Questions rarely asked about the Supreme Court

The United States Supreme Court, like the Congress, operates under the principle of majority rule, but since the Supreme Court consists only of nine judges (or “justices”, as they are presumptuously called), a simple majority of five justices is sufficient to decide a case or declare a law unconstitutional. But does the principle of majority rule make any sense in the context of a judicial tribunal? Shouldn’t the voting procedures of the Supreme Court be revised to reflect the margin of victory when the Court is deciding a case? After all, why should a case decided by a narrow margin of 5 to 4 carry just as much weight as a case decided by a wide margin, such as 9 to 0 or 8 to 1? At the very least, shouldn’t the power of judicial review (the Court’s power to declare a law or executive action unconstitutional) require a super-majority of justices, just as legislative overrides of executive vetoes do?

About F. E. Guerra-Pujol

When I’m not blogging, I am a business law professor at the University of Central Florida.
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2 Responses to Questions rarely asked about the Supreme Court

  1. Judy Hoffman says:

    Makes sense.

  2. Pingback: Supreme Court Selection Bias? | prior probability

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