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Commentary: Is it time for term limits on the Supreme Court?

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  • Commentary: Is it time for term limits on the Supreme Court?

    Assuming Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed for the Supreme Court, which, based the Left's voluble wailing appears to be a lock, Donald Trump will have appointed two justices before he's even halfway through his first term. And with two liberal justices in their 80s (Justice Ginsburg is 85, Justice Breyer turns 80 on August 15), the possibility looms that President Trump could appoint a third of the court's members even if he serves just a single term.

    Given the trend of appointing younger and younger justices, it's likely that Trump's judicial legacy will be felt for another 20 or 30 years. Not surprisingly, this has sparked a backlash from the Left: a call for term limits on the Supreme Court.

    Though Americans have supported the idea for years, it's never been a cause championed by the Left. Until now.

    Ezra Klein at the uber-liberal website Vox.com has discovered the advantages of term limits for the high court.

    "Why It's Time to Get Serious About Supreme Court Term Limits" is the headline at the Washington Post.

    And over on the op-ed pages, Yale University liberals Ian Ayres and John Fabian Witt write that Democrats "ought to consider ending the lifetime terms of Supreme Court justices."

    "A statute might designate all future Supreme Court seats as 18-year terms, with justices sitting on the court by designation, followed by life tenure on the lower federal bench. The vagaries of justices' deaths and retirements should not throw American democracy into tumult," they write.

    In a recent Chicago Tribune op-ed, liberal attorney and Watergate scholar James Robenalt joined in, bemoaning that "Trump has a solicitous Senate majority and can ram through his nominees…There is effectively no check on what he can do." Therefore Robenalt suggests a wholesale review of service on the highest court.

    "Term limits, reconfirmation proceedings every eight years, and age limits — all are viable and rational ideas. It may be time for a constitutional amendment," Robenalt said.

    The reaction to all this from the Right is to quote that great American legal scholar, Bruce Willis, from the movie "Die Hard:" "Welcome to the party, pal."

    Conservatives have argued in favor of Supreme Court term limits for years, regardless of which party was in power.

    In 2006, when Republicans had control of both the White House and Congress, legal scholars Steven Calabresi and James Lindgren released an influential paper entitled "Term Limits for the Supreme Court: Life Tenure Reconsidered."

    Calabresi is a conservative's conservative. He served in the Reagan and Bush administrations and co-founded the Federalist Society, the conservative legal group that's helped guide Trump's judicial appointments.

    In their paper, Calabresi and Lindgren report that, from 1789 to 1970, Supreme Court justices served an average of about 15 years and there was a vacancy every two years or so. "For those Justices who have retired since 1970, the average tenure has jumped to 26.1 years," they said. "Because of the long tenure of recent members of the Court, there were no vacancies on the high Court from 1994 to the middle of 2005."

    Their suggested solution? Term limits. "A system of staggered, eighteen-year term limits for Supreme Court Justices…whose terms would be staggered such that a vacancy would occur on the Court every two years."

    This approach has long had fans on the Right. Texas Gov. Rick Perry made it part of his 2012 presidential race platform. Scholars at the conservative American Enterprise Institute like the idea, and conservative media figures like Mike Huckabee and Mark Levin back term limits, too.

    However, while the Right and the Left may be on the same page regarding term limits for SCOTUS judges, their motives are miles apart. The argument from the Right has been that the court has too much power and too frequently operates as an unelected legislature. As a result, every appointment is a political fight to the death, focused almost entirely on the ideological impacts of the future, rather than the resume and legal reasoning of the nominee today. Knowing that there will be a new vacancy on the court every two years will reduce the political rancor and, conservatives hope, pare back the politics that have infected the one branch of government that is supposed to be beyond partisanship.

    Ending life tenure for SCOTUS justices would also promote the "consent of the governed" many conservatives have advanced, as opposed to the "angels to govern us" approach rejected by Thomas Jefferson as a form of judicial tyranny. Some conservatives like Sen. Ted Cruz have even proposed "judicial retention elections" that would allow a popular vote on the performance of each Supreme Court justice.

    This is not the view of the newly-minted term-limit fans on the Left. Their support for limiting terms on the court is found in conversations that also include proposals to "pack" the Supreme Court with a new liberal majority when Democrats take power again. In other words, their focus isn't the process, it's the president. Supreme Court term limits are just another part of the Trump #Resistance.

    The good news for Americans — who overwhelmingly support term limits for Supreme Court justices today — is that, regardless of their motives, the left and right are in agreement on this fundamental reform. Most scholars agree that imposing these limits would require a Constitutional amendment, a long and arduous process. But with partisans on both sides pushing in the same direction, term limits for the Supreme Court could become the most significant, if unintended, reform of the Trump era.

  • #2
    Nah. It’s not time for that. Conservatives just took control of the SCOTUS. Why would we put term limits on now?

    Poppycock.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Sheik View Post
      Nah. It’s not time for that. Conservatives just took control of the SCOTUS. Why would we put term limits on now?

      Poppycock.
      Cause after having lifetime control of the courts that lasted since the 1930s to now, liberals are now afraid of facing the shoe being on the opposite foot. So just like with the electoral college, now that they are losing, it’s time to change it all in their favor.

      Comment


      • #4
        Lose an election? Change the rules!

        Comment


        • #5
          This is so damn funny.

          Comment


          • #6


            Uhh, no.
            2016 DCC LOTY Fantasy Football Champion

            Comment


            • #7
              Maybe we can declare election days “National Opposite Day if Democrats fail to win”.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Sheik View Post
                Maybe we can declare election days “National Opposite Day if Democrats fail to win”.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Amazing how libs want things changed when they aren't going their way isn't it?


                  How about we don't consider this until we can get term limits on the senate and the house.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Not likely there will ever be term limits because the limits would apply to the congressional group who has to approve them. I think there is a system that can be effective via a petition not unlike a constitutional amendment. Don’t rely on the Congress putting a muzzle on themselves.
                    Originally posted by fortsbest View Post
                    Amazing how libs want things changed when they aren't going their way isn't it?


                    How about we don't consider this until we can get term limits on the senate and the house.
                    Since Day One

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by fortsbest View Post
                      Amazing how libs want things changed when they aren't going their way isn't it?


                      How about we don't consider this until we can get term limits on the senate and the house.
                      If you can't win the game then you try to change the rules. Reminds me of a child who is loosing who suddenly makes up new rules to the game to make it so they win.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Sadly, I think term limits on congressional members is something nearly the entire country wants and they can't get it done through their reps. We need a convention of states to do it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Kavanaugh Accuser Admits She Fabricated Allegations as a ‘Ploy’ for ‘Attention’
                          The National Review The National Review•November 3, 2018

                          A woman who made graphic allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh has admitted to investigators that she fabricated them to “get attention.”

                          Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley has referred Judy Munro-Leighton to the Justice Departement and FBI for investigation into potentially materially false statements and obstruction.

                          “The Committee is grateful to citizens who come forward with relevant information in good faith, even if they are not one hundred percent sure about what they know,” Grassley wrote in his letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “But when individuals intentionally mislead the Committee, they divert Committee resources during time-sensitive investigations and materially impede our work.”

                          On September 25, “Jane Doe” from Oceanside, California sent an anonymous letter to Senator Kamala Harris alleging that the then-nominee for Supreme Court and his friend raped her “several times each” in the back of a car. Details were sparse, such as the time frame and location of the alleged attack.

                          “The whole thing is ridiculous,” Kavanaugh said when questioned the next day by committee investigators about the allegation. “The whole thing is just a crock, farce, wrong, didn’t happen, not anything close.”

                          Later on October 3, Judy Munro-Leighton emailed the committee claiming to be the “Jane Doe” of the letter and said she was “sharing with you the story of the night that Brett Kavanaugh and his friend sexually assaulted and raped me in his car,” calling it a “vicious assault.”

                          “I refuse to allow Donald J. Trump to use me or my story as an ugly chant at
                          one of his Republican rallies,” Munro-Leighton wrote. “I know that Jane Doe will get no media attention, but I am deathly afraid of revealing any information about myself or my family.”

                          Investigators located Munro-Leighton living in Kentucky, not California, and discovered that she is a left-wing activist decades older than Judge Kavanaugh.

                          She admitted to investigators that her story was a “tactic” and “that was just a ploy.”

                          “No, no, no. I did that as a way to grab attention,” she told investigators. “I am not Jane Doe . . . but I did read Jane Doe’s letter. I read the transcript of the call to your Committee. . . . I saw it online. It was news.”

                          “I was angry, and I sent it out,” she said of her email to the committee describing the allegations.

                          “Oh, Lord no,” she responded on whether she has ever met Kavanaugh.

                          Kavanaugh was confirmed as Associate Justice on the Supreme Court on October 6. During his acrimonious confirmation process, multiple women came forward with accusations of sexual assault against him. Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testified to the Judiciary Committee that Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed and attempted to rape her at a party when they were both in high school.

                          However, several on-the-fence senators, including Democrat Joe Manchin and Republican Susan Collins, sealed the slim majority in Kavanaugh’s favor with their votes to confirm him, citing a lack of hard evidence supporting the accusations against him.

                          _________________

                          Shocked I say, shocked!!!! I thought the claim was that women don't make this stuff up!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Cowboysrock55 View Post

                            Shocked I say, shocked!!!! I thought the claim was that women don't make this stuff up!
                            Wasting your time.

                            To you I say #ME TOO.

                            You can't say anything back. Just try it, misogynist.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Cowboysrock55 View Post
                              Kavanaugh Accuser Admits She Fabricated Allegations as a ‘Ploy’ for ‘Attention’
                              The National Review The National Review•November 3, 2018

                              A woman who made graphic allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh has admitted to investigators that she fabricated them to “get attention.”

                              Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley has referred Judy Munro-Leighton to the Justice Departement and FBI for investigation into potentially materially false statements and obstruction.

                              “The Committee is grateful to citizens who come forward with relevant information in good faith, even if they are not one hundred percent sure about what they know,” Grassley wrote in his letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “But when individuals intentionally mislead the Committee, they divert Committee resources during time-sensitive investigations and materially impede our work.”

                              On September 25, “Jane Doe” from Oceanside, California sent an anonymous letter to Senator Kamala Harris alleging that the then-nominee for Supreme Court and his friend raped her “several times each” in the back of a car. Details were sparse, such as the time frame and location of the alleged attack.

                              “The whole thing is ridiculous,” Kavanaugh said when questioned the next day by committee investigators about the allegation. “The whole thing is just a crock, farce, wrong, didn’t happen, not anything close.”

                              Later on October 3, Judy Munro-Leighton emailed the committee claiming to be the “Jane Doe” of the letter and said she was “sharing with you the story of the night that Brett Kavanaugh and his friend sexually assaulted and raped me in his car,” calling it a “vicious assault.”

                              “I refuse to allow Donald J. Trump to use me or my story as an ugly chant at
                              one of his Republican rallies,” Munro-Leighton wrote. “I know that Jane Doe will get no media attention, but I am deathly afraid of revealing any information about myself or my family.”

                              Investigators located Munro-Leighton living in Kentucky, not California, and discovered that she is a left-wing activist decades older than Judge Kavanaugh.

                              She admitted to investigators that her story was a “tactic” and “that was just a ploy.”

                              “No, no, no. I did that as a way to grab attention,” she told investigators. “I am not Jane Doe . . . but I did read Jane Doe’s letter. I read the transcript of the call to your Committee. . . . I saw it online. It was news.”

                              “I was angry, and I sent it out,” she said of her email to the committee describing the allegations.

                              “Oh, Lord no,” she responded on whether she has ever met Kavanaugh.

                              Kavanaugh was confirmed as Associate Justice on the Supreme Court on October 6. During his acrimonious confirmation process, multiple women came forward with accusations of sexual assault against him. Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testified to the Judiciary Committee that Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed and attempted to rape her at a party when they were both in high school.

                              However, several on-the-fence senators, including Democrat Joe Manchin and Republican Susan Collins, sealed the slim majority in Kavanaugh’s favor with their votes to confirm him, citing a lack of hard evidence supporting the accusations against him.

                              _________________

                              Shocked I say, shocked!!!! I thought the claim was that women don't make this stuff up!
                              2018 DCC Super Bowl Bingo Champion

                              Comment

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