We are once again in the midst of a partisan battle over a Supreme Court nominee. If we are to believe in the two party system, it appears as though there are only two types of nominees available: conservative or liberal; red or blue.
As such, I offer this modest proposal:
First, nominees to the Supreme Court should be vetted and appointed by a group of duly elected judges who represent each state.
Second, nominees to the Supreme Court should not serve life terms. Rather, they should serve nine-year terms, with one new judge appointed each year.
Third, the role of the other two branches should be to hold the Supreme Court justices accountable for judging each case upon its merits regardless of political ideology.
Wait. Put on the brakes. Here is where things break down. Nothing the executive nor legislative branch do is ever non-partisan.
As such, we come to my fourth idea, which is really my first and only idea: we need a viable, reasonable, centrist leaning third party. Currently third parties equate to far left or far right. And that, increasingly, is where both parties are trending.
We are not a simple, easily categorized people. We never have been. And unless we stop reducing politics into red and blue, unless we demand a third party far more purple, we will inevitably keep applying those same reductive labels not only to our Supreme Court Justices, but also, and even more destructively, to ourselves.
I’d like to believe that we are better, and more complicated, than that.
I am Michael Perry, and that is my perspective.