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Should we continue to appoint SC Justices for life?

Should we continue to appoint SC Justices for life?

  • No, "unlimited" terms, but an easier process for removal.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    29

radcen

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Should we continue to appoint SC Justices for life?

Yes, our present system works as intended.
No, they should have limited terms, then replaced.
No, they should have limited terms, but be allowed to be re-confirmed.
No, "unlimited" terms, but an easier process for removal.
No, just no. (Please elaborate)
Not sure.

Note: SC = (US) Supreme Court
 

Helix

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there are a few justices who i disagree with consistently, but i'm ok with the current setup. i'd rather see the partisan duopoly eliminated.
 

CanadaJohn

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The current system is fine - the only alternative is to leave it to a vote of the electorate which would be a popularity disaster.
 

Anagram

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The current system is fine - the only alternative is to leave it to a vote of the electorate which would be a popularity disaster.
Not necessarily the only alternative. You could have their terms expire and just have the executive appoint the replacement. I'm not sure that's any better than the current system either though.
 

Neomalthusian

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I said "no just no" and had a thought that maybe we should elect justices by region. Each the regions below could elect one justice.



Except Colorado should be in the green and Alaska in the red.

Just an idea.
 

TurtleDude

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Should we continue to appoint SC Justices for life?

Yes, our present system works as intended.
No, they should have limited terms, then replaced.
No, they should have limited terms, but be allowed to be re-confirmed.
No, "unlimited" terms, but an easier process for removal.
No, just no. (Please elaborate)
Not sure.

Note: SC = (US) Supreme Court
I believe in a set term of say 15 years or 70 years of age-whatever comes first and that is it

they would be just as immune to the pressures of running for office but we wouldn't have senile judges on the court such as the late Thurgood Marshall or Stevens-both of whom were getting pretty loopy their last few years on the bench
 

samsmart

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In the military, the oldest statutory age for retirement is 66. I think that our elected offices should have age limits rather than term limits, and that 66 should be that limit.

I have no problem with Supreme Court Justices having a mandatory retirement once they reach the age of 66.
 

Paschendale

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I believe in a set term of say 15 years or 70 years of age-whatever comes first and that is it

they would be just as immune to the pressures of running for office but we wouldn't have senile judges on the court such as the late Thurgood Marshall or Stevens-both of whom were getting pretty loopy their last few years on the bench
Agreed. The method for choosing justices is fine just as it is, but as lifetimes get longer, a few people are spending too long in the position. And having a court that is statistically older and older stagnates opinions and puts the court farther from the pulse of the people.
 

TurtleDude

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Agreed. The method for choosing justices is fine just as it is, but as lifetimes get longer, a few people are spending too long in the position. And having a court that is statistically older and older stagnates opinions and puts the court farther from the pulse of the people.
Federal civilian law enforcement officers (FBI, DEA, USMS, F&WS, IRS-CID) have a mandatory retirement of 57 (which can be extended in special circumstances up to 60). This 57 year old age limit has been upheld dozens of times in court. Now Judges should be able to go more years. . And yes, I know a judge who still serves far past that date and is an excellent judge. just as there are men at 65 who are probably much fitter and agile than me at 54.
 

specklebang

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Since our SCOTUS judges are so blatantly partisan, we should be grateful that things haven't gotten much worse. Imagine a world where all the justices were appointed by Bush or Obama.

Of all the positions, I would hope these justices were decided by a Meritocracy instead of our "Democracy".

Breyer, Ginsburg, Scalia and Kennedy are getting pretty old. So, I expect to see a retirement on the left pretty soon, while Obama is still King. Scalia is stuck until the next GOP President.
 

Black Dog

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I say yes because resent events show it is working as intended. I mean lets see DOMA cast down and states rights for voting laws reasserted. The system is working.
 
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The current system is fine - the only alternative is to leave it to a vote of the electorate which would be a popularity disaster.
the people elect them as it is since they're picked by the politicians they elect, and they're picked along partisan lines ... now and then there's a surprise ... but I would limit there terms, say 10 years ... 20? ... no one should have that kind of power for that long ... Thomas may end up serving on the Court for 50 years ...
 

nota bene

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If human longevity is ever significantly extended, this question will have to be revisited.
 

CanadaJohn

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the people elect them as it is since they're picked by the politicians they elect, and they're picked along partisan lines ... now and then there's a surprise ... but I would limit there terms, say 10 years ... 20? ... no one should have that kind of power for that long ... Thomas may end up serving on the Court for 50 years ...
I don't see Supreme Court Justices as having all that much power - their positions and decisions have great consequence, but not much in the way of power unless you consider the respect and perks that go with the job being power. You just have to look at the frustration Scalia frequently exert in his dissents to see he's a man who lacks the kind of power he may wish he had. The greatest power a Justice has is the power of persuasion and character, being able to convince your colleagues of the validity and rationality of your position.

There is a lot of what the media calls "partisan" decisions, but that could just be a reflection of the partisan laws they're tasked with reviewing and passing judgement on. If you look at the two most controversial rulings of this last session or DOMA and state's rights related to voting, one could easily argue that DOMA was a partisan act of congress on the right and the voting bill was a partisan act of congress on the left - it's only natural, when a partisan bill is overturned, the partisans will cheer or boo along ideological lines.
 

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While I wouldn't care if they had lifetime terms, our current system, where both sides are trying desperately to stack the court, needs to be stopped. I also think that the Supremes need to review their job description because there are far too many of them who are ruling by their own personal opinions and convictions and not paying any attention whatsoever to the Constitution.
 

Captain Adverse

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Not necessarily the only alternative. You could have their terms expire and just have the executive appoint the replacement. I'm not sure that's any better than the current system either though.
I disagree. SCOTUS rulings need continuity in order to determine the actual effect on our constitutional liberties. Appointments for life guarantee that the Justice will not be affected by mere changes in popular opinion.

Allowing a term to expire followed by a new political appointment by whichever party is currently in power would create an impetus to challenge "unpopular" decisions over and over again leading to destabilization of law.

I dont always agree with SCOTUS rulings, but history has shown that even the worst decisions are eventually dealt with over time under the current process. Meanwhile, people can feel secure, despite disagreements, in the law.
 

molten_dragon

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I can see the merits of both positions actually.

I do think that some justices should probably retire before they do because of age factors, and I think that having a supreme court made up of mostly older justices can skew their opinions away from the average of the country.

On the other hand though, as much as it would be great if supreme court justices were apolitical, that's never going to be a reality, so the next best thing is to keep a near equal balance of conservative and liberal justices. I think having unlimited terms can help with that, since justices can (and usually do) wait until a president that matches their affiliation is in office to retire so that the balance will remain the same. Having term limits would make it more likely that you'd get larger majorities from one party or the other on the court, and I don't think that's a good thing.
 

polgara

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I don't see Supreme Court Justices as having all that much power - their positions and decisions have great consequence, but not much in the way of power unless you consider the respect and perks that go with the job being power. You just have to look at the frustration Scalia frequently exert in his dissents to see he's a man who lacks the kind of power he may wish he had. The greatest power a Justice has is the power of persuasion and character, being able to convince your colleagues of the validity and rationality of your position.

There is a lot of what the media calls "partisan" decisions, but that could just be a reflection of the partisan laws they're tasked with reviewing and passing judgement on. If you look at the two most controversial rulings of this last session or DOMA and state's rights related to voting, one could easily argue that DOMA was a partisan act of congress on the right and the voting bill was a partisan act of congress on the left - it's only natural, when a partisan bill is overturned, the partisans will cheer or boo along ideological lines.
Good morning, CJ. :2wave:

Very well stated! :thumbs: :agree:
 

John Liberty

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I'm not largely discontent with the current justice system, other than the fact that they are passing unreasonable, and unconstitutional bills. However, unlimited terms make me itch a little. I selected "No, they should have limited terms, but be allowed to be re-confirmed." My reasoning for this is: If they get into the Supreme Court and start passing unconstitutional bills, rather then getting to stay there and encroach on our rights they can be pushed off the stand, or if they are doing a good job they can be re-confirmed. However, on the other side: If you get an extremely communist/fascist president and there's a Supreme Court justice who is desperately trying to stop him, he could lose his seat. So it's really a toss-up for me.
 

oncewas

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Three terms of four years and move on ! Just my opinion.
 

Fiddytree

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Yes. We need a system that operates on a different mechanism than the other branches. Appointed, life positions help secure diversity of systematic thought, in some aspects reduces obligations to he/she that appointed them, allows for longer-term impact on government, and keeps democracy in check.
 
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