General Question

Strauss's avatar

Would the US benefit from a smaller Supreme Court?

Asked by Strauss (21216points) October 27th, 2016

A number of news reports (Constitution Daily, Huffington Post, Washington Monthly, The Federalist to name a few) have indicated that, no matter the outcome of the Presidential election, there may still be a stalemate on Supreme Court nominations. The number of justices on the Court is set by tradition, not by the Constitution. There has been some talk from Republicans concerning the possibility of reducing the number by attrition, that is, refusing to confirm nominees until the number of justices is less than nine.

What do you think of a smaller court to decide constitutional issues?

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11 Answers

Zaku's avatar

I think our country is screwed, and this is one way that it is.

I think this is a nonsense idea piled upon other nonsense. Having nine justices is nowhere near what the problem is.

For one thing, if the idea is to reduce deadlocks, numerically one would think that more should lead to fewer ties.

I think that it’s just one outrage, but a large one, that no new justice has been appointed. Obama should have at least sent some candidates to challenge Congress to do their jobs.

I think the Republicans would happily confirm anyone to the Supreme Court if the candidate was on “their side” of the issues they use to rally support to their side of the petty squabbles they use as their part of the perpetuation of the two-party illusion. That is, they’d approve an anti-abortion pro-gun (but mainly pro-corporate rights) candidate.

JLeslie's avatar

I could see only having 7. It has to be an odd number in my opinion.

However, since the tradition of late is 9, I find it pretty awful we have been at 8 for so long now. It’s inexcusable to me.

janbb's avatar

@Zaku Not sure what you mean about the candidates. Obama has sent an impeccable candidate – Merrick Garland – and they have not even considered him. He’s moderate, ethical and a white male to boot.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

No, then one Republican president could wreak even more future damage than they do already.

With more justices, one president appoints a smaller portion of the court.

Regarding Merrick Garland, Republicans probably WILL try to vote him in now because he’s old, and then stage another epic tantrum when President Clinton presents her own younger appointee.

Zaku's avatar

@janbb I mean that I hope what I’ve little I’ve read about the President’s option to appoint a candidate anyway if Congress fails to do it’s job, is accurate. It seems to me that it makes sense that if Congress has the right to (dis)approve SC candidates, but fails/refuses to render any decision, that the President should go ahead and appoint them. At any rate, it seems like a ridiculous breakdown for Congress to not even vote – they should need to at least have to votes and vote no to shut down the President – not just refuse to vote.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

they should need to at least have to votes and vote no to shut down the President

That’s exactly what Republicans say…when a Republican is president.

90 Times Senators On The Judiciary Committee Demanded A Vote On Judicial Nominees

Pandora's avatar

If I could restructure the government, the President, and Judicial system should have no party affiliation.
Congress would be split 3 ways. Each state having 1 democrat, 1 republican, 1 liberal party.
Senate (no matter the size of the state)
Senate will be, will also be divided into 3 But the person with the majority vote from their state gets a hire vote ratio. 9points for first, 6 points for 2nd and 3 points for last.
This is the only way I can see that the best person gets voted for and every citizen feels represented by their state Legislative Branch.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

You would save $110,000 a year by not paying for another judge.

Setanta's avatar

If the nominations to the court are stymied by a Republican controlled Senate, it is unlikely that any bill could be passed reducing the number of justices. Personally, i think nine is a good number.

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