses S. Grant administration.

The Department of Justice administers several federal law enforcement agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The department is responsible for investigating instances of financial fraud, representing the United States government in legal matters (such as in cases before the Supreme Court), and running the federal prison system. The department is also responsible for reviewing the conduct of local law enforcement as directed by the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994.The department is headed by the United States Attorney General, who is nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate and is a member of the Cabinet. The current Attorney General is William Barr.

Victoria Justice

Victoria Dawn Justice (born February 19, 1993) is an American actress and singer. She rose to fame on Nickelodeon in the 2000s, starring as Lola Martinez on Zoey 101 (2005–2008) and later Tori Vega on Victorious (2010–2013). Justice has also appeared in the films The Boy Who Cried Werewolf (2010), Fun Size (2012), The First Time (2012) and Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List (2015). In 2015, she starred in the lead role as Lindy Sampson on the MTV television series Eye Candy. In music, Justice has recorded several songs for the soundtracks of her acting projects, including Victorious and the Nickelodeon musical Spectacular!.

William Howard Taft

William Howard Taft (September 15, 1857 – March 8, 1930) was the 27th president of the United States (1909–1913) and the tenth chief justice of the United States (1921–1930), the only person to have held both offices. Taft was elected president in 1908, the chosen successor of Theodore Roosevelt, but was defeated for re-election by Woodrow Wilson in 1912 after Roosevelt split the Republican vote by running as a third-party candidate. In 1921, President Warren G. Harding appointed Taft to be chief justice, a position in which he served until a month before his death.

Taft was born in Cincinnati in 1857. His father, Alphonso Taft, was a U.S. Attorney General and Secretary of War. Taft attended Yale and, like his father, was a member of Skull and Bones. After becoming a lawyer, he was appointed a judge while still in his twenties. He continued a rapid rise, being named Solicitor General and as a judge of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. In 1901, President William McKinley appointed Taft civilian governor of the Philippines. In 1904, Roosevelt made him Secretary of War, and he became Roosevelt's hand-picked successor. Despite his personal ambition to become chief justice, Taft declined repeated offers of appointment to the Supreme Court of the United States, believing his political work to be more important.

With Roosevelt's help, Taft had little opposition for the Republican nomination for president in 1908 and easily defeated William Jennings Bryan for the presidency that November. In the White House, he focused on East Asia more than European affairs and repeatedly intervened to prop up or remove Latin American governments. Taft sought reductions to trade tariffs, then a major source of governmental income, but the resulting bill was heavily influenced by special interests. His administration was filled with conflict between the conservative wing of the Republican Party, with which Taft often sympathized, and the progressive wing, toward which Roosevelt moved more and more. Controversies over conservation and antitrust cases filed by the Taft administration served to further separate the two men. Roosevelt challenged Taft for renomination in 1912. Taft used his control of the party machinery to gain a bare majority of delegates and Roosevelt bolted the party. The split left Taft with little chance of re-election and he took only Utah and Vermont in Wilson's victory.

After leaving office, Taft returned to Yale as a professor, continuing his political activity and working against war through the League to Enforce Peace. In 1921, President Harding appointed Taft as chief justice, an office he had long sought. Chief Justice Taft was a conservative on business issues and under him there were advances in individual rights. In poor health, he resigned in February 1930. After his death the next month, he was buried at Arlington National Cemetery, the first president and first Supreme Court justice to be interred there. Taft is generally listed near the middle in historians' rankings of U.S. presidents.

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