October 2, 2018

How to fix the Supreme Court when the Democrats are back in power

Intercept -    It’s past time for liberals and the left to consider court packing: When they next have control of the House, the Senate, and the White House, Democrats should add at least two new seats to the Supreme Court and then fill them, ideally, with left-wing, well-qualified women of color. They could even call it “court balancing.”

“Pack the courts as soon as we get the chance,” tweeted Indiana University law professor Ian Samuel, the co-host of the popular Supreme Court podcast “First Mondays,” on the the day Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement from the Supreme Court in June. “‘Pack the courts’ should be a phrase on par with ‘abolish ICE.’”

This might sound extreme, but it isn’t. The Constitution allows for Congress to decide the number of Supreme Court justices. “There is nothing magical about the number nine,” HuffPost’s Zach Carter observed in June. “The court was founded in 1789 with just six justices and has included as many as 10, from 1863 to 1866 — when a Republican legislature intentionally shrank the court size to seven justices to prevent President Andrew Johnson from making any appointments.”

Nor is nine some sort of global norm: The U.K.’s Supreme Court consists of 12 justices; Israel’s has 15; in India, there are 25 Supreme Court justices (with a maximum of 31).


Anonymous said...

Madison's original ratio was 1 "representative" for every 30,000 citizens, which the Anti-Federalists recognised as a way to prevent anyone but the rich being representatives or represented.

Maybe we need to expand the House to 1 per 10,000. For 330M citizens, the House would have a population of 33000. That might be quite nice, especially if their salary were the median for their district. It would be harder for the rich to bribe enough of them (as Jefferson pointed out) so we might get some real service from them. For a change.

penalcolony said...

Another (possible) fix: Clarence Thomas's *younger* brother Myers died of a heart attack. Seventeen years ago. The Justice's obits seem unlikely to include phrases like "ripe old age."