Our Kardashian Court (and How to Fix It)
39 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2019 Last revised: 21 Jan 2020
Date Written: July 24, 2019
The Supreme Court is broken. After cataloging its dysfunctions, this Article suggests a contributing cause and proposes a solution. The contributing cause is that Justices have become celebrities, and, like other celebrities, play to their fan base. The solution is to limit their opportunities to use their official status to do so: Congress should pass a law prohibiting concurring or dissenting opinions and requiring each case to be decided by an unsigned opinion that does not disclose the number of Justices who join it. The Article outlines the advantages of such a law and considers possible objections to it, including both constitutional and nonconstitutional objections. It ultimately concludes that it would be constitutional and that although there are significant risks, the probable benefits outweigh the probable costs. And because it is a statutory solution rather than a constitutional one, it can be viewed as an experiment that can easily be terminated if it does not work out. In the current climate it is a risk worth taking.
Keywords: Supreme Court, concurrences, dissents, legitimacy
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