Skip to main content
Please enter a legal issue and/or a location
Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Find a Lawyer

More Options

Supreme Court Is Too Small, According to Posner

By George Khoury, Esq. on August 03, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

According to the outspoken and sharply articulate judge Richard Posner, "we have a crappy judicial system" and "most of the [legal] technicalities are antiquated crap." The jurist has recently found himself making headlines not just for the flavorful language of his social commentary, but also for supporting a revolutionary idea for the U.S. Supreme Court: increasing the number of justices to 19.

In a recent interview, Judge Posner expressed support for expanding the judiciary. He explains that the current Court is mediocre and highly politicized due to the political nature of the selection of justices. Additionally, Posner posits that a mandatory retirement age of 80 be implemented for the High Court.

Super Size the Supreme Court

Adding 10 justices to the Supreme Court could drastically change the way cases are decided. Proponents believe that by increasing the number of justices, it will lead to better decisions that are less influenced by those justices with political or personal motivations or biases. Additionally, there is the potential for the Court to handle more matters each term.

However, there is no guarantee that any new appointees would be any less politically motivated than they are now. By increasing the number of justices, it risks allowing one political party to exercise even greater dominance in the judicial branch of government. As Posner points out, politicians do not consider the quality of the appointees as much as the politics of the appointees.

However, appointing more justices might not be so simple as the president appointing more justices. Congress has settled on nine since 1869, and it would take a significant push to change that. Though, interestingly, at one point before 1869 there were 10 justices.

For the latest Supreme Court news, subscribe to FindLaw's SCOTUS Newsletter.

Related Resources:

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

Or contact an attorney near you:
Copied to clipboard