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May 6 / Jonathan

Term Limits for SCOTUS Justices

Makes sense to me.

Term Limits for SCOTUS Justices

Here’s a good four year-old article from Stephen Calabresi and James Lindgren making the case for abolishing life tenure for Supreme Court justices. Their mathematically sensible advice is that justices should serve for a fixed term of 18 years. This is longer than the historical average for the Supreme Court but considerably shorter than the post-1970 average of 25 years.

A new justice would be picked, on schedule, ever two years. This would eliminate the risk of what happened during the Carter administration when nobody died or retired and consequently by 1992 all the justices had been selected by Republicans. It would also formalize the rhetoric around the idea that “elections have consequences” by specifying in advance what those consequences are.

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