DC Dicta asks: Should the Supremes be shaken up?

February 11, 2009

What do you think of a Supreme Court with rotating justices every two years? How about term limiting chief justices to seven years? What about a chief justice who can suggest that aging justices retire – then have that suggestion reported to the judicial conference and ultimately the House Judiciary Committee? And how does having part of the docket decided by a panel of appellate judges who are not Supremes sound? A little wacky?

supremesWell, not to a group of law professors, former state chief justices, and lawyers, who think it’s high time the Supreme Court got a little shakeup – something that hasn’t seriously been considered for more than 70 years.

“The Supreme Court has gotten a little too big for its britches and it would be good for Congress to enact a law or two that says, ‘You’re part of an enterprise that we have some power over,'” professor Paul Carrington of Duke Law School told The National Law Journal. Carrington is one of the group of 33 who sent a letter and draft legislation to Attorney General Eric Holder and members of the House and Senate judiciary committees.

Although all 33 signatories did not agree on all four proposals, there is a majority support for each. And Carrington noted that these proposals are not entirely new – they’ve been discussed for some time.

So what do you think? Would it be a good idea for Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. to give a little nudge to Justice John Paul Stevens while handing him a brochure of Florida retirement spots? How about having 9th Circuit judges in the position to grant certs? Or Roberts being term limited from the center chair at the ripe age of 57? Take our poll!