Prof urges the creation of a new ‘Constitutional Court’ to ‘fix’ SCOTUS

A law professor at Boston College is encouraging America to give the Supreme Court a “breather” by taking cases away.

He wants to limit the Supreme Court’s ability to hear “contentious” cases.

A professor specializing in courts calls this proposal a “naked power grab.”

A law professor at Boston College is advocating for a new “specialized court” to deal with “the most contentious” legal issues, such as abortion. He calls it “the United States Constitutional Court.”

In an op-ed for the New York Times, Professor Kent Greenfield argued that the Supreme Court “needs saving” and “the way to save the court is to create another one.” 

“The Supreme Court needs a breather — a chance to reboot. The United States Constitutional Court would give it that,” Greenfield wrote.

He would leave those cases related to “interpretations of federal statutes or regulations” to the Supreme Court. He says if the Court makes makes “mistakes” with those then it is far less significant. “If the court gets them wrong, Congress can respond with new laws or regulations.” 

However, “constitutional mistakes” are harder to “rectify,” and so “Congress can require the Supreme Court to refer cases it accepts that turn on constitutional questions to the constitutional court.”

Greenfield argued that this court should be made up of eight already sitting federal judges. The sitting president would select these judges from a panel created by a bipartisan Congressional committee.

After serving for a limited term, they would return to their original courts, guaranteeing “each president several appointments.”

This new court would have the final say on most cases, with Congress limiting the Supreme Court’s ability to hear appeals. When the lower court made its decision.

“Congress could limit the Supreme Court’s ability to hear an appeal unless a supermajority of justices, seven of nine, voted to hear it.”

Greenfield’s new court would have a “sunset provision” of 20 years, “after which the court would end unless Congress renewed it.” He encourages that during this time, “we can reform the Senate’s confirmation process.”

Bruce Peabody, a political science professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University, spoke with Campus Reform about the proposal. He argued that “this new Court would look a lot like the current Supreme Court.”

In fact, Prof. Peabody called the proposal a “power grab.”

“Without a really principled reason for this new court’s existence, it would look like a pretty naked power grab - a way to remove issues from the Supreme Court’s docket unless 7 or more justices agree.”