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Old 20th September 2021, 08:49 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
And why would that be so hard?

How about a different process for selecting top-bench judges. Something non-political and not swayable by the politics of the day. Think that can be done?
Why stop at the SCOTUS, I'm saying? Universal, legislated "balanced" representation, in all branches of Government. Democracy!
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Old 20th September 2021, 09:00 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
Why stop at the SCOTUS, I'm saying? Universal, legislated "balanced" representation, in all branches of Government. Democracy!
The judiciary needs to be, and be seen to be, impartial.

Same question: How would YOU accomplish this?
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Old 21st September 2021, 08:43 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
And why would that be so hard?

How about a different process for selecting top-bench judges. Something non-political and not swayable by the politics of the day. Think that can be done?
No, it can't.

The Supreme Court as it stands is an inherently political body involved in setting social policy. There is no way around this.

They are almost always hearing cases of first impression, usually of a constitutional nature (also some about strictly federal law). When this happens, the court is making policy decisions. They decide how broad or how narrow the right to speech is, how many exceptions there are to the warrant requirement, on and on and on and all of this has a profound effect on people's lives. These decisions are informed by that judge's idea of how the world works and how it should work.

The idea that there is a way to do this divorced from political/policy preference is a dangerous fantasy that serves to cloak a judge's political opinion with the illusion of objectivity and deflect any moral criticism. One example we have Scalia and Thomas saying it is just fine to kill innocent people as long as the original trial was fair. Which is sociopathic, but somehow as long as they say this is what the framers intended people will defend such an opinion, giving no heed to the fact that Scalia and Thomas are the ones saying both that the framers intended this and that the framers intentions matter in the first place.
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Old 21st September 2021, 09:17 AM   #44
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But could we at least have some kind of minimum requirements in terms of judicial qualifications?
The kind of people Trump nominated were barely out of law school.
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Old 21st September 2021, 10:49 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
But could we at least have some kind of minimum requirements in terms of judicial qualifications?
The kind of people Trump nominated were barely out of law school.
Some of our more notable justices have had no judicial experience at all prior to being nominated (Earl Warren, for example). I think it would probably be healthier to have a couple of non-judges on the Supreme Court. It would also be nice if they weren't drawn from such a narrow pool of Harvard and Yale grads. The de facto requirements already suck. These people represent limited interests.

Fresh-faced nominees is a consequence of an increasing willingness to game the process. Eliminating lifetime appointments would probably be sufficient to put a stop to that.

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Old 21st September 2021, 10:54 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by Cat Not Included View Post
So she was supposed to have forseen the future enough to retire 20 years before her death?
You didn't have to be an actuary to know that she was rolling the dice in 2013 when she passed up a safe opportunity to retire and have the Democratic Senate confirm an Obama nominee. To be fair, so was Breyer, who was even older at the time and seems today determined to die on the bench. Both are fools, but it remains to be seen if Breyer will get away with it or not.
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Old 21st September 2021, 10:56 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
You didn't have to be an actuary to know that she was rolling the dice in 2013 when she passed up a safe opportunity to retire and have the Democratic Senate confirm an Obama nominee. To be fair, so was Breyer, who was even older at the time and seems today determined to die on the bench. Both are fools, but it remains to be seen if Breyer will get away with it or not.
Another argument for term limits.
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Old 21st September 2021, 11:03 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
Another argument for term limits.
I'd be happy if liberal jurists stopped huffing their own farts and realized they need to play the political game shrewdly. The conservatives are running circles around them because they are the only side that rightly recognizes the courts as simply another political battlefront, not a legal debate club.

A well trained federalist society ghoul would never make this unforced error. Libs gotta smarten up.
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Old 21st September 2021, 11:46 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
I'd be happy if liberal jurists stopped huffing their own farts and realized they need to play the political game shrewdly. The conservatives are running circles around them because they are the only side that rightly recognizes the courts as simply another political battlefront, not a legal debate club.

A well trained federalist society ghoul would never make this unforced error. Libs gotta smarten up.
The SC would be less political if justices retired and were replaced on a regular schedule. Every president would get a chance to appoint a certain number, and plans for a transition could be made well in advance, instead of the Amy Coney Barrett pre-election railroad.
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Old 21st September 2021, 12:04 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by mumblethrax View Post
Some of our more notable justices have had no judicial experience at all prior to being nominated (Earl Warren, for example). I think it would probably be healthier to have a couple of non-judges on the Supreme Court. It would also be nice if they weren't drawn from such a narrow pool of Harvard and Yale grads. The de facto requirements already suck. These people represent limited interests.
The incestuous nature of elite legal circles never ceases to amaze me. Harvard/Yale/Stanford grads get the prestigious legal jobs because those are seen as the best schools and those are seen as the best schools because their graduates get the prestigious legal jobs.
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Old 21st September 2021, 12:15 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by Cat Not Included View Post
So she was supposed to have forseen the future enough to retire 20 years before her death?
Not so much a question of foresight as a question of risk assessment. In order to replace Ginsburg with a political clone, a progressive President and a progressive Senate were required. This is something that happens on a more or less regular cadence, but with plenty of variance in each cycle.

So she knew it would almost certainly happen sooner or later. The issue is, how likely was it to happen again in her remaining years? Surviving for another 20 years or so was not a guaranteed thing. Thus, risk assessment: How likely will it be that she gets another opportunity for a progressive replacement before she dies? How likely will it be that when she does eventually die, it will coincidentally happen to be during such an opportunity? What's the worst that could happen if she dies before another opportunity comes around? What's the worst that could happen if she takes this opportunity and retires now?

She took a gamble with a really obvious and severe downside, and very little real upside, in my opinion. This was not a failure of clairvoyance on her part. It was a failure of risk assessment.
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Old 21st September 2021, 12:53 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
The SC would be less political if justices retired and were replaced on a regular schedule. Every president would get a chance to appoint a certain number, and plans for a transition could be made well in advance, instead of the Amy Coney Barrett pre-election railroad.
I don't see how that would be less political, but it would be a more orderly process reflecting some democratic notion (tied to the electoral fate of the presidency), rather than just waiting for stubborn old goats to drop dead.
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Old 21st September 2021, 01:16 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
I don't see how that would be less political, but it would be a more orderly process reflecting some democratic notion (tied to the electoral fate of the presidency), rather than just waiting for stubborn old goats to drop dead.
It would never be non-political, but the more orderly process would allow broader consideration of candidates, deeper investigation of them, and behind-the-scenes negotiation about who would be acceptable to the other side. I think Kavanaugh might have been less likely to be nominated if he could have been thoroughly investigated beforehand.
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Old 21st September 2021, 01:44 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by kevbo View Post
Wow. Even the title of the thread is offensive.
I agree, Warp12, what you have said here may not be incorrect, but how you chose to say it, was.
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Old 21st September 2021, 01:46 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by Warbler View Post
I agree, Warp12, what you have said here may not be incorrect, but how you chose to say it, was.
That's a feature, not a bug.
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Old 21st September 2021, 01:49 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
It would never be non-political, but the more orderly process would allow broader consideration of candidates, deeper investigation of them, and behind-the-scenes negotiation about who would be acceptable to the other side. I think Kavanaugh might have been less likely to be nominated if he could have been thoroughly investigated beforehand.
I mean, if we are positing the existence of the good faith meaningful bargaining would require then none of this would be necessary in the first place.

They had all the time in the world to vet Kavanaugh. They could have easily found another replacement level federalist society goon. Just his lunatic rant much less possible past sexual misdeeds and sketchy finances should have been disqualifying. The rush was because they didn't want to investigate him.
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Old 21st September 2021, 01:53 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by Warbler View Post
I agree, Warp12, what you have said here may not be incorrect, but how you chose to say it, was.
Meh. Take a look around this forum...let it all soak in. It's only "bad" when conservatives do it.
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Old 21st September 2021, 01:59 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
It would never be non-political, but the more orderly process would allow broader consideration of candidates, deeper investigation of them, and behind-the-scenes negotiation about who would be acceptable to the other side. I think Kavanaugh might have been less likely to be nominated if he could have been thoroughly investigated beforehand.
The whole point of the nomination/approval process is to trigger that investigation. It was up to the Senate to determine how extensively to investigate.

(Obviously it was up to the President to decide how thoroughly to vet the guy beforehand, as well.)

What you're saying is that a candidate is less likely to be nominated if the opposition gets a shot at preemptive character assassination. But all this really does is shift the exact same political wrangling and horse-dealing into a different spot in the process.
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Old 21st September 2021, 02:06 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by Warbler View Post
I agree, Warp12, what you have said here may not be incorrect, but how you chose to say it, was.
I don't really see the problem. She's dead, and that will have some pretty dire effects.

I have trouble finding anything past "Republicans did the honorable thing and did not let the court bench sit in tatters" that I think is even wrong, much less objectionable.

Maybe the celebratory tone, but meh. Anyone who thinks they are above that is incapable of imagining Trump shooting Thomas, Alito, and Kavanaugh over a golf dispute.
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Old 21st September 2021, 02:09 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
But all this really does is shift the exact same political wrangling and horse-dealing into a different spot in the process.
They are trying to re-arrange the deck chairs on the Constitutional Titanic.

(with the added issue that the chairs are welded down and not going anywhere)
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Old 21st September 2021, 02:23 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
Meh. Take a look around this forum...let it all soak in. It's only "bad" when the way conservatives do it.
Reality.
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Old 21st September 2021, 02:31 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
Meh. Take a look around this forum...let it all soak in. It's only "bad" when conservatives do it.
I am willing to criticize when liberals do it.
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Old 21st September 2021, 02:31 PM   #63
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So everyone is 100% convinced that any method of selection of Supremes judges is inherently political? There's no selection method you can think of that can achieve even a semblance of political balance? Or any method that avoids taking political views into account at all?

Note I'm not talking about the individual views of the candidates and sitting jurists. That will always be contentious - none of them are clones, and having a variety of views is always good. I'm talking about the selection method and possibly the operation of the court.

Nobody got any thinking caps to put on? Still stuck in the rut of "doing what we always did" and getting gamed by experts in cheating at that?
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Old 21st September 2021, 02:32 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
That's a feature, not a bug.
huh?
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Old 21st September 2021, 02:37 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by Suddenly View Post
I don't really see the problem. She's dead, and that will have some pretty dire effects.
It doesn't mean you need to call it the "Dead Ginsburg Effect"

Originally Posted by Suddenly View Post
I have trouble finding anything past "Republicans did the honorable thing and did not let the court bench sit in tatters" that I think is even wrong, much less objectionable.
considering how republicans acted when Anthony Kennedy died in an election year, it seems to me that the the Republicans did the hypocritical thing.


Originally Posted by Suddenly View Post
Maybe the celebratory tone, but meh. Anyone who thinks they are above that is incapable of imagining Trump shooting Thomas, Alito, and Kavanaugh over a golf dispute.
???
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Old 21st September 2021, 02:41 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
So everyone is 100% convinced that any method of selection of Supremes judges is inherently political? There's no selection method you can think of that can achieve even a semblance of political balance? Or any method that avoids taking political views into account at all?

Note I'm not talking about the individual views of the candidates and sitting jurists. That will always be contentious - none of them are clones, and having a variety of views is always good. I'm talking about the selection method and possibly the operation of the court.

Nobody got any thinking caps to put on? Still stuck in the rut of "doing what we always did" and getting gamed by experts in cheating at that?
I agree that as long as politicians are involved in the choice, it is going to be political. I also think politicians need to be involved otherwise the people making the choice would not be answerable to the people. I mean if you had the remaining Supreme Court pick the replacements, it wouldn't be long before the U.S. Supreme Court turning into a dictatorship. Even if judges were elected by the people, it would still be political. Elections are political in nature.
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Old 21st September 2021, 02:45 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by Warbler View Post
I agree that as long as politicians are involved in the choice, it is going to be political. I also think politicians need to be involved otherwise the people making the choice would not be answerable to the people. I mean if you had the remaining Supreme Court pick the replacements, it wouldn't be long before the U.S. Supreme Court turning into a dictatorship. Even if judges were elected by the people, it would still be political. Elections are political in nature.
This is still "inside the box" thinking. I'm sure Americans are more inventive than this.
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Old 21st September 2021, 02:54 PM   #68
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how would you suggest we pick our Supreme Court justices?

Also in order for the method to change, it would take altering the US Constitution. That is not an easy thing to do.
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Old 21st September 2021, 02:57 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
This is still "inside the box" thinking. I'm sure Americans are more inventive than this.
Nobody is more inventive than this. Representative democracy is necessarily political, and so far nobody has invented anything that works any better.
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Old 21st September 2021, 03:51 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
So everyone is 100% convinced that any method of selection of Supremes judges is inherently political? There's no selection method you can think of that can achieve even a semblance of political balance? Or any method that avoids taking political views into account at all?
.

The court is inherently political. You can't change that by selection.

It would be like wanting to select congress or the president in a non-political way. .

We can change what the court does and make it less political. Like reverse Marbury v. Madison via amendment and leave Congress to decide if its laws are constitutional so the court can stick to interpreting federal laws and other enumerated functions with far less reach. That puts political questions squarely on the most political branch.

This may sound weird or dangerous, but if you think about it the Warren court has bred several generations of liberals who expect a bunch of Yalies in robes to fight their battles for them. Which is why they are so confused now. Daddy and mommy justices are not going to stop the mean kids from stealing their toys anymore. Want Texas to allow abortion? Vote. Organize boycotts. Help people leave. Do something other than feel smug that the courts will step in.
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Old 21st September 2021, 03:57 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by Warbler View Post
It doesn't mean you need to call it the "Dead Ginsburg Effect"
How about "Notorious BIG and RGB both DEAD
Quote:

considering how republicans acted when Anthony Kennedy died in an election year, it seems to me that the the Republicans did the hypocritical thing.
It was savvy. Maybe liberals need to stop being rubes and understand the GOP stopped playing around a long time ago.
Quote:



???
Like you wouldn't chuckle if that happened. I might stop laughing long enough to dance.
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Old 21st September 2021, 04:16 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by Warbler View Post
how would you suggest we pick our Supreme Court justices?

Also in order for the method to change, it would take altering the US Constitution. That is not an easy thing to do.
For reference, can you quote the section of the US constitution that describes the method of selection, please.
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Old 21st September 2021, 04:18 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Nobody is more inventive than this. Representative democracy is necessarily political, and so far nobody has invented anything that works any better.
You are confusing the individual predilections of justices and their operation of the court with the method of their selection. The former is, fully agreed, political. The latter does not have to be.
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Old 21st September 2021, 04:22 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by Suddenly View Post
.

The court is inherently political. You can't change that by selection.
The court operation is inherently political. But that's not what I'm asking about. Of course you can change the selection method to make it far less political! You just haven't thought of a method yet.

Quote:
It would be like wanting to select congress or the president in a non-political way.
Those are inherently political positions, and not the subject of this discussion.

Quote:
We can change what the court does and make it less political. Like reverse Marbury v. Madison via amendment and leave Congress to decide if its laws are constitutional so the court can stick to interpreting federal laws and other enumerated functions with far less reach. That puts political questions squarely on the most political branch.

This may sound weird or dangerous, but if you think about it the Warren court has bred several generations of liberals who expect a bunch of Yalies in robes to fight their battles for them. Which is why they are so confused now. Daddy and mommy justices are not going to stop the mean kids from stealing their toys anymore. Want Texas to allow abortion? Vote. Organize boycotts. Help people leave. Do something other than feel smug that the courts will step in.
All fine, but that doesn't address the selection issue.
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Old 21st September 2021, 04:25 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
You are confusing the individual predilections of justices and their operation of the court with the method of their selection. The former is, fully agreed, political. The latter does not have to be.
Once the job is agreed to be political, wanting to take politics out of the selection seems pretty foolish.

Just pick names at random. Want the person to have a law degree? Not hard to get a list of lawyers. Pick them at random and stop when enough agree to do it.
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Old 21st September 2021, 04:27 PM   #76
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The fact that the highest court in the USA is selected by politicians means it is worthless. The USA has a political system that would make a third world dictatorship blush.
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Old 21st September 2021, 04:35 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by RolandRat View Post
The fact that the highest court in the USA is selected by politicians means it is worthless. The USA has a political system that would make a third world dictatorship blush.
I didn't want to say that, but yeah.
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Old 21st September 2021, 04:39 PM   #78
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Maybe go by height?
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Old 21st September 2021, 04:50 PM   #79
Norman Alexander
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Originally Posted by Suddenly View Post
Once the job is agreed to be political, wanting to take politics out of the selection seems pretty foolish.

Just pick names at random. Want the person to have a law degree? Not hard to get a list of lawyers. Pick them at random and stop when enough agree to do it.
There. Wasn't so hard, was it.

I can see some issues with it (like qualifications and experience), so can we improve on this?

For example only:

-- Create a pool of, say, 250 candidate justices who meet certain legal qualifications to fulfill the position and are willing to serve. Those qualifications need to be high and stringent. Perhaps a standing Senate committee to vet candidates? Maybe 5 from each state? If a candidate drops out (or is found out), fill that vacancy. The pool is always filled.

-- Names drawn from a hat (or a lottery or whatever) to select a justice from the pool to fill a vacant bench position whenever it occurs.

-- The full bench is an odd number of justices and fixed. Nine seems to be a minimum. I would suggest 15 is better due to the workload.

-- Each serving justice gets a 5 year term from when they start. If they retire or die or are impeached, the next occupant starts from scratch - no completing someone else's term.

-- A staggered start of this method would generally ensure that the bench changes fairly regularly. So political blocs would be far less likely. The political center of the bench would sway but not swing hard either way like now.


Can I find ways to influence this method to favour one political viewpoint a la Mitch? Sure! But it would be WAY more difficult than present.

As I said, a suggestion.
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Old 21st September 2021, 04:54 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by RolandRat View Post
The fact that the highest court in the USA is selected by politicians means it is worthless. The USA has a political system that would make a third world dictatorship blush.
Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
I didn't want to say that, but yeah.
This makes no sense. The US has the opposite of a dictatorship. The justices are nominated by the democratically-elected representatives of the people. If they are not competent to do so, who possibly could be? If they are not the proper authority, then who possibly could be? Riddle me that, kiwis.
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