Is it time to increase the size of the Supreme Court?
Today's 5-4 Habeas decision has got me thinking: Congress has the power to fix the size of the Supreme Court. Perhaps the Democrats should use their new embiggened majority to give President Obama a couple more appointments in 2009.
Of course, there's that little detail of winning the election, but I think we need to start thinking BIG about rolling back 28 years of conservative rule.
at the time it was seen as a major leadership failure. FDR weathered the storm and was reelected, that is true, but that had a lot to do with the fact that a badly fractured Repug party put up a VERY weak candidate (Wendell Willkie) in opposition to him in 1940.
And in 1944, there was no WAY we were electing Dewey in the middle of a war.
25. He saved Social Security by the "packing the court" pressure he put on them.
It didn't "blow up in his face." He simply lost the political fight to expand the number of justices (couldn't get it through Congress--the Puke media went nuts, and called him a "dictator."). The court (full of dinosaurs from the Coolidge and Hoover regimes--the ones who brought on the Great Depression) kept declaring FDR's desperately needed economic and social programs "unconstitutional." So he threatened them with expanding the number of justices, to add younger, more liberal justices. Though he lost the vote in Congress, the pressure caused one justice to change his mind about the "New Deal." Thus, Social Security was saved! We wouldn't have it today if FDR hadn't tried to "pack the court" (as the rightwing press termed it). (It's actually a perfectly legal thing for Congress to do. The Constitution does not specify the number of justices. Nine is an arbitrary number. Congress can increase it.)
We are now at a very similar pass. The fascist Bush Junta has stacked the court with fascist justices. They will be a huge obstacle to badly needed reform (especially with regard to corporate power), to economic recovery and social justice programs--or other enlightened policy--on the part of a Democratic government. They will protect "organized money" (as FDR put it*). They will need to be pressured, and can be threatened in a number of ways, but "packing the court" is the easiest (doesn't require a Constitutional amendment, and doesn't take the time that investigation, prosecution and impeachment would take).
Political proposals may not succeed, the first time around--or ever. But they DO have impacts, even if unsuccessful. (A good example is the Equal Rights Amendment--it never got passed, but the pressure of it has resulted in REALLY significant improvement in women's equality.) Just floating an idea, like "packing the court," can produce change. But with this court, it will probably take more than that. They are nasty lot.
*"Organized money hates me--and I welcome their hatred." --Franklin Delano Roosevelt
9. Just the opposite, cut back and do it based on senority
The last two in are the first to go. That way, two birds can be killed with one stone. We eliminate two psychos at the very least and give the remaining judges the nice raise Alito and Roberts were whining for.
Increasing the size makes sense given how long the court has stayed at nine members. It's been at 9 members since 1869 when the population was around 39 million. If we had increased the size proportionally with population, we'd have close to 70 justices on the court today. It doesn't seem too far-fetched to raise the number to eleven.
Could you imagine the mess 79 would be? There were be subcommittees on the court to determine which committee heard which appeal - nothing would ever get done.
I could live with 11 but if a dem gets in the repubs won't want to give them that many new ones to appoint, so I'm not sure it would happen, unless we run the world - but then again, we all have trouble deciding anything
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