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Is it time to increase the size of the Supreme Court?

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jgraz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-12-08 03:29 PM
Original message
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.

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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-12-08 03:31 PM
Response to Original message
1. We need to do something to end the embarrassment of this Supreme Court . . .
the population of the country has increased --- and the diversity -- why not the SC?

I'd be for impeaching Clarence Thomas --- and reopening investigation into his status
as the SC's pervert ---



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Vincardog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-12-08 03:32 PM
Response to Original message
2. I think we could use another 4 justices. Maybe Gore Nader Edwards and a heartburn to be named later
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dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-12-08 03:33 PM
Response to Original message
3. if mccain gets his hands on it, the next president/congress will have to add A LOT of new seats.
i'd suggest waiting to expand it until it's really needed.

had it gone 5-4 the other way today re; habeas corpus, i'd be more amenable to the idea.
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deadmessengers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-12-08 03:35 PM
Response to Original message
4. That didn't work out too well last time someone tried it
FDR's attempt to pack the court blew up in his face pretty hard, IIRC.
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ColbertWatcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-12-08 03:42 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. I came here to say this. n/t
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jgraz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-12-08 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. He tried to raise it to 15. And he got re-elected two more times after that.
Not exactly "blowing up in his face" as I see it.
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deadmessengers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-12-08 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. He tried, but failed
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.
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tsuki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-12-08 04:27 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. There was quite a ruckus about the proposal, but it did let the
Supremes know, if he had to he would.

And the country in 1940 still had the taste of Hoover in their throat. No way they were going to vote GOP.
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deadmessengers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-12-08 04:33 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. Especially when you consider that Hoover ran again for the nomination in 1940
Little known fact there - Hoover wanted to take another run at the White House in 1940, but was not renominated.
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backscatter712 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-12-08 04:31 PM
Response to Reply #4
17. IIRC, the reason for FDR's blowback was...
that FDR tried to unilaterally increase the size of the Supreme Court, and Congress balked, saying that only they could do that.

Think we could persuade a new filibuster-proof Democratic Congress, with the Obama presidency, to increase the size of the SCOTUS so Obama can appoint some liberal justices?
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MrCoffee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-12-08 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #4
19. It worked out extremely well for him
SCOTUS was overturning New Deal legislation (both federal and state) when FDR announced his plan to pack the court.

Justice Owen Roberts switched his position in West Coast Hotel v. Parrish, 300 US 379, a vote that was referred to as "the switch in time that saved nine".

FDR got EXACTLY what he wanted out of the threat to pack the court.
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jgraz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-12-08 04:56 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. It also has the benefit of being Constitutional, unlike *'s power grabs
I say, let the Repigs squeal. We need to start some radical changes if we're going to reverse this hell-in-a-handbasket scenario we find ourselves in.
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-13-08 03:22 AM
Response to Reply #4
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

(That's the kind of president I want!)
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Mike Daniels Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-12-08 03:37 PM
Response to Original message
5. So I guess you'll be in favor of increasing the size as well if McCain wins?
....crickets chirping....

Didn't think so.
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jgraz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-12-08 03:42 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Of course I fucking won't be in favor of that. What's your point?
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notadmblnd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-12-08 03:55 PM
Response to Original message
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.
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jgraz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-12-08 03:58 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Or, we could just impeach the four motherfuckers.
I'm sure we could find any number of reasons to kick them off the court.
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old guy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-12-08 04:08 PM
Response to Original message
12. Don't know about increasing the size,
but I would like to see the for life appointments stopped or changed. No one should be appointed to any government job for life.
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MiniMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-12-08 04:14 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. I think the original idea was to keep somebody from skewing the entire court
If you could get rid of them, you could end up with a politicized bunch like the US Attorneys did. The bigger problem was that the dems caved to 2 totally unacceptable candidates.
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-12-08 04:10 PM
Response to Original message
13. No, it's time to impeach the bastards on the Court that keep
pissing on the constitution and the nation.

:grr:

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jgraz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-12-08 04:20 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. That'll work, too. However...
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.
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-12-08 05:18 PM
Response to Reply #15
21. I say go with lucky 13
though I did enjoy Oceans 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 :9

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jgraz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-12-08 06:36 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. 13 is a good number. Let the "Fascist Four" get used to writing dissents.
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-12-08 07:25 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. I'll go with that.
But I still want Scalia impeached. I can dream can't I? x(

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morningglory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-12-08 09:00 PM
Response to Original message
24. No! Feb. 09 would be the time to do that. Good idea! nt
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-13-08 04:55 AM
Response to Original message
26. We should have at least 15..
and they should be limited to 15 year terms..and not even be leigible until they are 60 years old..
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