Thinking Citizen Blog — Fixing the Supreme Court — Good idea? Bad idea?
Thinking Citizen Blog — Sunday is Political Process, Campaign Strategy, and Candidate Selection Day
Today’s Topic: Fixing the Supreme Court — Good idea? Bad idea?
Does the Supreme Court need fixing or is it just fine the way it is? Do un-elected swing voters on the court have too much power? How about abolishing life tenure? How about abolishing the rule of 5 (for a decision to qualify as “precedent”)? Jury decisions have to be unanimous. Why not a unanimity rule for the Supreme Court? How about expanding the number on the court from 9? How about 12? There is nothing about the rule of 5 or the number 9 in the Constitution. And why not make the position of Supreme Court Justice elective? And, let’s be honest, judicial review is not in the Constitution. A Federalist judge named John Marshall invented in 1803 in the infamous case of Marbury v Madison which founding father Thomas Jefferson judged entirely illegitimate. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.
ABOLISH LIFE TENURE
1. Objection: life tenure is “a shield of independence.”
2. Yes, but: do you really want to have unproductive judges on the bench?
3. Mandatory retirement at age 80? fixed term of 10?12?18? 20 years?
MAKE THE POSITION ELECTED
1. Confirmation hearings are a farce.
2. Judicial elections would be educational.
3. Objection: Are you nuts? The threat of majority tyranny is bad enough as it is.
WHAT’S SO MAGIC ABOUT “5” AND “9”?
1. What’s good for juries, would be good for the Supreme Court.
2. Unanimity would be the best barrier to partisan decisions.
3. 12 would make the court more representative.
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