Missing the Wood for the Trees: The Unseen Crisis in the Supreme Court
Rishad Ahmed Chowdhury
Volume 5 Issue 3 (2012)
It is a widely acknowledged reality that the Supreme Court today faces a crisis in the form of a severely over-burdened docket. This paper argues that, while the existence of the problem is well known, its genesis, underlying causes and broader impact are significantly misunderstood. It is in that sense that the crisis remains an unseen one. A core claim of the paper is that the burden on the Court is neither a historical inevitability nor primarily a resource-centric problem. Rather, it is the product of conscious choices made over a period of time by judges of the Court, choices which were shaped and constrained in significant ways by other important factors, but which nonetheless remained conscious choices. This trend is deeply troubling for many reasons, and calls for an urgent exploration of possible models for reform.