Post by Josh Rosenbluth
This strikes me as a good idea at first blush.
Sounds interesting. The article is not clear about the tenure of the
junior justices. Is there a fixed number of them and do appointments to
this group necessarily mean that that one must leave? Or, do they all
have tenure, raising the question of what could become a large body.
Since these judges must be approved by the Senate, don't we have the
same problem with the a Senate effectively packing the court with
members sympathetic to their party? I can see how this might reduce the
workload in the Supreme Court, but I'm not sure that it prevents a long
term party bias in what is supposed to be a politically independent body.
There are always nine junior justices. Assuming we immediately adopt
this plan, Clarence Thomas becomes the most senior member of the junior
justices. In 2021, the president will nominate a replacement for Thomas
with Thomas moving to the status of senior justice. In 2023, Stephen
Breyer moves from junior to senior justice, and so forth.
The picks will still be subject to Senate confirmation, but the will
always happen in non-election years (one, every two years), which ought
to short-circuit the Senate refusing to consider anyone.