Judge Richard Posner Declares Support For Supreme Court Expansion Proposal

I have previously discussed the legendary career of Judge Richard Posner of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.  Widely viewed as the father of Law and Economics, Posner remains one of greatest influences on American jurisprudence in the history of this country.  I have long been a great admirer of his work and teach his theories as part of my torts course.  It is for that reason that I was delighted when my co-counsel sent me the interview below where Judge Posner expressed support for the proposal that I have advanced for many years to reform the Supreme Court.  Posner agrees with the proposal to expand the Supreme Court to nineteen members.

As many on this blog know, I have long advocated the expansion of the Supreme Court rather than age-based limitation (here and here and here and here).  I have spoken around the country on this proposal for many years.  In my view, our court is demonstrably and dysfunctionally too small.  Congress has the authority to expand that Court and it should do so along the type of staggered plan laid out in the proposal where the Court would be gradually increased to avoid any president being able to stack the Court.

An objective review of our Court and those of other major nations shows obvious benefits for a larger Court with more regular turnover of members.  Our respect for the Court should not blind us to such benefits, particularly since the Court has been both smaller and bigger than its current size throughout its history.

It is gratifying to have the voice of Richard Posner in support of the proposal.  Posner is without question one of the most influential living legal figures. His work on economics and law proved transformative for the field. His books in various fields are considered classics.  If you want to see how influential, I have copied some of his publications below.






53 thoughts on “Judge Richard Posner Declares Support For Supreme Court Expansion Proposal”

  1. hum….totally different group dynamics with 19 vs 9. How many different cliques would we likely end up with? would 10 ever agree?? LOL At the rate the Republic is destabilizing, this is probably just a rhetorical exercise anyway.

  2. Richard Posner, along with Anthony Kennedy, is the most dangerous legal mind in America as his latest book amply demonstrates.

  3. Additionally, I’d restrict the number of justices per presidential term.

      1. David Benson – how about splitting the workload? The 9th Circus has like 19 justices, including some vacancies. Only 3 sit on any one case. If the aggrieved party doesn’t want to take it to the SC immediately, they can ask for an en banc hearing and if the justices agree, 9 justices (drawn at random) will hear the case. We could do the same with the SC.

        Each case could be heard by 3 justices and decided by them. If there was a problem, the entire court would hear it. Court could still stay at 9.

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