The Volokh Conspiracy
Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent
On Monday, the Committee for Justice sponsored a virtual panel on the timely topic of court-packing and other proposals for judicial reform. The panelists included Prof. Joshua Braver (University of Wisconsin), Tom Jipping (Heritage Foundation), and myself. Curt Levey of the Committee for Justice moderated. I should note that Josh Braver is the author of an excellent recent article on the history of court-packing.
The video is embedded below.
We discussed both court-packing and a number of other proposals for judicial reform, particularly term limits for Supreme Court justices (an idea that enjoys broad support among legal scholars across the political spectrum, including myself). The panel also touched on President Biden's planned judicial reform commission (which I recently wrote about here). I have previously written about the dangers of court-packing in a variety of posts, such as here and here.
The New York Times once described me as a centrist (probably incorrectly!). But, on this panel I suppose I lived up to their characterization, to some degree, because I was often in the middle between Josh Braver (on the left) and Tom Jipping (on the right), especially when it comes to the question of apportioning responsibility for the sorry state of affairs to which the political conflict over judicial nominations has descended.
I will also take this opportunity to remind people that my very first piece about court-packing was written in response to a Republican proposal to pack the lower courts, back in 2017. If am wrong about court-packing, it isn't because I only oppose it when it might (at least in the short turn) benefit Democrats.