Unhappy with the time-honored practice, as dictated by the U.S. Constitution, of Supreme Court justices receiving lifetime appointments, congressional Democrats are demanding new rules.
A bill set to be introduced next week by Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna of California seeks to put term limits on the justices, who now serve for life, and ensure that no president ever gets the chance to fill more than two seats on the nine-member court during each four-year term, according to Fox News.
Khanna pitched his concept as a balm for the nation.
“It would save the country a lot of agony and help lower the temperature over fights for the court that go to the fault lines of cultural issues and is one of the primary things tearing at our social fabric,” he told Reuters.
Khanna also tweeted a rejection of the current system in which vacancies are filled as they arise.
“We need term limits for the Supreme Court. Every president should have an equal chance to appoint justices. Our entire democratic system shouldn’t hinge on the shoulders of individual Supreme Court justices,” he tweeted.
We need term limits for the Supreme Court. Every president should have an equal chance to appoint justices.
Our entire democratic system shouldn’t hinge on the shoulders of individual Supreme Court justices.
— Rep. Ro Khanna (@RepRoKhanna) September 24, 2020
The plan would allow judges to serve on the Supreme Court for 18 years. According to Reuters, justices currently average 25 years serving on the nation’s highest court.
Under Khanna’s legislation, which will be co-sponsored by Democratic Reps. Joe Kennedy III of Massachusetts and Don Beyer of Virginia, justices would remain federal judges but take on “senior” status and be shuttled to lower federal courts after their 18 years on the Supreme Court, Reuters reported.
“That’s perfectly consistent with their judicial independence and having a lifetime salary and a lifetime appointment,” Khanna said.
The bill would not impact those currently serving on the Supreme Court.
Article III of the U.S. Constitution says that federal judges, including Supreme Court justices, “shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour” — a statement that, throughout most of the nation’s history, has been interpreted as meaning that federal judges serve for life.
Many on Twitter opposed Khanna’s pitch:
Yes, we should probably turn over the appointment of a Supreme Court justice, whose job it is to uphold the Constitution, to a group of people threatening to pack the court, impeach for pure politics, and add states willy-nilly. Can’t see the downside.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) September 21, 2020
So Democrats in House are preparing a bill limiting U.S. Supreme Court justice terms to 18 years.
Oh heck no. We need term limits for congress. These corrupt bootlickers use congress to get rich.
They need to go.
— Kambree (@KamVTV) September 24, 2020
Democrats will introduce a bill for term limits.
For the House? No.
For the Senate? No.
FOR SUPREME COURT JUSTICES! ?
Democrats are the most pathetic losers on the planet. Wow.
— ??Maggie VandenBerghe?? (@FogCityMidge) September 24, 2020
The proposal comes as Democrats are gearing up to fight the confirmation of President Donald Trump’s third Supreme Court nominee. Justice Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh were previously nominated by Trump and confirmed by the Senate.
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