We Need Better: Commission Fails to Define Problem and Produce Recommendations
Media Contacts: Sarah Turberville, Director of The Constitution Project at POGO, [email protected]; David Janovsky, Program Manager and Analyst, The Constitution Project at POGO, [email protected]; Tim Farnsworth, Executive Strategist at POGO, [email protected]
(WASHINGTON)—The Project On Government Oversight is extremely disappointed in the report the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States submitted this afternoon. It was clear from the moment President Joe Biden failed to ask the commission for recommendations that the group was not intended to meaningfully confront the Supreme Court legitimacy crisis. The commission worked diligently and thoughtfully, but its deliberations made painfully apparent that it would only give Biden what he asked for: a book report.
This summer, POGO released an analysis by a task force of judicial experts, including leading state and federal judges and scholars, that actually defined the problem facing the Supreme Court and proposed meaningful solutions. Put simply, the political stakes of selecting Supreme Court justices, and the power each justice wields on the court, are too high.
To lower those stakes, we need to limit the justices’ tenure, such as by imposing term limits; strengthen ethics and transparency rules; and implement structural reforms that limit each individual justice’s power.
“A milquetoast report by a group that did not agree on the problem, let alone recommend solutions, does not move the country closer to solving the Supreme Court’s legitimacy crisis,” said Sarah Turberville, director of The Constitution Project at POGO. “We need holistic, farsighted reforms that put the court above the fray of partisan politics. The alternative is to continue the court’s downward spiral — with dangerous and far-reaching consequences for our democracy.”
Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that investigates and exposes waste, corruption, abuse of power, and when the government fails to serve the public or silences those who report wrongdoing.
We champion reforms to achieve a more effective, ethical, and accountable federal government that safeguards constitutional principles.