Hey, Supreme Court: We Are Through

Supreme CourtWhy One Law School Dean Is Breaking Up With The Supreme Court

 

Imagine you are ending a 30-year relationship. Not fun, right? Right. Now imagine you write a 342-page manifesto proclaiming your disdain and dissatisfaction. Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of the University of California-Irvine School of Law, was that author, and the Supreme Court was that ex-lover.

After four decades of practicing law, three decades of teaching law, and helping establish a law school, Chemerinsky has had it up to here with you, Supreme Court. And he is letting everyone know in his book, “The Case Against the Supreme Court.” His charge? The Supreme Court has failed America. According to Chemerinsky, it has failed us often and when we needed it the most.

Don’t worry, Supreme Court, Chemerinsky says you haven’t failed any more than the executive branch or Congress throughout history. To backup his arguments, Chemerinksy references court cases from Plessy v. Dred Scott to Bush v. Gore in which the Supreme Court has failed to “protect individuals against discrimination and the tyranny of the majority.”

So what does Chemerinsky propose as a fix? Merit selection committees for judges. And term limits for judges. Like 18-year terms. This would allow each president to nominate a judge but would also require a constitutional amendment.

Chemerinsky is very much an unashamed and staunch liberal. His book has received much criticism from the right for only using the cases in which the Supreme Court ruled to favor conservatives as his argument for the previous failures and necessary changes.

The interesting thing is, Chemerinsky is not a curmudgeon. He isn’t the dude out on porch, shaking his cane at ungrateful whippersnappers. He believes in the power of law for social change. He believes it is the most powerful tool for social change. He is hoping his book will start a conversation that will change how law works in America.

Source: The Washington Post