When the Supreme Court was established in 1820, it had only three judges. In 1872, the size of the Supreme Court judges increased to five, and to seven 1890 till present. In order for the Court to handle the cases before it and resolve them expediently, the Supreme Court was divided into two. The division was dissolved in 1976 by the Constitutional amendments in relation to the organization in the Court. The Court now listens to the cases “en banc” or in English “all together” so that the decision is really one made all the seven judges of the Supreme Court and not just a part or division of the Supreme Court.
Article V, Section 21 of the Missouri constitution, governs the qualifications of the Supreme Court Judges. According to the provision, Supreme Court judge must have at least attained the age of 30 years old, he should be a licensed lawyer under the laws of Missouri, he should be a United States citizen for at least 15 years, he also must bea voter in the state. Term of office of a Supreme Court judge is 12 years, and a judge, if deems it fit may seek to serve for multiple terms. The retirement age of all judges is 70. However, if they wish they can apply for senior status, such status allows them to continue hearing cases without no limit in terms of age.
According to the constitution of Missouri, the only judge referred to as “justice” is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. All the other judges, even those in the Supreme Court are referred to as “Judge.” Traditionally, the Chief Justice is elected by all the seven Supreme Court Judges for two terms; this is done on a rotational basis. Jointly, the Supreme Court judges govern the judicial branch of government of the state together; they are led by the Chief Justice
However, in most states of America, the part of becoming the justice of the Supreme Court is so easy, whoever finishes top of his class from one of the best law schools in the country, a good legal resume, and he is in the right place at the right time without any past criminal record, stands a big chance of being justice of the Supreme Court. The only technical qualifications so far needed to be eligible for the Supreme Court is a law practicing experience of 12 years, either as a lawyer or a judge and a consecutive five years in good taste with the bar. However, only the and brightest legal minds are appointed to the Supreme Court.
For instance, if say the President is either a Republican or a Democrat, and he is the one to appoint the justices of the Supreme Court, he will only choose those who share the same ideologies as his and who agree with his judicial philosophy. This element of the current legal state in America is so questionable as to whether the brightest minds in the judiciary are just puppets and only dance to the wishes of one who appointed them. Because of this, there is need for the whole of America to adopt a system where the qualifications of a Supreme Court are clearly states and not the ones who dance to the whims of the president who the appointing authority.