Tenure: A Practice No Longer Valid?

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Adam's Apple, May 14, 2005.

  1. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    Tenure: An Idea Whose Time Has Come
    By Victor Davis Hanson for Jewish World Review
    May 12, 2005

    Tenure in our universities is simply unlike any other institution in American society. Take the case of Ward Churchill at the University of Colorado. Because of his inflammatory slander of the September 11 victims, the public turned its attention to his status. We discovered that he did not have a Ph.D., created a Native-American identity, and appropriated the intellectual property of others — but was promoted to a tenured full professorship, protected by a lifetime contract.

    No equivalent for CEOs or for dishwashers exists. Journalists, politicians, lawyers and others who take unpopular stands also lack guaranteed jobs. Doctors do no not enjoy them. They can lose their posts, despite 30 years of reputable work, because of a single missed diagnosis.

    Professors, however, after an initial probationary period of six years, win the equivalent of lifelong employment from their peers. Why does this strange practice linger on?

    http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0505/hanson.php3
     
  2. archangel
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    archangel Guest

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    This should also apply to Life time appointments of US Supreme Court Justices..
    Their term should only be for the term of the appointer...or make them elected officials..this way we the people would have some say in bad decisions...
     
  3. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    An idea that should be explored further. I especially like the idea of electing judges, but the Founding Fathers wanted the judicial branch of the government to be independent; and time has proven that they did know best. I wonder if they had any idea that the judicial branch would evolve to the point that it would encroach on the legislative branch, as it is doing today.
     
  4. Yurt
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    Yurt Gold Member

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    Great point.

    I think the hardship in creating the three branches lay solely at HOW to make the three branches EQUAL. This is a very difficult thing to do as we can see all over today's news headlines regarding activist judges. One thing I am glad of is, that even though the chief justice of USSC has been sick, he has not stepped down. Should he? He was appointed for life. Unlike university professors, these nine judges play a very crucial role in our lives (though professors like to believe themselves so important and admittedly at times take liberty with that). I for one, do not want a justice on the bench that is removable with the the change of the presidency or the congress, nor do I think any of would.

    How then do we create/manage a checks and balances system then? IMHO, the senate grilling of supreme court justices has gone too far. Instead of being the "interview panel," that they originally were supposed to be, they are a vanguard of political arm chair warriors deciding the fate over a candidate, based on "his/her political beliefs" and not his/her qualifications to hold the highest legal office in the nation.

    How to change that? I don't know, however, I believe it is wrong and must change.

    Elected justices? ---- that would lead to the same political problem presented above.

    A term of years? ----- not sure, then they might make rulings based on what their prospective job opportunities or whatever opportunities might arise.

    So the question then becomes who puts them in "office?"
     
  5. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    The Founder's never intended the branches to be equal, they truly distrusted the executive-remember the king! They wanted a strong legislative branch. Note how much more there is to Article 1 than the others. Check out the Federalist Papers:


     
  6. Yurt
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    Yurt Gold Member

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    Ok, if they were not to be equal, what then were their respective roles?
     
  7. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    In a nutshell, (yes, I was dinged rep for verbosity):

    Executive-Enforce the laws

    Legislative-Make the laws

    Judicial-Interpret the laws
     
  8. Yurt
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    Yurt Gold Member

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    Sorry you were dinged. :dunno:

    But your answer still does not answer the questoin:

    How are they to be equal?

    A step further: What does equal mean?

    A step more: if not equal, what then?
     
  9. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    They each have their place, not equal. They can't be 'equal' that is in flux. There are times, such as 'time of war' when the executive trumps others-that was foreseen.

    There are times that the legislature takes back some power-that too was foreseen.

    What was not clear is what has occured in the judiciary, in rare cases indeed, but it has happened.
     
  10. Yurt
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    Yurt Gold Member

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    Good points.

    What you mention about one branch trumping another branch seems to be about war. Granted, there are clear guidelines for this, however, there are not clear guidelines about the third branch, the so called "judiciary" branch.

    While you are technically correct about these branches being "equal," you will will find that this interpretation is not what the founders intended. If they did, then all of our modern understanding of the US constitution is incorrect. Or, I have been mislead my all my profs (no surprise).

    The founders understood there would be times for inequal treatment of the 3 branches, however, as you will notice, those times are in war. If not in war, where, in your understanding, does the SCOTUS fit?
     

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