Professor Ross Davies Quoted in Legal Times Story on Supreme Court Continuity Conference
The Legal Times published an article discussing a recent panel discussion about continuity in the Supreme Court in the event of its incapacitation, be it from a terrorist attack, flu pandemic or other catastrophic event. Professor Ross Davies participated in the panel discussion, and he helped set it up. This article summarizes several of the key points brought put forth by the panel of experts during the event on November 30, 2005.
Imagining a Doomsday Scenario for the Supreme Court By: Tony Mauro. In: Legal Times, December 5, 2005.
George Mason professor Ross Davies offered some ingenious solutions that would require passage of statutes expanding the size of the Supreme Court. But Davies was not suggesting an FDR-style Court-packing scheme. Congress can, by statute, set the number and qualifications of Supreme Court justices, so Davies suggested the appointment of several justices with one extra qualification: They would serve only if the Supreme Court drops below a quorum. Alternatively, retiring justices like Sandra Day O'Connor could keep their positions but would be recused from their duties unless the Supreme Court drops below a quorum.
Short of these weighty and controversial measures, Davies also suggested short-term steps to reduce vulnerability, such as encouraging justices to work at home or in non-D.C. locations when possible, in order to limit the number of occasions when all nine justices are in one place. But [Norman] Ornstein said the resulting loss of face-to-face contact and collegiality might be too high a price to pay.