Morning Musically-Minded, Medically-Minded, Masticators!
(Today’s post is sponsored by the letter “M”)
Over the past 600+ episodes, The Simpsons has taken us on an amazing journey involving music, science, and food to name a few concepts.
And what better way to start your week, than by discussing some of these concepts Monday morning?
So let’s get started this week by talking about an important and high-ranking position in the United States government.
In the sixty fifth episode of The Simpsons, Itchy & Scratchy: The Movie (Season 04, Episode 06), it’s parent teacher night at Springfield Elementary, and while the feedback regarding Lisa from Miss Hoover is great; things are not so great on Bart’s end. Ms. Krabappel is concerned about Bart’s behaviour and it’s impact on his future. However, she encourages the parents to discipline Bart.
Ms. Krabappel: “I believe that with persistent discipline, even the poorest student can end up becoming, oh, say, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.”
Homer: “Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. What great men he would join: John Marshall, Charles Evans Hughes, Warren Burger… Mmmmmmm… Burger!”
On the drive home, Marge tells Homer he has to start disciplining Bart. He cannot just ignore Bart’s behaviour. There has to be repercussions for Bart’s actions.
Meanwhile at home, Bart breaks Grampa’s dentures. Marge punishes Bart by sending him to bed without supper. But Homer caves by the end of the night and brings Bart a slice of pizza.
Bart’s bad behaviour continues, even as we learn that ‘The Itchy & Scratchy Movie’ is coming to theaters and quickly purchase tickets. The movie has everyone in Springfield buzzing. But when Bart misbehaves and let’s Maggie take the family car on a joyride that leads to a prinson breakout, Marge reminds Homer of the impact of his parenting.
Marge: “Do you want your son to grow up to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court or a sleazy male stripper?”
Homer: “Can’t he be both like the late Earl Warren?”
Marge: “Earl Warren wasn’t a stripper!”
Homer: “Now who’s being naive?”
So Homer steps up and rips Bart’s movie ticket. He forbids Bart from going to ‘The Itchy & Scratchy Movie’ ever. Even when Bart tries to sneak in to the movie, Homer has instructed every theater in Springfield to not sell a ticket to Bart.
However, a glimpse into the future shows everything works out, as Bart becomes Chief Justice and gets to finally watch the movie with his Dad.
Future Bart (seeing the ‘Itchy & Scratchy’ movie with an elderly Homer): “One senior citizen and one Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.”
But have you ever wondered who the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court is?
Chief Justice of the United States
Chief Justice of the United States is the chief judge of the Supreme Court of the United States and the highest-ranking officer of the U.S. federal judiciary. The Chief Justice, like all federal judges, is nominated by the President and confirmed to office by the U.S. Senate.
Since the Supreme Court was established in 1789, the following 17 men have served as Chief Justice:
(Table modified from Wikipedia – tenure length for John Roberts as of today)
Along with his or her general responsibilities as a member of the Supreme Court, the Chief Justice has several unique duties to fulfill.
- Article I, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution stipulates that the Chief Justice shall preside over the Senate trial of an impeached President of the United States.
- Three Chief Justices have presided over Presidential impeachment trials: Salmon P. Chase (1868 trial of Andrew Johnson), William Rehnquist (1999 trial of Bill Clinton), and John Roberts (2020 trial of Donald Trump). All three Presidents were acquitted in the Senate.
- The Chief Justice sets the agenda for the weekly meetings where the justices review the petitions for certiorari, to decide whether to hear or deny each case.
- The Supreme Court agrees to hear less than one percent of the cases petitioned to it. While associate justices may append items to the weekly agenda, in practice this initial agenda-setting power of the Chief Justice has significant influence over the direction of the court.
- The Chief Justice has traditionally administered the Presidential oath of office to new U.S. Presidents.
- This is merely custom, and is not a constitutional responsibility of the Chief Justice. The Constitution does not require that the Presidential oath be administered by anyone in particular, simply that it be taken by the President. Law empowers any federal or state judge, as well as notaries public, to administer oaths and affirmations. Seven times, someone other than the Chief Justice of the United States administered the oath of office to the President.
- The Chief Justice ordinarily administers the oath of office to newly appointed and confirmed associate justices, whereas the senior-most associate justice will normally swear in a new Chief Justice.
The salary of the chief justice is set by Congress; the current (2021) annual salary is $280,500, which is slightly higher than that of associate justices, which is $268,300.
Now that we’ve learned more about the Chief Justice of the United States, be sure to come back next week when we continue our Monday morning musings with the next episode of The Simpsons.
Did you remember the episode? What’s your favourite Bart being punished episode of The Simpsons? What’s your favourite sneak into the future episode of The Simpsons? Who’s your favourite Chief Justice? Sound off in the comments below. You know we love hearing from you.