Argentina's Constitution was heavily inspired by the US Constitution. Recently, the biggest piece of Argentine legislation passed in decades was authored by the members of Argentina's Supreme Court, and later submitted to its Congress, which passed it.

I know that, in theory, and in practice too, any citizen can draft legislation and propose it to a member of Congress. However, Supreme Court Justices are not just any citizen. I cannot imagine a US Supreme Court Justice drafting a bill and sending it to Congress. Has it ever happened?

2 Answers 2


Yes, Supreme Court Justices have drafted and submitted bills to Congress. The Judiciary Act of 1925 has often been called "the Judge's Bill", because it was drafted by Supreme Court Justices Willis van Devanter, George Sutherland, and James McReynolds, along with Chief Justice William Howard Taft.

The bill granted the Supreme Court substantially more discretion over which cases it needed to hear, allowing the Supreme Court discretion over hearing a number of categories of cases that they previously were required to hear. Cases that may have previously been automatically placed on the Supreme Court's docket by appeals or writs of error could now be reviewed on a writ of certoriari, which could be granted or denied at the court's discretion. The bill was submitted to Congress, and Taft lobbied heavily for it before it was eventually passed.

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    It might be worth mentioning that Taft is also the only former president appointed to the Supreme Court.
    – Brythan
    Commented Jun 14, 2016 at 16:16
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    @Brythan - Interesting, I didn't know that. However, now that I do, I expect to see that precedent be cited by the people who want Hillary to win the election and nominate Obama to the Supreme Court.
    – Bobson
    Commented Jun 15, 2016 at 2:50
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    @Bobson already has been in some places, and reporters have brought the issue up to Obama (who was, after all, a constitutional lawyer). He doesn't want the job.
    – Publius
    Commented Jun 15, 2016 at 3:12

In the U.S. the Supreme court has a precedent of not offering legal advice or thought about legislation until a case is brought to them. Every Justice has mostly followed this and avoided at least publicly commenting on legislation that could potentially end up in front of them.

Justices do often outline how to change legislation as part of ruling on a case. An example would be the D.C. circuit court ruling on the open internet order, where they ruled the FCC couldn't enforce certain regulations based on how ISPs were classified, but could if they were classified as common carriers.

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