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What was the smallest USSC number in history?

  1. ptosis profile image73
    ptosisposted 22 months ago

    What was the smallest USSC number in history?

    Right now there are 8 instead of the full nine? Has there ever been 7, 6 or 5? What if a second judge leaves or dies and there are only 7 and Republicans still refuse to comment or confirm an Presidential appointment? What if there were 4, 3, 2, 1 and then finally ZERO.  essentially removing the third  branch of a balanced  government?

    In 1789 Congress set the number of Judges to 6.  1801 Congress reduced the number to five. 1807 changed it to 7. 1837 went up to 9 to reflect the number of regional circuits.


  2. bradmasterOCcal profile image28
    bradmasterOCcalposted 22 months ago

    The SC decisions over the years have either been bad or just not useful. They have allowed the federal government to increase in size and scope by taking the 2 line Interstate Commerce Clause so liberal as to make anything a federal matter. They have struck down any arguments against the Federal Income Tax.
    They have tried to solve social issues, and they failed as government cannot solve social issues. Making laws or decisions cannot change the minds of people.

    The worst decisions made by the SC are the 5-4 simple majority ones. That leaves the wisdom and opinions of 4 equally qualified jurists shut down. When the SC makes a decision it should at least try to resolve the issues before the court. Take Roe v Wade, it was a bad decision because the part of the constitution the majority used didn't really apply. Additionally, the court didn't provide judicial notice as to when life begins. Because when life begins then we have the baby and its rights to deal with. Their decision on gay marriages doesn't do anything. It takes away the power of the states, and it doesn't help couples that don't want to get married, but want to have some control in the partners life. Obamacare was another bad decision as the reform didn't reform much. Yes, it got insurance companies to not reject people for prior conditions, but that could have been done with a single focused laws. It didn't negotiate the price for prescriptions, or better yet it didn't merge prescriptions into the medical It was also decided that it was a TAX. What other programs are taxes, Social Security and Medicare.

    You can check it out yourself, but I submit that at best there were only a handful of even useful SC decisions.
    As to the current 8 member SC, the problem is the simple majority to win a decision. The SC decisions become the law of the land. Shouldn't that require more than a simple one vote majority?? How about a 7-2 vote making it much more like passing an amendment?
    Actually, it is good that we have a 4-4 split as the least number of SC decisions the better off is the country.
    If you want to make better decisions than use the Amendment Process because it is based on the people and the Congress, President, or the SC.

    1. Ericdierker profile image53
      Ericdierkerposted 22 months agoin reply to this

      I think we refer to them as SCOTUS like POTUS

    2. bradmasterOCcal profile image28
      bradmasterOCcalposted 22 months agoin reply to this

      I meant to say and NOT Congress, the president or the SC.
      During FDR he a 15 member SCOTUS. The problem was the founders left the details of the Judiciary Branch up to Congress. Not a wise choice in the long run!

    3. ptosis profile image73
      ptosisposted 22 months agoin reply to this

      Call me infantile but I think of SCROTUS  every time I see SCOTUS

  3. profile image61
    kordell70posted 22 months ago

    Under the Judiciary act the court would not be able to hear any cases if they did not have a quorum of 6 justices, so once the Supreme Ct got down to 5 justices they would effectively be useless.  As for the questions of having less justices, the answer is the number of justices has changes overtime as it is Congress who determines the number of Justices, and there was a time that the number of justices was pegged at 6 which you later mentioned.  Even without the full panel of judges the Supreme Ct would most likely be able to here most cases.  The issue comes into play if a justice needs to recuse them self from a case which happened just recently in the University of Texas case where Elena Kagan had to recuse herself thereby leaving 7 justices to here or one over the minimum of quorum.

    The issue I have with the Senate over this issue is that is sets up a horrible precedent.  The President is supposed to appoint a Supreme Ct Justice; then the Senate Judiciary Committee is supposed to interview the nominee and make a recommendation to the Senate; and then the Senate is supposed to vote up or down. The fact that Senate leaders have openly said they would languish the nominee in committee; or without knowing anything about any potential nominees state they would vote down the appointment; or if there was any hint of a few defections to the other side on a vote filibuster the nominee without even knowing who the nominee is makes a mockery of the Senate and the whole judicial appointment process.  Whether one likes a President or not, the senate should not politicize this issue with mere nonsense or let's wait for the next president.  What if the Senate doesn't like the next president, do we wait another four years before the Senate will even consider giving this process the respect it deserves? I know some people will "rationalize" this is ok and say well didn't this guy do this or ignore that?  I am not here to debate other issues in this forum other than the question posed by the original poster. Additionally, rationalization that it is ok to not fulfill an obligation because one does not like the sitting president or is upset about the president on another issue is lazy thinking. Two wrongs don't make a right, and rationalizing that is is ok to shirk a duty because a perceived issue in another area is the type of thinking which is causing so much inefficiency in government and business everywhere.

    1. bradmasterOCcal profile image28
      bradmasterOCcalposted 22 months agoin reply to this

      It really doesn't matter as long as the SCOTUS can make simple majority decisions. It is better that they don't hear cases, they do less damage.
      Can you name more than a hand full of SCOTUS cases that were beneficial to the country and the people?

    2. profile image61
      kordell70posted 22 months agoin reply to this

      Due to character limitations I will name a couple:. Loving vs Harding; Brown v bd of Ed; Miranda v Arizona. This case would have had a majority vote is the Senate did not outright tell the Pres they would refuse to do their job.

    3. bradmasterOCcal profile image28
      bradmasterOCcalposted 22 months agoin reply to this

      I don't understand your last sentence.
      BTW Civil Rights weren't solved by Loving vs Virginia, or Brown.
      Miranda was one of 4 cases, and the 5-4 dec was not clear and convincing. Over the years, the decision has been watered down on the streets.

    4. profile image61
      kordell70posted 22 months agoin reply to this

      Cases address specific questions, as such, they may not solve all Civil Rights, but they solved the civil rights issue brought forth which is very important. Last sentence was in regard to recent Sup Ct case.

    5. bradmasterOCcal profile image28
      bradmasterOCcalposted 22 months agoin reply to this

      solve a problem or replace it with another problem.
      Don't know what recent SC you are referring to here?

    6. ptosis profile image73
      ptosisposted 22 months agoin reply to this

      BradOcal ignores any input that appears to contradict his inner model of reality. It's called willful ignorance. That's why some people perceive him as a troll or bot. I'm glad he has strong views, some are carved in granite.

  4. ptosis profile image73
    ptosisposted 22 months ago


    I really didn't get a answer as to the smallest number of standing judges for SCOTUS. So I figured the very first one would be the smallest at the inception of the US.

    From http://supreme-court-justices.insidegov … 1/John-Jay

    There were 3 concurrently serving justices. So I am assuming that the smallest number of standing judges for SCOTUS = 3
    John Jay, William Paterson and Thomas Johnson, (who served less than 5 months).