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This tangent was starting to take up space and I thought it was kind of interesting, so I'mma make a thread. One that hopefully won't disappear off the first page within a day, like usual with my threads.
I think that's a workable system. I was trying to decide if I wanted it to be an elected position and I tend to think it shouldn't be. While we're at it, let's change the Supreme Court to single 18 year terms.
The problem with that is you run the risk of political and philosophical orthodoxy due almost solely to blind luck in how elections turn out. Obama is going to be replacing 2, maybe 3 Associate Justices. He is going to be keeping the balance of the Court in doing so, and it's going to stay that way for a good bit with Bush's replacements sticking around for awhile. Scalia has at least 8 years left in him, and Thomas will likely outlast 3 Presidents if he wants. (He did not age well.) But what if that was reversed? Bush replaced Ginsburg and Stevens instead of Rehnquist and O'Connor, and Obama would be replacing the remaining liberal wing? If the VP wins the Presidency after a 2 term Presidency you have a brand new majority appointed by what is basically the same administration. And one that would last.
Yeah, I was just throwing out an idea, I hadn't thought about it too much. The problem with the Court as it is currently structured is that it promotes finding young ideologues instead of the best jurists. I find that troubling. Thomas in particular is a joke but gets to serve forever. Maybe shorter terms than that even with a possibility for re-appointment? Problem there is it might get too swingy based on elections, though I'm not entirely sure that's a bad thing.
I'd say longer terms would be more amenable since it would mean that a single administration can only appoint 1 or 2 Justices, barring illness or injury, rather than stacking half the Court. However this raises a different issue with regards to the Chief Justice. Is that a position that regularly gets appointed now, meaning that every 3, or 7, General Elections become that much more important? Do we change it out so that the Justices themselves elect the Chief ala PM's in parliamentary systems? &c.
Reforming SCOTUS like this opens a can of worms far different from trying to make DOJ more independent and technocratic.
I think a set term wouldn't be a bad idea. It should be long though. Like twenty or twenty five years.
To me it seems like the main problem is a SCOTUS judge gaming things by deciding when to step down.
I was thinking 27, since there are 9 of them; so you stagger it that every 3 years a new Associate. Every so often 1 President gets an extra appointment, but that beats the macabre system we have now. It still leaves the question of what to do about the Chief Justice, though. Having the Court pick among its own members seems like a potential solution, but it might lead to internal politics and drama that is more or less lacking under the current regime.
AG appointments, approved by the Senate, are staggered so as to occur midway through a President's term, or it gets shifted so as to be a 6 year appointment (maximum of 3 terms). He cannot be fired or forced to resign. Basically make DOJ more apolitical and independent in more or less the same way that the Fed is a bit more apolitical and independent. It would take a few administrations in order to build up the credibility and technocratic approach like at the Fed or State Department, but after that it should work out pretty good.
How can we improve upon the existing models for SCOTUS and the Department of Justice to make it more apolitical and independent, promoting the meritocratic advancement of individuals and a little bit less partisan in the approach? Plus no more trawling for kids to fill Justice positions to try and beat the macabre system we have now.