The Supreme Court will shortly be handing down decisions on two huge cases- the Arizona Immigration Law and the Healthcare Law. And there are very good odds both will come down to a 5:4 decision. As many landmark cases on everything from abortion to election financing, to the 2000 election, to gun rights have in recent years.
And while it is well understnadable that America may be deeply divided, the same should not be true of decisions on the constitution and how it applies to our nations laws.
America has one of the smallest Supreme Courts of any major nation (most have 12-16, with some being considerably larger). Many nations also do not allow a “lifetime term”.
Besides it’s small size there are numorous problems with the US supreme Court.
The “lifelong” term is an impediment to change in our nation. We end up with a court that tends to think in the past, rather then the future. And as we have seen time and time again we see justices clinging to old ways of thinking that drags america backwards, rather then forward. And this is compounded by their ability to essentially choose their sucessor in many cases- by holding on to the reigns- too often past the point where they are best serving the country, until someone is in power who will be able to apoint someone who will most closely follow their views.
We saw this happen under both Reagan and Bush, and have wound up with the most conservative court in our history. Ruling not on logic or the law- but on their worldview.
We desperately need to reform our supreme court. It has become overly political, and an impediment, rather then an arbiter, of justice. We need a larger court- for more debate and more diverse views. We need term limits. We need more younger justices. We need a mechanism for the american people to remove, by a(larger then simle majority) vote, justices who are not carrying out their duties, who have become overly politicized. And ultimately, we need to stop the partisan appointment process, and allow a system where those most involved with the law have more say in who is the ultimate arbiter of our nations laws.