Supreme Court term limits?

I apologize but I can’t remember the journal where I grabbed this short but riveting comment from an unusual source, suggesting that the federal court system institute term limits.


Emerging Support for Supreme Court Term Limits

U.S. Supreme Court and appellate judges should face term limits, argues political scientist Norm Ornstein in The Atlantic. Ornstein suggests that term limits are an appropriate reaction to unprecedented polarization within our highest court, responding to articles by Adam Liptak in The New York Times and by Scott Lemieux in The Week that both examine the ideological divide on the bench. Ornstein writes, “As politics have become polarized and as two-party competition intensified, control of the courts — which are increasingly making major policy decisions — became more important. With lifetime appointments, a party in power for two or four years could have sway over policy for decades after it left power.” In addition to advocating for an 18-year term limit, “staggered so that each president in a term would have two vacancies to fill,” Ornstein calls for nominees who understand “politics and the impact of their decisions on society,” noting “zero members of the Supreme Court have served in elective office,” and “few have had real-world experience outside of the legal and judicial realm.” Recent polling by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research suggests public support for Ornstein’s position on term limits; at least 70 percent of those surveyed support abolishing lifetime appointments for Supreme Court members.

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