Ars Technica had a fascinating article today, "Algorithm predicts US Supreme Court decisions 70% of time". Ars reports that "Josh Blackman, a South Texas College of Law scholar, wrote on his blog Tuesday":
"While other models have achieved comparable accuracy rates, they were only designed to work at a single point in time with a single set of nine justices. Our model has proven consistently accurate at predicting six decades of behavior of thirty Justices appointed by thirteen Presidents. It works for the Roberts Court as well as it does for the Rehnquist, Burger, and Warren Courts. It works for Scalia, Thomas, and Alito as well as it does for Douglas, Brennan, and Marshall. Plus, we can predict Harlan, Powell, O’Connor, and Kennedy."
What the model can do is to determine with 70% accuracy how former Chief Justice Earl Warren (1953-1969) would have voted on a recent Supremem Court Decision such as "AMERICAN BROADCASTING COS., INC., ET AL. v. AEREO, INC., FKA BAMBOOM LABS, INC. "
So here is what we could do. No longer does the President nominate and the Senate confirm Justices and Chief Justices of the Supreme Court. Instead we have an election where citizens can pick any of the 30 Justices in Blackman's study for the eight Justice positions and any former Chief Justice could be picked for Chief Justice. Then for a new Supreme Court case we run the algorithm against the Justices picked by the people. One benefit is quicker decisions by the Supreme Court. Not sure we would get opinions but at least the decisions would be made. (No further updating of the algorithm.)
The fun would be in the campaigning for mostly dead justices to serve on the new Supreme Court. I suppose that someone like the ACLU or Heritage Foundation would propose their slate of extremist liberal or right wing Justices and nobody would advocate for a collection of centrist Justices. And there in lies the problem with politics today. Most advocates support positions at the edges of the political spectrum and nobody represents most of us who are liberal on some issues, conservative on other things and "don't care" about a third group of issues.