TERM LIMITS….Ron Brownstein writes today that “an informal band of prominent legal thinkers from left and right” thinks we should do away with the current system of life tenure for Supreme Court justices because it produces long terms and infrequent vacancies:
Fewer vacancies mean more conflict over those that occur because neither side can be certain when it will receive another chance to change the court.
Longer tenure also raises the stakes in each confirmation by multiplying the effect of each nominee. The common assumption during the recent confirmation debate over new Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. was that he would serve at least 30 years.
This sounds like yet another good idea that will never go anywhere, but it’s worth tossing out anyway. After all, it doesn’t help one party any more than the other and its benefits almost certainly outweigh its drawbacks. Why not give it some serious thought?