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

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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. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=

Jeremy N. Sheff (Contact Author)

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

8000 Utopia Parkway
Jamaica, NY 11439
United States
718-990-5504 (Phone)

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