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Opinion | Change the Supreme Court? You Have Ideas

Baruch Frydman-Kohl

To the Editor:

I’ve completely lost faith in our Supreme Court. I propose a fresh start. First, retire the current batch. Second, establish a new method of appointing them: Put 10 vetted Democratic and 10 vetted Republican choices into a hat and pick out nine. There you go. Done. That’s a hell of a lot fairer than the current circus. When a seat comes up, reach in and pick the next justice.

Maureen Allen
West Orange, N.J.

To the Editor:

As a member of Gen Z, I find it troubling that the decisions that will shape my future, and the future of my generation, are made by justices many times my age.

This is not to say that older justices can’t have the well-being of young people at heart, nor that they should sacrifice legal integrity to suit the whims of high schoolers. It’s inevitable, though, that justices appointed 25 years ago will be further removed from the problems of young people than they once were. I worry that with life terms and little turnover, the court grows further out of touch every year.

If 18-year term limits were instituted, the court as a whole would remain more engaged with social and cultural issues. The Supreme Court’s upcoming decisions may change my life. I’d like them to be made by justices who remember what it’s like off the bench.

Thomasina Hare

To the Editor:

I’m in favor of continuing lifetime appointments. Wisdom comes late to most of us. With time-limited appointments, I can also imagine some justices being influenced during their court terms by the potential fortune to be made afterward — on boards, in the leading law and lobbying firms.

Broad life experience is what seems most lacking in candidates these days. The recent crop of justices strikes me as careerists, checking off the boxes as they climb: correct school, correct clerkship, correct opinions. I want justices who are more than achievers, who have rubbed elbows with all sorts of Americans, who have seen injustice up close, who recognize the practical implications of legal arguments — and of their decisions.

Tamara Coombs

To the Editor:

Although the Supreme Court was established under the Constitution, the number of justices was left open. It was originally established at six under the Judiciary Act of 1789 and has changed on several occasions before arriving at the nine justices we have today. The Constitution granted the justices lifetime tenure.

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