U.S. SUPREME COURT

We have a huge problem at the United States Supreme Court.  The Supreme Court, a body that has the final word on our fate as citizens, has itself become insanely political — which is really, really, REALLY bad.

It is painfully obvious that, somewhere along the way, we abandoned the founders’ intention for constitutional interpretation (which was that constitutional interpretation belongs in the hands of the people, certainly not nine unelected lawyers) and replaced it with the idea of judicial supremacy (where the high court alone is responsible for interpreting our fundamental rights as set forth by the U.S. Constitution).

Perhaps the most terrifying example is the text messages sent between former Donald Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. The text messages sent between the two essentially championed and encouraged efforts to overturn the (perfectly legal and valid) 2020 presidential election.

Even though several of the messages seem unhinged — “Release the Kraken and save us from the left taking America down,” Kraken being a term often used by followers of QAnon — every American has the right to their own position, regardless of who they are married to. That said, one message that cryptically revealed she had a “conversation” with her “best friend” is extremely concerning. < It is well documented that Clarence and Ginni often referred to one another as their “best friend” in public. >

Again, Ginni having a conversation with her “best friend” is not illegal, but it becomes highly suspicious when her husband is the ONLY Supreme Court Justice to voice public dissent after the Court rejected Donald Trump’s efforts to stop the National Archives from releasing January 6th documents to Congress.

It's increasingly clear that a politically motivated Supreme Court is unsustainable. It is my belief that, together with the severe political split in America, the main culprit is the Court’s size. A small Supreme Court is a Court that has outsized power, is unrepresentative, non-collaborative, and often puts the outcome of super important, highly consequential decisions in the hands of one “swing” vote.

If you have any doubt that this is where we are, just take notice that practically every modern-day Supreme Court decision is split right down party lines.  Or, worse, look at the partisan warfare that is ignited every time a seat on the high court becomes vacant.  These nasty political fights are damaging to our country and only serve to divide us even more than we already are. Plus, appointing like-minded Supreme Court justices becomes the most important decision(s) a president makes, which is far from what the founders’ envisioned, and perpetuates a self-fulfilling prophecy.

This is incredibly dangerous. We the People need to take our constitutional responsibility back.  Fast!  In our minds, there are two ways we can deal with this:

End lifetime appointments for Supreme Court justices.

 

We should end the life-time appointments that Supreme Court justices now enjoy.  The new appointments can be ten years, and the terms should be staggered to ensure that the terms expire fairly across presidential terms.  Warning: It is a heavy lift to get this done because it requires a constitutional amendment.

Expand the U.S. Supreme Court, but not for the reasons Democrats are currently claiming.

 

The U.S. Supreme Court needs more justices but not, as Democrats currently claim, to right past wrongs, or to ensure the Court is more “liberal” or “conservative.”  In fact, that politically based thinking is exactly what we described before.

It is our belief that the Supreme Court should at least double to 18 members — then add one justice because we need an uneven number — although a strong case can be made for an even larger number. The additional justices should be phased in gradually to avoid an advantage for any one political party.  This is much easier to do than enacting term limits because the current number of Justices was set forth by Congress in 1869.  Therefore, Congress can simply pass a law to change the size of the court.