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democracy

Democracy Versus Stakeholderism

Joe Everyman, Mr. Corporate, and Ms. Lawfirm walk into a voting precinct. Each gets a ballot, each marks his/her choices, and each puts the marked ballot into the voting box.

Joe Everyman, believing in the principle of one-man, one-vote, leaves.

But Mr. Corporate and Ms. Lawfirm each walk outside, put a sock puppet onto each of their hands, re-enter the precinct and use ventriloquist voices to demand to ballots for each puppet.

The precinct workers say, “you can’t vote a second and third time!”

But Mr. Corporate and Ms. Lawfirm answer on behalf of their respective sock puppets: “I am not voting again, I am merely accompanying a pair of stakeholders who now want to cast their own votes.”

Huh? You would be quite correct if you were to say “This is not democracy!”

But you would be quite wrong if you were to think that this kind of thing does not happen.

In fact it happens quite often.

It goes by then name “multi-stakeholder” or simply “stakeholders”. These are systems in which some people get to use sock-puppets to multiply their votes and influence.

Reformation of the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS)

Throughout our country people are talking about the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS).

There are few alive today who have experienced a more conservative Supreme Court.

And there are few objective observers who would deny that on today’s court that legal principle is often subordinated to fundamentalist religious views, libertarian biases against the Federal government, or hazy notions of “natural law”.

Many of the conversation about SCOTUS ask whether we ought to expand the number of justices (pejoratively called “court packing”) or impose some sort of term or age limits on the justices (which would probably require a Constitutional amendment that would be a practical impossibility in today’s political climate.)

But there is another matter.

It is an important matter. It is overlooked. It is a matter that is fully within the power of Congress (with the President’s signature). And it is a matter that requires no Constitutional amendment.

Our Supreme Court is overworked.

The growth of our government, our regulatory agencies, and the ever ramifying complexity of our lives, economy, and technology have increased the work demanded of the court.

SCOTUS does not have the resources to do a proper job.

This article argues that we ought to reshape our Supreme Court so that it can better deal with the workload.

This article proposes nothing radical. Rather the proposal here builds upon long established practices of US courts, most particularly the United States courts of appeal.