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Old 04-01-2019, 05:35 PM
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Whack-a-Mole is offline
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Chicago, IL USA
Posts: 21,123
Originally Posted by Thing Fish View Post
Refusing to fill a particular vacancy at a particular time isn't the same things as changing the size of the Court. The law sets the size of the Court currently at 9. But if the Senate won't confirm anyone to fill a vacancy of course it will be smaller until the political gridlock resolves. Theoretically they could all die off and there would be no Justices at all. But the Senate can't add a 10th Justice (unless both Houses pass a law allowing them to do so). They can't remove Justices (other than through impeachment), either; if they were to pass a law reducing the size of the Court to five, none of the current Justices would have to leave. But the next four to die or resign wouldn't be replaced.
Why can congress set the number of justices?

Seems a constitutional matter to me.

If they can set it at nine they can set it at one or none. If none they can abolish a branch of government. Which would seem crazy but if they can set any number then zero is a number.

My point being, congress does not have the right to limit another branch of government. The executive through the senate is the only prescribed means of getting people on the court per the constitution (which trumps congressional laws).
"I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally Conservative. I believe that to be so obvious and undeniable a fact that I hardly think any hon. Gentleman will question it." ~John Stuart Mill