10 ways to fix a broken Supreme Court

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    • #494794
      • Total Posts: 12,208


      1) Court-packing–Let’s get the biggest weapon in the arsenal of democracy out of the way first. If Congress has the votes, it could simply add more seats to the Supreme Court. President Biden would then name several new justices to fill those vacant seats, who could be confirmed by a Democratic Senate. Although the Constitution provides that there must be a Supreme Court, it does not say how many justices shall serve on that Court. Over the course of American history, the Court has had as few as five seats and as many as 10. A bill pending in Congress right now would add four seats to the Court, transforming the 6-3 Republican majority into a 7-6 Democratic majority.

      3) The “Supreme Court lottery”–A separate proposal from Epps and Sitaraman would transform the Supreme Court from a permanent panel of nine justices to an ever-changing panel of judges. These judges would briefly rotate onto the Supreme Court before returning to their regular job on a federal appeals court. The basic idea is that each of the approximately 170 active federal appeals court judges would be appointed as associate justices of the Supreme Court. Then, every two weeks, nine of these judges would be randomly selected to serve on the nation’s highest Court. After two more weeks, a different panel of nine would be selected. (In this system, the current justices could also be eligible to rotate onto a temporary panel of nine, but they would no longer sit permanently on that panel.)

      4) Term limits–Another way to prevent justices from “strategically timing their retirement” is term limits. The leading term limits proposal, which has at times enjoyed support from prominent Democrats and Republicans, would require each justice to step down after 18 years. Terms would be staggered so that a justice steps down every two years, meaning that two justices would be replaced during each presidential term, although whoever is president when this proposal is implemented might get to replace more justices depending on how Congress decided to manage the transition to the new system. If such a proposal had been implemented on the first day of a Biden presidency, Biden might have immediately gotten to replace Justices Clarence Thomas and Stephen Breyer, both of whom have served more than 18 years. The next justice in line to leave the Court would be Chief Justice John Roberts.

      5) Jurisdiction stripping–The Constitution gives the Supreme Court power to hear most federal cases on appeal from a lower court, but it may only assert jurisdiction over cases “with such exceptions, and under such regulations as the Congress shall make.” Accordingly, Congress has at least some power to tell the Supreme Court that it is not allowed to hear certain cases.It’s not clear how much power Congress has to limit the Court’s power to hear particular cases. Congress has unlimited power to restrict the jurisdiction of lower federal courts, a power that a Democratic Congress could use to prevent Trump-appointed trial judges from blocking new progressive laws as soon as those laws are enacted. But the Supreme Court’s decisions concerning Congress’s power to limit the high court’s jurisdiction are not a model of clarity.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

    • #494806
      Scott Crowder
      • Total Posts: 973

      "The possessions of the rich are stolen property." Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
      “The two greatest obstacles to democracy in the United States are, first, the widespread delusion among the poor that we have a democracy, and second, the chronic terror among the rich, lest we get it.” Edward Dowling
      "The poverty of our century is unlike that of any other. It is not, as poverty was before, the result of natural scarcity, but of a set of priorities imposed upon the rest of the world by the rich." John Berger

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