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Articles

2006

Supreme Court of the United States

University of Washington School of Law

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"Nine, Of Course": A Dialogue On Congressional Power To Set By Statute The Number Of Justices On The Supreme Court, Peter Nicolas Jun 2006

"Nine, Of Course": A Dialogue On Congressional Power To Set By Statute The Number Of Justices On The Supreme Court, Peter Nicolas

Articles

Conventional wisdom seems to hold that Congress has the power to set, by statute, the number of justices on the United States Supreme Court. But what if conventional wisdom is wrong? In this Dialogue, I challenge the conventional wisdom, hypothesizing that the United States Constitution does not give Congress the power to enact such a statute. Under this hypothesis, the number of justices on the Supreme Court at any given time is to be determined solely by the President and the individual members of the United States Senate in exercising their respective powers of nominating justices and consenting to their …