Rotation of the Justices (Balkin)

Fascinating; Prof. Balkin posts a thought experiment to see how different our judicial branch would look if not for lifetime tenure.

From Balkinization:

Do you want to know how Robert Bork became Chief Justice? Why the Court never heard Bush v. Gore? Read on.


I’ve written previously in support of a proposal
 that would ensure regular appointments of Supreme Court Justices. The President and Congress would nominate and confirm one Supreme Court Justice very two years, and the quorum for deciding cases would consist of the nine Justices most Junior in service. The more senior Justices will retain their commissions and life tenure. But they will hear cases with the full Court only when one of the junior Justices is recused or otherwise unable to perform his or her duties. Senior Justices can still consider petitions for certiorari (discretionary appeals), serve on other federal appellate courts, and handle matters that regularly come before individual Justices. But their caseload will be concentrated in their first eighteen years of service.

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