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How to [Really] Change the Supreme Court: Three Reforms that Could Make for a Bigger and Better Court

February 1, 2017

I recently published a column in the Los Angeles Times on reforming the Supreme Court with three fundamental changes that could be accomplished without a constitutional amendment.  Below is a longer version of that column on the three reforms and their implications…

EXPAND THE COURT

I have long argued for the expansion of the Supreme Court. For the first time, with both houses in the control of one party as well as the White House, this badly needed reform could be accomplished…

CAMERAS IN THE COURTROOM

The Framers were such great believers in the need for justice to be done in public that they put it into the Constitution. The Sixth Amendment guarantees of public trials and the Supreme Court has noted that “[b]y immemorial usage, wherever the common law prevails, all trials are in open court, to which spectators are admitted.” Of course, when it comes to its own transparency, the Court is steadfastly in the dark. Justices have vigorously opposed cameras for years, even threatening to resign over the reform. The decision of Congress in response should be easy: order the inclusion of cameras and then thank the retiring justices for their service…

ETHICS ON THE COURT

 The Supreme Court is not just an island protected from modern technology but an island protected from judicial ethics. Both are by design of the justices themselves. In a self-serving interpretation, justices have long insisted that, since no lower jurist can possibly judge their conduct, they cannot be subject to judicial ethics like all other judges. It is an interpretation at odds with the highest courts of other countries. It is also at odds with common sense… (more)

If this subject interests you, you should read the entire article. It is not that long and is an interesting proposal to say the least. No opinion on my part. Just thought I would share the suggestion that is coming from a renowned attorney.

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