Federal Courts and Nominations

Comment to Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States

In Brief

Any modern examination of the role of the courts in our system of government—particularly the Supreme Court—must first take into account the voices of those people in America who have routinely and systematically experienced discrimination and oppression throughout our history.
No one can deny that the question of whether to expand the number of seats on the Supreme Court is an especially important one—and deservedly so. Issues of Supreme Court legitimacy and expansion, however, should not end the Commission’s discussion.
Two areas concern the issues of Supreme Court ethics and the "shadow docket." This Commission should examine ways to bring clarity and transparency to the ethical standards governing Supreme Court justices, and investigate ways the Court's shadow docket can be brought into the light

There is no question that the issue of Supreme Court expansion is critically important to America’s future, but there is more to improving the third branch of government than that issue. Not only must this Commission take strides to center people in America still excluded from the protections of federal courts that our Constitution promises to them, but the Commission also must not forget issues of ethics and the administration of justice that, while essential to everyday Americans, all too often go overlooked.

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