Although it hasn't been formally confirmed by President Obama yet, it is known that his pick to replace retiring Supreme Court justice John Paul Stevens is Elena Kagan, who is currently serving the government as Solicitor General. Next, Kagan's life and career will be held up to a magnifying glass, as it now falls to Congress to decide if she is a suitable choice or not.
If only we lived in the fantasy world that Hollywood consistently creates for us. There is a long history of strong judicial candidates in film, people who can be counted on to keep a level head in all situations. While they may be unsuitable for the job of Supreme Court justice since none of them actually exist, I still think that they're all worthy of your time and consideration.
Judge Chamberlain Haller -- "My Cousin Vinny"
There should be a law stating that everyone has to see "My Cousin Vinny" at some point in their lives. With Judge Chamberlain Haller (Fred Gwynne) presiding over the United States Supreme Court, that could actually happen! The small town judge was initially resistant to Vinny's (Joe Pesci) big city attitude and unorthodox (read: untrained) courtroom techniques, but he was ultimately able to look past that and serve in the name of justice.
Judge Henry X. Harper -- "Miracle on 34th Street"
New York Supreme Court Justice Henry X. Harper (Gene Lockhart) is initially a worrisome choice. After all, his middle name starts with "X." That's your first sign of trouble. Judge Harper is saddled with the unpleasant task of presiding over a hearing which could put Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn), the real Santa Claus, away in a mental asylum. Fortunately for kids across the world, the judge is swayed when tens of thousands of letters addressed to Saint Nick are delivered into the courtroom as evidence. With his decision, Harper essentially saves Christmas. How many past Supreme Court justices have done that?
Judge Reinhold -- "Arrested Development"
This pick is a little bit meta, to the point that it's making my head hurt. Judge Reinhold is a real person, a well-known actor who is probably best known for his contributions to the "Beverly Hills Cop" series. He also popped up, as himself, on the TV series "Arrested Development" as part of a subplot involving a new courtroom reality series a la "Judge Judy" titled -- you guessed it -- "Judge Reinhold." Reinhold is a bit of a goofball and he has no actual courtroom experience. But hey, maybe the U.S. Supreme Court could use a kind of class clown to lighten their generally stuffy mood. Right?
Judge Roy Snyder -- "The Simpsons"
In recent years, a new judge has been appointed to preside over the town of Springfield: Judge Constance Harm (Jane Kaczmarek), who is, well, kind of a b--ch. Her predecessor, still a fixture in Springfield's court proceedings, is Judge Roy Snyder (Harry Shearer). He's been around since the very first season of "The Simpsons" and, in that time, has seen his share of bizarre courtroom happenings. For all that he's seen in Springfield, it's little more than a training ground for what is to come once Snyder is appointed as a Supreme Court justice. I can't wait to read a Supreme Court brief in which he falls back on the trusty, old "Boys Will Be Boys" defense.
Judge Dredd -- "Judge Dredd"
The United States legal system is a tricky place. Most times, problems are solved after months (if not years) of back-and-forths, scheduled and rescheduled court dates, appeals, motions, filings and the like. And sometimes... well, sometimes it would be so much simpler if someone would just step in and kick a little ass. Enter Judge Dredd (Sylvester Stallone). He doesn't talk much, or well, he's not particularly friendly and his idea of what is right and what is wrong can best be defined as murky. But what Dredd lacks in knowhow he makes up for in firepower; far fewer criminal cases will appear before the Supreme Court when Dredd trades in his helmet and armor for a judicial robe and a well-concealed sawed-off shotgun.