Thursday, April 15, 2021

A Better Supreme Court

Biden has made noises about starting a commission to look at adding seats to the Supreme Court, which is all he had promised during the campaign. It's probably a slow road to no change, though.

I am in favor of adding seats to the court because the current number nine is not preordained anywhere. There were six until 1863, and when it was expanded to nine it was because that was the number of circuit courts at the time (with a national population of about 35 million). 

Now there are 13 circuit courts, and a national population almost 10 times as large. 

In addition, four of our current justices, with their lifetime appointments, were put on the court by presidents who were elected without winning the popular vote. Two of those were also put on after ethically reprehensible maneuvering by the Republican-controlled Senate. So those four are clearly minoritarian and some are also the beneficiaries of cheating.

And that's not even getting into the fact that two justices ("justices"!) — one who was appointed by a president who managed to win the popular vote — are known sexual harassers or assaulters. The harasser, let's not forget, also has a big pile of known conflicts of interest through his wife and her PAC and other activist connections. 

Personally, I'd be fine with impeaching all four of them (leaving just Samuel Alito — my favorite [!] — as the only Republican-appointed justice, since he's the only one appointed by a president who won with a majority of the popular vote and hasn't committed impeachable offenses, as far as I know), but in lieu of that, enlarging the court is an option.

In the long run, adding four more seats to the court to equal the number of circuit courts would be a good way to better serve our country, while also rectifying some of the wrongs done by the Republican Party's operatives over the past few decades.

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