Popular Post Cal Posted April 12, 2022 Popular Post Share Posted April 12, 2022 (edited) A More Perfect Judiciary Hi everyone! I believe that currently, the Judiciary is the least fleshed out part of the game, the one that is the least fun to be a part of, and quite frankly the one that has the least realistic elements to it. SC Justices come out of nowhere, the SC is not even nominally independent of political control, and there’s just not much to do with the judicial branch. I think we have a LOT of potential here. The ideas below are tailored towards being more basic and without a full array of features so that V could choose to incorporate some elements into the game without a DLC if he wanted to. The basic elements of this expansion are Judicial Philosophies and Focus Courts. A major change would be that the Supreme Court and/or Focus Courts are no longer directly controlled by players, but that nominees' potential votes on important cases can be somewhat predicted based on their Judicial Philosophy. Full disclaimer: these are just spitball ideas of mine and are not currently intended to be in the game on release or in the future. A. Judicial Philosophy The political divisions of American politics don’t translate incredibly well to the judiciary. For example, there are plenty of examples of justices who are considered on the opposite side of the political spectrum concurring in one another’s judgment, even in the dissent, and decisions are (usually) made with considerations to judicial doctrine. Judicial Philosophy is clearly separate from Personal Ideology. As such, I think that it would be fitting for that to be represented in the game. Judicial Philosophy is composed of their more broad Judicial Ideology and their Judicial Doctrine. Their Judicial Ideology is a more broad sense of where the Justice lies on the court, and is a simple Conservative-Swing-Liberal scale. Judicial Philosophy is hidden when a politician first enters the game. Accordingly, it may be a gamble to nominate someone to the Supreme Court that has never been in the judiciary before – they and their values are unknown to both you and the nation. However, a statesman’s Judicial Philosophy is revealed in the following ways… 1. The statesman graduates from the Judicial Career Track. The State Judicial Career Track is renamed to the Judicial Career Track to create a more realistic portrayal of our American court system. A statesman graduating from this track was clerking for judges right out of law school, made it to the bench themselves one day, and is now an influential and well-known factor in either the state system or their federal district/circuit court whose opinions can be predicted before they’re even nominated. (This covers most Justices IRL) 2. The statesman is appointed to a Focus Court. I’ll have more on Focus Courts later, but this covers a judge who did not make it through the Judicial Career Track but nonetheless has obtained relevance, as well as a judge who is appointed as a part of a patronage scheme, luck, or previously unrealized talent. Their opinions are influential and analyzed on a national scale. 3. The statesman is appointed directly to the Supreme Court. This is more uncommon, but has happened before. A statesman appointed this way is a gamble for the player because there has been relatively little scrutiny of them and their judicial philosophy. A statesman with no prior judicial experience, or so little to have never reached relevance before, could easily blow up in the player’s face. However, this is also likely the only way you’re going to get Justices under the age of 45 on the court reliably. A1. Judicial Ideology Nominating an unknown to the Court can be a big risk. So, it’s a good thing that you can take a good look at what IS publicly available when making the decision of whether or not you want to take that 25 year old peewee draftee directly to the Supreme Court. You can make an educated guess based on their Personal Ideology, Interests, and Traits. These things together, with the element of chance, allow you to have a good idea of the kind of Judge it is that you’re appointing for life. Personal Ideology is what determines the base chance for a new judge to hold one of the three Judicial Ideologies, and this is then modified by interests and traits by +- more percentages. Of course, you’re probably asking yourself – what happens if that makes the total percentages no longer 100%? Well, a CPU version of the game can very easily scale 126% or 75% down or up with a simple formula. There admittedly might be a more user-friendly way to do it, however. Open to ideas! RW Populists 90% base chance to be Conservative. 10% base chance to be Swing. 0% base chance to be Liberal. Traditionalists 80% base chance to be Conservative. 20% base chance to be Swing. 0% base chance to be Liberal. Conservatives 70% base chance to be Conservative. 30% base chance to be Swing. 0% base chance to be Liberal. Moderates 15% base chance to be Conservative. 70% base chance to be Swing. 15% base chance to be Liberal. Liberals 70% base chance to be Liberal. 30% base chance to be Swing. 0% base chance to be Conservative. Progressives 80% base chance to be Liberal. 20% base chance to be Swing. 0% base chance to be Conservative. LW Populists 90% base chance to be Liberal. 10% base chance to be Swing. 0% base chance to be Conservative. Trait Modifiers: LW Activist: +25% Liberal. RW Activist: +25% Conservative. Pliable: +50% Swing. Lackey: +50% in the direction of their Kingmaker, if one is currently active. Puritan: -50% Swing. A2. Judicial Doctrine Not only is the general ideology of a particular judge important in how they hold in a particular case, but the specifics of the case before them as it applies to certain beliefs of theirs. For example, Justice Scalia was a famous proponent of Originalism, oftentimes joining a liberal minority on the court in his dissent for grounds unrelated to political beliefs. Attempting to capture the entirety of the discourse of what semantic or textual canons to apply, when delegation is appropriate, and whatnot is not feasible for a game not focused on the judiciary (probably). However, giving every Justice one of two of the following Judicial Doctrines would be broad enough to cover the impact on several significant decisions. If this were to be expanded into a full-blown expansion, this could be the basis for a diverging timeline of the court’s opinions and have flavor text for when a particular composition of the court reaches a decision. To keep it simple, I would just have certain cases have modifiers for the following traits that add on to their chance to vote either with the ayes or the nays. B. Focus Courts The other huge change here would be the addition of Focus Courts, or a small number of federal appellate courts that have significant influence on the judicial landscape. They represent the lower courts that cases appealed to the Supreme Court are heard in before they actually make it there. IRL, some courts have had incredibly influence. For example, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has had a huge impact on public policy and cases heard by the court have established precedent in administrative law, and several high profile Supreme Court cases came out of it with famous butting heads between Judge Bazelon and Judge Wright. Some of the most well respected and brilliant figures in American legal history never served on the Supreme Court, but instead on a lower court with very influential decisions. While it would be cool to be able to represent full appellate courts, that’s not realistic with the low number of judges we have in the game. However, I think it would be possible to give each region a Focus Court representing a very influential judge at the time. At the start of the game, this would give us 4 Focus Courts, representing New-England, the Mid-Atlantic, Upper South, and Deep South. A Focus Court has only a single judge on it, appointed by the President and serving until retirement. This Focus Judge faces confirmation, just like a Supreme Court Justice does. However, rules should probably be a little relaxed about opposition as IRL their appointment is generally scrutinized less. It is common for lower court judges confirmed by the Senate to lose votes, sometimes even from the same senators, when they are nominated for the Supreme Court. A Focus Court Judge has a chance of improving their Judicial Ability upon appointment. Additionally, through other interactions such as when the Supreme Court takes up their case, a Focus Court Judge can gain a few other traits that make them useful on the Supreme Court. 1B. Jurisdiction and Interaction Between Focus Courts and the Supreme Court What kinds of cases does the Focus Court hear, and what does the Supreme Court hear? While before all cases would just appear before the Supreme Court, that will no longer be the case. This division is caused by jurisdiction, the concept that a court can only make decisions on the kinds of cases that it has been granted the authority from Congress or the Constitution to hear. The Supreme Court has an exclusive Original Jurisdiction, and cases tagged with that subject matter will always come straight to the Supreme Court and cannot be heard by a Focus Court. The Supreme Court cannot be the first court to hear cases that do not have Original Jurisdiction. However, the Supreme Court also has Appellate Jurisdiction. Appellate Jurisdiction is the authority of the Supreme Court to hear all other subject matters from state courts and federal courts when they are appealed up the court system. Cases tagged with Appellate Jurisdiction will usually come from Focus Courts, but have a chance to come to the Supreme Court without it. (Simulating that not every lower federal court is represented in the game.) Focus Courts (like the Supreme Court) are mostly insulated from the player’s control once confirmed and make their decision on a case independently. The Focus Judge’s Judicial Philosophy determines the chance they decide aye or nay on the case. After the Focus Court has delivered its decision, it is up to the Supreme Court to decide if they will grant cert (hear) to the case. IRL, this process is called the Rule of Four, where if 4 of the 9 Justices on the Supreme Court want to hear a case, it is added to the Supreme Court’s docket. As only the most influential Supreme Court cases are represented in the game (as of the time I’m writing this) it should be rare that the Supreme Court decides not to grant cert, but possible based on who appointed each justice, their traits, and their Judicial Philosophy. If the Supreme Court grants cert, the case is heard like normal. However, Party Leaders with Manipulative, Iron Fist, and Jurisprudence should maybe have a chance to interfere. Either way, the Supreme Court will either affirm the Focus Court’s decision or reverse it. What happens after the Supreme Court decides the case, or the SC does not grant cert? The points awarded for the SC Justices and general impact of the SC Case do not change whether the Court reverses or affirms the decision of the Focus Court. To be absolutely clear: there is no effect on the overall point distribution or meter effects if the court reverses the decision. What actually matters is if the Court ruled aye or nay on the case. If the Supreme Court chooses not to hear the case, points and effects are calculated as if the Focus Judge’s decision was that of the Supreme Court, except SC Justices do not receive points. The Focus Judge will also receive points for setting down important case law since the Supreme Court did not step in. A Focus Judge whose opinion is affirmed by the Supreme Court has a small chance of gaining Jurisprudence. If the Supreme Court denies cert (refuses to hear) a Landmark case from a Focus Court, the Supreme Court loses points. A Focus Judge authoring a decision that deducts the most points from the President who appointed them’s faction, while they are still in the presidential office, causes a dice roll for the President’s faction enthusiasm lowering due to discontent with their appointment. (Note: This ignores that cases from state Supreme Courts have a totally different kind of jurisdiction than do federal appellate courts. However, unless we want to have some kind of system for modeling state Supreme Court’s through either Judicial Career Track statesmen or unemployed judicial ability statesmen, that’s unfeasible and this is the best I can come up with. I think anything else might run into the issue of not having the statesmen to actually do it, haha). Edited April 12, 2022 by Cal 5 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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