Supreme Court Term Limits? Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Annie, Jan 13, 2005.

  1. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/2005-01-12-mauro_x.htm

    ...

    "It is that dearth of vacancies, not concern about Rehnquist's performance, that has triggered the debate. Because of justices' life tenure, the only way a president, and the voters who elect him, can influence the direction of the Supreme Court is through the appointment process. Appointing justices is one of the most important and prized duties a president has.

    But appointments take place only when a justice departs; for the past 10 years, no one has. Bill Clinton's second term, and President George W. Bush's first term, passed without any vacancies. Not too long ago, much to his regret, Jimmy Carter's only term as president came and went without any justices leaving.

    The reason is clear. Justices, like everyone else, are living longer. That makes life tenure a far weightier proposition than when the framers included it in the Constitution. The average age of today's justices is 70. The justices who have left the court in the past 35 years served an average of 25 years before retiring. By contrast, the justices who departed in the early years of the republic served an average of eight years..."
     
  2. no1tovote4
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    no1tovote4 VIP Member

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    This would make running for POTUS a far more difficult thing as the known SCOTUS appointments can often overshadow a Presidential Campaign. By setting a known term limit it could make the POTUS campaign be more of a SCOTUS campaign each time the term limit came around. By making it so that it only comes when they retire and the almost never give prior notice it can be bandied about but is never a surety. This makes it so the SCOTUS is important to a campaign but not the sole focus.
     
  3. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    I agree. Personally I like the idea of an age limit, rather than term limit. Something however needs to be done.
     
  4. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    There's still impeachment...
     
  5. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    True but all hate to use on someone sick.
     
  6. no1tovote4
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    no1tovote4 VIP Member

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    Impeach only brings them to trial in the Congress, the Congress would have to convict to remove them from office. Since they have committed no crimes they would not be able to remove them this way.

    This was done to keep them free from Political influence. If Congress or the President could remove them at will they would be beholden to those in office and thus politicized regardless of their views. The reason they were appointed for life or until they retire is so that there would be no foresight as to when they would need replacements once again keeping their appointments from being politicized as much as possible.
     
  7. freeandfun1
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    freeandfun1 VIP Member

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    term limits bad idea in my opinion. I believe in not tinkering with what our forefather's put in place. they had reasons for it.
     
  8. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Usually I would agree about the tinkering, in this case I think there has to be some sort of mechanism put in to prevent the sick or dimished mental capability stricken judges, to be removed in some manner.

    At the time of the Founders, avg age was probably 45 or less for men.
     
  9. Zhukov
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    Zhukov VIP Member

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    Well, their reason was, as you know, to ensure that the Supreme Court was the most conservative of the three branches of government.

    Of course appointing judges who like to legislate from the bench and interpret the Constitution in an excessively liberal manner tends to negate the braking effect that the Supreme Court was intended to have.

    The Supreme Court was to be the lagging indicator of what the Founders predicted would be the inevitable liberalization of our society, not it's vanguard firebrand.

    There should be a litmus test for Supreme Court justices, that being the most capable, most conservative, and strictest and most literal constructionist judge that can be found at the time. Obviously, one of our nation's political parties doesn't agree with that particular idea.

    In my opinion imposing either term limits or age limits would be a bad idea, as both would only serve to further destroy the already severely deteriorated conservative nature of the Supreme Court.
     
  10. Trigg
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    Trigg Active Member

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    The founding fathers did the best they could at the time with the knowledge they had.
    Senators, for example, back then actually lived in the states they represented instead of moving to Washington. I don't think it would be a bad idea for them to have term limits.
    Maybe we should get rid of career polititions who have no idea what's going on in their states, since they only visit for re-election.They move to Washington and learn all the ways to work the system while loosing along the way their moral compus.
     

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