Christopher Scalia on Court-Packing

Christopher Scalia has an excellent piece at USA Today debunking the specious grounds of the Democratic attempt to expand the Supreme Court to 13 justices. The grounds are so implausible as to raise another question: Why bother with the pretense? That is not a rhetorical question, at least not entirely. Expanding or contracting the Court is one of the legitimate tools at Congress’ disposal for constraining judicial behavior of which it disapproves. For a variety of reasons, I would oppose expanding the Court. But I would endorse being open about the reasons for proposing it. The Court’s power is swollen … Continue reading Christopher Scalia on Court-Packing

Expanding the Court

UPDATE: I stand by the concerns about adjusting the size of the Court, but I suspect I was hasty in criticizing the six-month deadline. The membership of the Commission is excellent, and I wish it well. I’m leaving the post in place below. President Biden has announced a 180-day commission that will study reforms of the Supreme Court, including expanding its membership and limiting justices’ terms. There may be good reasons for some of these. The roadblock that conservative justices present to progressive priorities right now is not among them. Consequently, the most revealing and disturbing aspect of the Biden … Continue reading Expanding the Court

Standing and Situational Constitutionalism

Linda Greenhouse has this column at The New York Times this week, aptly observing the significance of Chief Justice John Roberts’ solitary dissent in Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski—but also illustrating exactly the kind of situational constitutionalism he sought to avoid. The case was brought by a plaintiff who was prohibited by Georgia Gwinnett College, a public institution, from sharing his religious views outside, then even inside, a designated free speech area. Once challenged, the college changed the policy, rendering the dispute moot. But the plaintiffs sought a dollar of damages, raising the question of whether they retained standing to sue even after getting what they wanted. … Continue reading Standing and Situational Constitutionalism

Supreme Court Rejecting Texas Case

In his post today about the Supreme Court’s decision to throw out the Texas lawsuit without so much as an explanation, Jeffrey Tulis wishes that the Supreme Court had written a more extensive statement explaining why they threw it out. Tulis cites a similar piece by Tom Goldstein making roughly the same argument. Both Tulis and Goldstein want the Court to have written a more extensive opinion which, to use Goldstein’s words, “decimates” the lawsuit. Although I agree that this lawsuit was not only ungrounded but dangerous, I would suggest that a more lengthy “decimation” would have been a serious … Continue reading Supreme Court Rejecting Texas Case

The History and Legitimacy of Court Expansion

Is court expansion a legitimate political move? As guest author Thomas Keck explains “proposed alterations in the size of the Supreme Court, like other unorthodox innovations in our governing institutions, are a recurring feature of moments of crisis for U.S. democracy.” In this article, Keck outlines the history of so-called court packing in the U.S. and its relevancy for today. Continue reading The History and Legitimacy of Court Expansion