Supreme Court May Have Too Many Judges

Is the High Court Too 'Judgey'?
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 16, 2009 4:30 PM CST
Supreme Court May Have Too Many Judges
Members of the U.S. Supreme Court.   (AP Photo)

Chief Justice John Roberts recently praised the present makeup of the Supreme Court, which, for the first time in history, consists only of former federal appeals judges. The move towards a Court dominated by those with judicial experience has been afoot since the 1950s, writes Adam Liptak in the New York Times, but not all watchers think it’s a good thing.

“The correlation between prior judicial experience and fitness for the functions of the Supreme Court is zero,” wrote former justice Felix Frankfurter in 1957. And a recent UPenn study showed no difference in decisions made by former judges and “justices lacking judicial experience.” Perhaps another figure is more disturbing: Only three Supreme Court judges have been appointed without private practice experience—and they're all on the bench now. (More John Roberts stories.)

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