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Law Prof Poses Alternative To Court Packing

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November 5, 2020

NYU law prof Christopher Jon Sprigman says there is a better way than court packing to counter “partisan judges.” Congress has the power to strip the federal courts, including the Supreme Court, of jurisdiction over matters it doesn’t want the judiciary second-guessing. The most powerful argument for jurisdiction stripping is that the Article III of the Constitution gives Congress to do it. The implications of this are that Congress can claim for itself authority to interpret the Constitution in particular cases. Sprigman defends his view of judicial partisanship by observing that in matters where the Constitution does not speak directly to an issue, the courts are simply making political choices anyway, not legal judgments. “In the short term, it is a strategy that Democrats can use to rein in the partisan federal courts, but the ultimate promise of jurisdiction stripping isn’t as a short-term stratagem to restore the courts’ partisan balance. It is a deeper remedy that can help put an end to the unhealthy situation in which Americans look to federal courts to resolve every important political question.”

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