My thanks to Paul, a gay (and inexplicably right wing) blogger for bringing this op-ed to my attention. He can’t stop laughing about it. I think it’s a wonderful idea…
Stacking the Court
WHEN a majority of Supreme Court justices adopt a manifestly ideological agenda, it plunges the court into the vortex of American politics. If the Roberts court has entered voluntarily what Justice Felix Frankfurter once called the â€œpolitical thicket,â€ it may require a political solution to set it straight.
The framers of the Constitution did not envisage the Supreme Court as arbiter of all national issues. As Chief Justice John Marshall made clear in Marbury v. Madison, the courtâ€™s authority extends only to legal issues.
When the court overreaches, the Constitution provides checks and balances. In 1805, after persistent political activity by Justice Samuel Chase, Congress responded with its power of impeachment. Chase was acquitted, but never again did he step across the line to mingle law and politics. After the Civil War, when a Republican Congress feared the court might tamper with Reconstruction in the South, it removed those questions from the courtâ€™s appellate jurisdiction.
But the method most frequently employed to bring the court to heel has been increasing or decreasing its membership. The size of the Supreme Court is not fixed by the Constitution. It is determined by Congress.
I encourage you to go read the rest of the article (the link is in the headline). The author cites several examples of times in our history when the size of the Court has been changed.
The only way this would work, of course, would be for the Democrats to win both houses of Congress and the presidency in 2008. Of that there is no doubt in my mind whatsoever.