A Q&A with three faculty members who served on the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States

4月, 约瑟夫·拜登总统在美国最高法院设立了一个总统委员会. 的 commission included three NYU 法律 faculty members: Professor of Practice and Distinguished Scholar in Residence 鲍勃·鲍尔, who served as co-chair; Dean and Eric M. 和劳里B. 罗思法学教授 特雷弗·莫里森; and Sudler Family Professor of Constitutional 法律 理查德Pildes.

的 executive order creating the commission charged it with analyzing “the principal arguments in the contemporary public debate for 和反对 Supreme Court reform, 包括评估个别改革建议的优点和合法性.委员会考虑的建议包括增加法院的规模, 法官的任期限制, 限制最高法院宣布立法违宪的权力.

委员会投票通过了 报告 12月7日到总统. ebet真人咪牌问鲍尔, 莫里森, 和皮尔德斯讲述了他们作为委员会成员的经历,以及他们对委员会处理的问题的看法.

华盛顿邮报》 最近报道 that “President Biden has shown little indication that his resistance to overhauling the Supreme Court has softened.“你为什么认为是他创立了这个委员会??

鲍勃·鲍尔: 总统响应了一个活跃的, 这是一场重要的全国性辩论,两党专家致力于一项全面的研究. 特别是在这个时代, 当如此多的公共话语被严重极化时, this approach is especially needed in any consideration of major institutional reform proposals in our democracy. 以前从未有过类似的报告:这份报告做出了独特的贡献. 

特雷弗·莫里森
特雷弗·莫里森

特雷弗·莫里森: 从他公开说过的话来看, it is clear the president thinks the issue of Supreme Court reform is important and worth careful attention, and that his administration would benefit from an analysis of the various reform proposals by a diverse group of legal experts. 我认为委员会的报告是这样的, 事实上, 为公众讨论这些建议做出极其重要的贡献, 包括支持和反对它们的主要论点,以及对它们潜在影响的考虑. 当然, whether to pursue any particular reform proposal requires political judgments best left to the Biden Administration and Congress. 

这个委员会完成的最有价值的事情是什么?

鲍尔: 我相信, 正如全体一致投票向总统提交报告所反映的那样, 委员会完成了指定的费用, 而且做得令人钦佩. It made a major contribution to the debate with a searching analysis of the legal and other issues presented by the most prominent reform proposals. 它没有建议任何具体的改革, 因为这是在电荷之外, 但我相信,它将对辩论产生有益的影响——它阐明了挑战和途径, 它做得很清楚,分析也很严谨. 委员会工作的高质量,我怎么说都不为过.

理查德·Pildes: 委员会的报告提供了最全面的信息, detailed analysis of many of the most significant potential reforms to the Court that have been discussed 近年来. 这些问题的范围从更狭隘的问题, 比如最高法院如何处理紧急案件, 对最高法院提出的一些最重大的制度改革, 比如将法官的终身任期改为18年, non-renewable terms—in which each president during a presidential term would have the opportunity to nominate two justices. 

在许多情况下, the 报告 delves much more deeply than any previous analysis into the details of how particular reforms would be implemented. 的 报告 also brings to the surface concerns about certain potential reforms that had not previously been developed anywhere else. 我相信 the 报告 will be the standard starting point for most future discussions about potential reforms of the Court, particularly reforms that Congress might consider adopting or that might be pursued through constitutional amendment. It’s impossible to know when the political moment might open up for serious consideration of any particular reform, 但是当它发生的时候, 这份报告将是任何政治讨论首先要讨论的话题之一.

报告指出,委员会还没有得出结论是否, 近年来, 最高法院“遭受了合法性的丧失或危机”.你个人对这个问题有什么看法?

鲍尔: 作为委员会的联合主席, 我宁愿让报告在辩论中就这一问题和其他问题发言. 对于如何定义和评估合法性,人们有着强烈的看法, 特别是在评估潜在的改革及其后果方面, 报告对这一主题进行了很好的讨论.

In 证词 提交委员会, 南阿伦, 进步倡导组织“正义联盟”的主席, accused Republicans of engaging in a partisan takeover of the Court and cast it as part of a larger assault on our democracy and justice system that has taken place 近年来. In 他的证词, 斯坦福大学法学院教授麦康奈尔(Michael McConnell)呼吁采取更长远的眼光, 在过去的35年里,党派之间的确认之争越来越激烈, 并警告欧盟委员会“不要轻易得出结论,认为这是另一方的不当行为。, 不管那是什么, 这就是问题的根源.“你对这件事有什么看法??

鲍尔: 报告中关于当代辩论起源的部分讨论了这个问题, and the 报告 also includes an appendix that contains excerpts of valuable 证词 about the state of the confirmation process, 除此之外,还有什么是ebet真人咪牌负担不起的. A reader interested in this aspect of the reform debate will find much that is useful and 虽然t-provoking in the 报告. It should be beyond dispute to add this: there are major differences over who is to blame for the sorry state of the confirmation process, 但几乎没有人会认为它的状况良好. 

Pildes:  报告中提到了一些改革, 比如扩大最高法院的规模, are clearly motivated by events in just the past several years; the desirability of those reforms inevitably depends, 在很大程度, 比如南·阿伦和迈克尔·麦康奈尔的辩论.  其他的改革建议, 虽然, 比如任期限制, 早在这些最近的争议出现之前,就已经吸引了两党和跨意识形态的支持.

考虑到委员会的两党成员, to what extent did conversation and deliberation reflect the highly polarized state of US political debate?

鲍尔: 我在委员会上看到的是一个真正致力于努力解决问题的承诺, 非常有争议的问题, 深思熟虑, 尊重不同的观点. 值得赞扬的是,该报告履行了这一承诺. 

理查德Pildes
理查德Pildes

Pildes: 我不会对任何内部讨论发表评论, 但在公开听证会上, 很明显,人们持有一系列强烈的观点, 应该有, 考虑到委员会处理的问题的重要性. 但是委员们处理这些问题的方式, 为总统提供诚信, 公平, 深入分析不同的改革建议,以及在评估这些建议时应考虑的问题, 是振奋人心的. 几乎没有委员会同意报告中的每一项陈述, but the commissioners understood the importance of working collaboratively to produce a 报告 that the commissioners could unanimously endorse as complying with the charge the president gave to the commission.

莫里森: 我认为有必要强调一下, 在ebet真人咪牌最后一次公开听证会上, a number of commissioners with widely diverging views on the merits of the underlying issues praised the collaborative and respectful process by which the commissioners engaged with the issues and with one another.  I came away from the experience optimistic about the capacity of serious people of good faith to work across deep disagreements to make progress on difficult, 重要的问题.

在你担任委员会委员期间,你的观点有何变化? 你学到了什么??

鲍尔: I learned a great deal—and I am very grateful to have had the chance to work with commissioners who bring so much erudition, 对这些非常困难的问题的洞察力和良好的判断力. 我想不出ebet真人咪牌讨论过的话题或问题, 包括一些我已经交往多年的人, 我没有从这些讨论中得到启发. 

Pildes: I probably learned the most with respect to proposals for a constitutional amendment to shift from life tenure to 18-year, 法官的任期不可续期. 我早在15年前就听说过这样做的建议. 但我不知道这项改革得到了如此广泛的支持. 的 commission received 证词 in support of that change from across the political and ideological spectrum; from those who consider themselves originalists and those who do not; from comparativists who provided perspective on how the constitutional courts of other countries structure their courts. 因为该委员会并不是在泛泛的层面上运作的, but also worked through the concrete practical issues concerning what it might mean to implement various proposals, 比如任期限制, 我还了解了其中一些实现问题的复杂性. Because the term-limits proposal had not previously been the subject of such intensive deliberation and analysis, I also learned a good deal about the concerns some have about what adopting 任期限制 would mean for the Court. 

莫里森: 和里克一样,我认为我从支持法官任期限制的提案中学到了最多的东西. 一些这样的提议已经存在了好几年, but through the 证词 we received I learned that support for these ideas is broader than I had realized. 关于如何通过普通立法实现这一改变,有一些有趣的想法, 尽管我认为我已经确信宪法修正案是更好的途径. 其中一个原因是, 为了一个交错的系统, 工作条件限制, 参议院需要对每一项新提名及时采取行动. 为了建立这样的要求,宪法修正案可能是必要的.

你对那些希望最终报告的人有何回应, 评估各项改革建议的优点, 会更明确地支持改革吗?

鲍勃·鲍尔
鲍勃·鲍尔

鲍尔: 如果这些批评者仔细阅读这份报告, 他们将看到,这将推进改革辩论:现在就是这样, 我相信, 一个消息灵通的, 丰富的讨论, 还有那些支持改革的人, 或者那些反对它的人, 你会觉得佣金报告是必不可少的吗. 这不是一个非此即彼的命题. 有些改革可能会遭到一些人的反对,而另一些人可能会支持. 

单独说, 而且不是委员会的成员, 你支持法院改革吗, 为什么?

鲍尔: 我在概念上支持任期限制已经很多年了, 在委员会成立之前, 写过文章来表达这种观点吗. 该报告全面阐述了理由, 和反对, 任期限制, 并对如何实施这一改革的问题做出了重大贡献. 我震惊, 如果没有意外, 的广泛的, 在对委员会的公开证词中,两党都支持任期限制. 我仍然认为,这是一次认真负责的改革, 还有实施的问题, 而复杂, 可以管理. 

 2021年12月16日