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Is It Time To Reshape The U.S. Supreme Court?

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The U.S. Supreme Court
J. Scott Applewhite
The U.S. Supreme Court

There is little in the United States' Constitution about the power and makeup of the country's highest court. Many are calling for reforms, including for the appointment and confirmation of SCOTUS justices.

The Supreme Court was established in 1789 as a check against congressional and presidential powers, but its justices are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate. Appointments are lifelong.

Due to controversy surrounding newly sworn-in Justice Amy Coney Barrett, questions have been raised about whether the court needs to be expanded and balanced.

How did the Supreme Court come to be? Why is it the way it is now? What is its role and position in the political system?

What reforms have been proposed? What are the arguments for and against making certain changes to the Supreme Court?


  • Sanford Levinson, W. St. John Garwood and W. St. John Garwood, Jr. Centennial Chair in Law at the University of Texas Law School and professor in the Department of Government at UT Austin
  • Michael Ariens, Aloysius A. Leopold Professor of Law at St. Mary's School of Law
  • Dale Carpenter, Judge William Hawley Atwell Chair of Constitutional Law at Southern Methodist University's Dedman School of Law

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*This interview was recorded on Tuesday, November 3.

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