Preserving our institutions: the continuity of the Supreme Court

Brand X Pictures

Supreme court building

Read the full report as an Adobe Acrobat PDF

Introduction

When movies portray a fictional attack on Washington, D.C., the action scenes focus on how the president, the military, and the executive branch respond to that crisis. Left out of the script are the quieter, but no less essential, institutions of government. The Supreme Court (and the federal judiciary as a whole) is one of those institutions. It is true that the Supreme Court will not lead us into battle against our attackers or deliver a speech to comfort the nation, and in normal times, the Court operates on a slower timetable than the other branches. Nonetheless, the United States’ constitutional fabric would be badly damaged if the Court were severely diminished or unable to function because of a terrorist attack. A nation stunned by an attack might also find itself without a final tribunal to resolve fundamental constitutional issues at a time of crisis.

The purpose of this paper is to lay out some of the difficulties that would follow an attack on the Court and make recommendations for reforms that would allow us to reconstitute the Court under some of the most difficult circumstances.

Norman J. Ornstein is a resident scholar, Jennifer Marsico is a senior research associate, and John C. Fortier is an adjunct scholar at AEI. Thomas E. Mann is a senior fellow at Brookings.

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine
About the Author

 

Norman J.
Ornstein

 

John C.
Fortier

 

Jennifer K.
Marsico

What's new on AEI

Making Ryan's tax plan smarter
image The teacher evaluation confronts the future
image How to reform the US immigration system
image Inversion hysteria
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 25
    MON
  • 26
    TUE
  • 27
    WED
  • 28
    THU
  • 29
    FRI
Wednesday, August 27, 2014 | 3:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Teacher quality 2.0: Toward a new era in education reform

Please join AEI for a conversation among several contributors to the new volume “Teacher Quality 2.0: Toward a New Era in Education Reform” (Harvard Education Press, 2014), edited by Frederick M. Hess and Michael Q. McShane. Panelists will discuss the intersection of teacher-quality policy and innovation, exploring roadblocks and possibilities.

No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.