I Choose, You Decide: Structural Tools for Supreme Court Legitimation

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Executive Summary: The Supreme Court’s legitimacy is under threat. Efforts to either respond to the crisis of legitimacy or to salvage what legitimacy remains are focusing on reforms to the selection, appointment, and tenure of Justices. I propose an additional, complementary change, which does not require constitutional amendment. The selection of cases for the Court’s discretionary docket should be performed by a different group of Justices than those who hear and decide the cases on that docket. The proposal leverages the insight of the “I cut, you choose” procedure for ensuring fair division of heterogeneous resources–only here, it manifests as “I choose, you decide.” Further refinements of the proposal, for example to include reforms to the length of active tenure of Supreme Court Justices, are also considered.

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