Qualifications The Constitution does not list any specific requirements an individual must meet in order to become a federal judge. A person does not, in theory, even have to be a lawyer in order to be a judge, although the vast majority of judges are lawyers. In recent years, more nominees have had prior experience as judges (either on a lower court or on a state court). The American Bar Association (ABA), the professional association of lawyers, issues ratings of nominees based on their qualifications. Supreme Court Nominees The president nominates someone to be a Supreme Court justice only when there is a vacancy on the Court. Most presidents choose nominees based on judicial philosophy, hoping to appoint someone who will most likely decide cases in accordance with the political views of the president and members of his political party. Other factors that influence the president’s choice include the nominee’s qualifications, input from any outside groups, and the likelihood that the Senate will confirm the nominee. Supreme Ghosts
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