Don't Let Me Stop You

What the heck, you'll do what you want anyway.

Judicial Term Limits

Posted by Dan Draney on July 26, 2005

Perhaps this is an idea whose time is coming soon? John Fund explores the question of lifetime tenure for Supreme Court Justices on the OpinionJournal site:

“John Roberts is only 50 years old. That means, should he be confirmed, he could be issuing opinions ‘when my granddaughter is in her 30, and she was born just a year ago,’ noted liberal and Harvard University law professor Larry Tribe put it recently.

Is this something even the right should be celebrating? Do we really want lifetime tenure for Supreme Court justices? The Framers of the Constitution, of course, gave us this judicial sinecure for the express purpose of insulating the courts from political pressures of the moment. But then again, 220 years ago life expectancy wasn’t what it is today and the courts had yet to claim the power of ‘judicial review,’ the power to determine which laws meet constitutional muster. For the Founders, the courts did not exercise the sweeping, unaccountable power they do now. That’s one reason why many people are now coming around to the notion of instituting an 18-year term limit on Supreme Court justices. They include conservatives such as former presidential candidate Steve Forbes and liberals such as Paul Carrington, the former dean of Duke University’s law school.”

Alexander Hamilton thought the judical branch would be the weakest, but that’s certainly not true today. Eighteen years on the court should be plenty of time. Read the rest.

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