Calabresi Urges Supreme Court Term Limits
In today’s New York Times, Northwestern law professor Steven Calabresi, co-chairman of the Federalist Society, recounts his mutual admiration for the late Justice Ginsburg makes the case for imposing term limits on Supreme Court justices. From the op-ed:
Supreme Court justices often try to retire during the presidency of someone sympathetic to their jurisprudence. Of course, that doesn’t always work: Justice Scalia died after almost 30 years on the high court trying to wait out President Barack Obama, and Justice Ginsburg died after nearly 27 years trying to outlast President Trump.
Over all, though, strategic retirements give the justices too much power in picking their own successors, which can lead to a self-perpetuating oligarchy. The current system also creates the impression that the justices are more political actors than judges, which damages the rule of law. It may even change the way the justices view themselves.
The specific proposal is straightforward and in line with what others have proposed: Each justice serves for a single 18-year term. With the size of the Court fixed at nine justices, this would mean one new justice every two years. Terms are staggered
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