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Monday, July 15, 2024 | Back issues
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Justice at Last,|or the Last Justice?

Politicians may have actually done something right!

In case you missed it - and I'm making a fearless prediction here, since I don't know when you're reading this and you don't know when I'm writing this - the president and Congress have deadlocked on whether to appoint someone to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Why didn't anyone think of this before?

We're down to eight justices. Guess what happens when there's another vacancy?

We'll be down to seven justices.

The system has been streamlined!

American judicial history will become a re-enactment of Ten Little Indians.

At some point, we'll have just one Supreme Court justice and the course of jurisprudence will be fully clarified. If you're an appellate advocate, all you have to do is hone your arguments to coincide with the proven tendencies of one grumpy old person.

Decisions will be so obvious beforehand that an enormous amount of time and money will be saved because there would be no point in bringing disputes to the Last Justice.

Also, since the Last Justice could be fairly senile, his or her conservator may not allow visitors.

I know what you're thinking. What happens when we lose the Last Justice?

That's easy. Lower court rulings stand.

There's a trickle-down effect too, because no lower court federal judges will get confirmed either. Soon there will only be state court systems.

Is this a good thing?

Let's consider the pluses.

A lot of money will be saved. This could go toward balancing the budget or financing a brand new war.

We won't have to listen to endless debates about whether the Constitution has a pulse or whose side a particular judge will be on.

And unused federal courthouses could be donated to state court systems that need them.

Now if only we could translate this attrition system to the legislative branch ...

Things I wonder about. As far as I can tell, it seems that the position of some politicians is that the president of the United States can't appoint a Supreme Court justice during the last 25 percent of his term.

This seems a tad odd, but if that's true, the question becomes, where do you draw the appointment line? Should a president be allowed to make appointments only during the first two years of his or her term?

Maybe we need a new rule that Supreme Court justices are allowed to die only during the first half of presidencies.

Or maybe the Supreme Court should convene only for two years after a new president is sworn in.

It would save money and time-wasting debate.

I'm also beginning to wonder whether Citizens United is such a bad thing, for those of us who can't talk much using money.

Take a look at the presidential race - if you can stand it. The candidates with the most money aren't winning.

Maybe we should be encouraging billionaires to waste their money on politics.

This could be the best path toward income equality.

Who me? This showed up in my Twitter feed the other day: "Who is the Supreme Court appointing to the @StateBarCA board? It could be you."

It could?

This seems extremely unlikely.

Dutifully, however, I followed the link. Imagine my disappointment to see that the Bar is actually looking for "qualified candidates."

This is false advertising and I'm considering litigation.

In the meantime, you may want to take a look at the State Bar Board of Trustees Fact Sheet. I may qualify after all.

It seems the Bar, for no readily apparent reason, wants applicants with a variety of experiences, including being from "historically underrepresented groups" - comedians? - and attorneys with less than five years of experience - i.e. people without a variety of experience, I guess. They'll also consider "other factors."

The statement contains a pretty confusing list of possible qualifying experiences - and most of them, such as "academics," aren't experiences.

Maybe what they really need is an editor.

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