I Choose, You Decide: Structural Tools for Supreme Court Legitimation

14 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2019 Last revised: 6 Jun 2019

See all articles by Jeremy N. Sheff

Jeremy N. Sheff

St. John's University School of Law

Date Written: March 26, 2019


Efforts to rein in partisanship (or the perception thereof) on the Supreme Court tend to focus on reforms to the selection, appointment, or tenure of Justices. I propose a different, and perhaps complementary reform, which would not require constitutional amendment. I propose that the selection of a case for the Court’s discretionary appellate docket should be performed by a different group of judicial officers than those who hear and decide that case. The proposal leverages the insight of the “I cut, you choose” procedure for ensuring fair division — only here, it manifests as “I choose, you decide.” This proposal, rather than attempting to correct any supposed institutional deficiency that exacerbates the effects of partisanship, instead seeks to create a structure of checks and balances by pitting partisanship against partisanship.

Keywords: Supreme Court, Federal Courts, Court Reform, I Cut You Choose, Game Theory

Suggested Citation

Sheff, Jeremy N., I Choose, You Decide: Structural Tools for Supreme Court Legitimation (March 26, 2019). Seton Hall Law Review, Forthcoming, St. John's Legal Studies Research Paper No. 19-0018, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3360492

Jeremy N. Sheff (Contact Author)

St. John's University School of Law ( email )

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Jamaica, NY 11439
United States
718-990-5504 (Phone)

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