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View Diary: SCOTUS and the next 11 years (13 comments)

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  •  If any of the current crop would retire (0+ / 0-)

    That is what I was thinking. Kennedy may retire under a Democratic president?
    Scalia? Never.

    Kennedy, like he is now, is the wildcard, and could possibly do the reverse of what happened when O'Connor retired.

    I am not sure the experiences of the last 10 justices is relevant, as they expected their successors to be somewhat moderate jurists worthy of the job, and not causing a wild swing in the court's decision making, as the Alito and Thomas appointments did.

    Compare Kagan and Sotomayor for Stevens and Souter
    and Alito for O'connor and Thomas for Marshall.

    •  It's up to the electorate. FDR changed their tune (1+ / 0-)
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      very quickly in 1937 with an electoral mandate, when he put the pressure on. Although they won't be impeached for crimes, they are quite literally aiders and abettors having decriminalized political corruption. Also they have violated separation of powers, the political question doctrine and the doubtful case rule. If the electorate wanted to restore the balance of powers so that the Court wasn't in control over Congress, and ruling as a super-legislature, then some real political pressure could be brought to bear on behalf not of the left but on behalf of depoliticizing the Court. Under the spotlight they could decide to retire in their early eighties rather than suffer public opprobrium in a nation that has turned against them. But that would take a Clinton presidency and Congress that could pass something worth defending from another scandalous Court veto.

      •  After the court packing trial balloon was raised (1+ / 0-)
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        There are a few thoughts on how to make the court less politicized, from having a justice serve only for 18 years so there is a continuous regular changeover of justices.

        When Scalia was writing all those amusing dissents for all those years, there were a few years where the Congress and President could have added two justices to flip 5-4 to 6-5.

        To a certain extent, I think 9 isn't enough and think 15 is a better number, so there is more turnover and you get a wider set of views. (and it is closer in number to an en banc review at the circuit level)

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