Thursday, February 12, 2009

Four Reforms for Supreme Court

Thirty-three law professors, former state supreme court justices, and practitioners proposed four significant changes to Supreme Court operations, Law.com reports.  (Thanks to reader Darren Elliott for the tip.)  The group sent the proposals to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees in the form of draft legislation.  (This is the latest in a series of proposals for Supreme Court reform.  See Supreme Court 2.0 in the ABA Journal, October 2008, for more.)

The proposals:

1.  Membership rotation.  Thirty members of the group recommended biennial Supreme Court appointments to ensure justice rotation and regular change in composition of the Court.  The nine most junior justices would hear cases; the Court itself would figure out what to do with senior justices when the number exceeds nine.

2.  Retirement.  The group proposed that the Chief and the Judicial Conference would actively promote the retirement of justices who can no longer perform duties.

3.  Term Limit for Chief.  The group proposed a seven-year term limit for the Chief.

4.  Docket.  Nineteen members proposed that a group of appellate judges would set a substantial number of cases for the Court to hear on their merits.  The Court could add to, but not subtract from, this number.

SDS

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