Under Article III of the US Constitution, Congress has complete discretion to define the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court (there is a much smaller category of cases over which the Supreme Court has “original jurisdiction,” that is, it acts like a trial court.
Yesterday, I spoke on a panel for Huffington Post advocating that Congress should pass legislation to remove Supreme Court appellate jurisdiction over decisions of state supreme courts. This is permissible under Article III. In fact, until 1914, the Supreme Court did not have jurisdiction to hear appeals from state supreme courts.
Proposals to strip jurisdiction from the Supreme Court have been floating around Congress since the early 1980s, but without success. It’s time to return to a system in which states can enact their own social and educational policies without getting trumped by unelected judges invoked made-up “penumbral” rights. Listen to the segment here.