16 Comments

Biden as an institutionalist is willing to see the country torn apart rather than act to save it, a big disappointment. The simplest and fairest approach to me is pass a law mandating that the number of Supreme Court justices shall equal the number of US Circuit Courts of Appeal, currently 13. Specifying that the number of justices depends on the number of Circuit Courts would prevent any tit-for-tat new enlarging of the Court if the Republicans got back into power.....

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Another great article! I didn't know much of the history you shared. Thanks.

Expanding the court is a great idea, but Biden won't do it and has said so repeatedly. There is no "left" in the USA. What we consider "left" is center right (and "Marxist-Communist to the extremist right, which is to say, the Republican Party.)

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Did you know if they serve 10 years, the Justices get a pension equal to their full salary? They make over a million dollars every four years with many perks and clerks to help do their job. Pretty sweet gig. Sure they could make more at a law firm, but that would involve having to hustle and deal with clients. AND, there would be no one and nothing to make them feel that kind of POWER.

Limiting power was why we fought the Revolution, why we needed our succinct Constitution. I'm for whatever it takes to Constitutionally keep some control of current and future Justices that act in a greedy, immature fashion not worthy of their status or this country. They take our money and perks, let's make them do their JOB.

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This is an excellent article that tells the truth about where these arrogant law twisting justices really are as opposed to where they think they are.

Their obvious intention to never be questioned, well that is over.

Read the damn Constitution Justices and respect the other branches , especially the Congress , who does indeed need to monitor your blatant disregard for the law .

With the opinions in the past year we have a collection of reversals on settled law.

The arrogance apparent by these justices is staggering.

I would say Congress has its work cut out for it.

It involves delivering a reset of reality for this Court .

Who resistance is remarkably ignorant regarding truths in the Constitution.

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Thanks Thom. SCOTUS has been no friend to regular citizens for most of our history, as you have no doubt written many times. There were a few shining decades that seemed to make otherwise smart citizens forget. The court has been regressing since Nixon, so that’s not recent . . .

Patriotic citizens must demand that *all* of the judges and (in)justices appointed by the traitor Don T have to resign, or be removed. Tiresome and time wasting to clean up that damage, like so much that has been done in the name of ‘conservatism’ ( they are *not* conservative: nazis, kkk, confederates, black shirts, brown shirts, mccarthyists, misogynists, theocrats -- are *not* conservative, but traitors against humanity and humanism and everything we have learned )

Too hard? Hard, yes. Expand the Court, sure, first.

But if we progressive liberals do not make clear comprehensive rational moral and ethical demands, when overwhelmingly justified -- and possible, the law allows -- how can we expect to make significant improvements?

Judges inserted by the Feudalist Society have to go!

The rogue billionaires have twisted the thing that still calls itself Republican Party so badly that we can simply say, it’s the Republicans, stupid! Don’t vote R!

You’re not stupid? Then I’m not talking to you. Somebody voted R? Net wealth less than $5 million and have a sound head and a sound heart? See above.

Some will talk about failures among the Dems. That’s an old one, ‘they are the same.’. Bullshit. Look at the legislation passed by Dems, v the no votes from Rs

Infrastructure and voting rights. Stark. Just those two make it clear. There aren’t any good R examples.

best luck to US, b.rad

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The Federalist papers are not legal, they are the private correspondence between politicians with often opposing views. The right wing, the conservatives, have been using them as a quasi legal document, to bolster their claim that the constitution means what they say it means.

And it has infected the body politic ever since, and now has SCOTUS in its thrall

If fascism is rule by the rich and powerful, then the constitution is in it's conception fascist. because it was written by rich, powerful, landed gentry, white men, to favor and protect their class.

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Elie mystal has put forth a logical and practical plan.

https://www.thenation.com/podcast/politics/elie-mystals-court-packing-plan/

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Thom,

You quoted Hamilton in Federalist 81: "We have seen that the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court would be confined to two classes of causes, and those of a nature rarely to occur [arguments between the states, and treaties with other nations]", but Hamilton appears to have been mistaken. The text of Article III, Section 2, Paragraph 2 states: "In all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a state shall be party, the Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction." "SHALL BE PARTY" is more expansive than "BETWEEN THE STATES". Cases where a state "appeals" Congressional legislation on its face seems to imply "appellant", but the text quoted seems to explicitly include these cases in "original" jurisdiction.

Nevertheless, your suggestion that "Congress could mandate the same [require unanimity when SCOTUS interprets legislation] for our Supreme Court with a simple majority vote, if they could get 50 Democrats to overcome a filibuster." seems powerful enough to do what is needed here. Has anything like this been discussed by the law professors? Would the states have standing to appeal such a law? In the scenario where SCOTUS took the case and ruled against it, we would have a Constitutional crisis. Who rules when Congress and SCOTUS are in direct opposition to each other?

I liked the suggestion by Bruce Culver that instead of "packing" the Court by directly changing the number of Justices, which could easily be changed to another number by a future Republican Congress, mandate that the number of Justices should be the the same as the number of judicial districts.

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