Thursday, October 4, 2018

Would Eight Justices Make for a Better Supreme Court?

Professor Eric Segall says yes. One benefit: four Democrats and four Republicans would mean very few decisions determined by a single swing vote. From the abstract:

Ever since Justice Scalia passed away last February, the Supreme Court has been composed of eight Justices equally divided among Republicans and Democrats. This paper argues that Congress should permanently set the number of Justices at eight and require that at all times there are four Republicans and four Democrats on the Court.

A permanent, evenly-divided Court will work harder to reach narrower decisions in its hardest cases and will be less able to impose its ideological agendas on the American people while at the same still have the tools necessary to maintain the supremacy and uniformity of federal law. To the extent the Justices do deadlock on a case, the issues will be resolved by court of appeals judges who are much more politically, educationally, and geographically diverse than the Justices.

You can access the article here on SSRN.


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