The Vanishing Core of Judicial Independence

64 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2020

See all articles by Evan C. Zoldan

Evan C. Zoldan

University of Toledo College of Law

Date Written: September 30, 2020


With Congress firmly in control of the jurisdiction, resources, and structure of the federal courts, the scope of the judiciary’s independence is limited indeed. If there is an attribute that can be considered the core of judicial independence, it is the power of the federal courts to decide cases pending before them . In a pair of recent decisions, however, the Supreme Court has called into question whether the federal judiciary possesses even this limited attribute of independence. This Article examines how the Roberts Court has blurred the line between the judicial and legislative powers by ceding to Congress the authority to direct federal courts to decide pending cases for particular parties. After identifying the thorny issues that the Court has left unsettled, this Article suggests an approach to resolving them that preserves both Congress’s role in lawmaking as well as the core of the judiciary’s independence.

Keywords: judicial independence, jurisdiction stripping, separation of powers, exceptions clause

Suggested Citation

Zoldan, Evan Craig, The Vanishing Core of Judicial Independence (September 30, 2020). Nevada Law Journal, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: or

Evan Craig Zoldan (Contact Author)

University of Toledo College of Law ( email )

2801 W. Bancroft Street
Toledo, OH 43606
United States

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