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RESEARCH

Politicians want to give the Norwegian Parliament more influence on the selection of Supreme Court justices

Professor Gunnar Grendstad argues in an op-ed in Klassekampen that the government’s and the Supreme Court’s involvement in the selection of justices could be problematic with respect to the separation of powers and democracy. He notes that some therefore have favored involving the Norwegian parliament more in the selection process.

The Supreme Court
Foto/ill.:
The Supreme Court

The appointing government’s ideology affects justices’ voting

Together with colleagues Bill Shaffer and Eric Waltenburg of Purdue University, Professor Gunnar Grendstad of the Department of Comparative Politics has shown that the appointing government’s ideology affects justices’ voting.

Grendstad writes in the op-ed that on economic issues, justices appointed by social-democratic governments more often vote in favor of the public party, and justices appointed by non-socialist governments more often vote in favor of the private party.

 

A selfrecruiting Supreme Court?

Grendstad adds that the pattern is somewhat inconsistent in the last 20 years. This could be related to the fact that the Supreme Court itself is involved in the process of selecting justices by giving considerable input to the government in the process, he writes.

Some have noted that both the government’s and the Supreme Court’s involvement in the selection of justices could be problematic with respect to the separation of powers and democracy.

 

- The Storting could be more involved in the process

To avoid such issues, Grendstad suggests that the Norwegian parliament, Stortinget, be more involved in the selection process. He cites MPs who have argued in favor of this, including current Attorney General Anders Anundsen.