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Reforming The Supreme Court? Step One Is Now Underway

Yesterday, House Judiciary Committee chair Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Hank Johnson (D-GA), and 4 senior members of the committee— David Cicilline (D-RI), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Karen Bass (D-CA), Steve Cohen (D-TN)— plus Ro Khanna (D-CA) from the Oversight and Reform Committee introduced a bill, the Supreme Court Tenure Establishment and Retirement Modernization (TERM) Act, to start the reform process of the Supreme Court. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) is introducing the same bill in the Senate.

This afternoon, Khanna told me that "Six extremist justices trying to undermine our democracy and fundamental freedoms shouldn’t get to remain on the court for life. Term limits will help rebalance the court and ensure impartiality. I’m glad to work with Rep. Hank Johnson to create term limits for Supreme Court justices-- a measure that is overwhelmingly popular with the American people. Let's pass this bill and my Supreme Court Term Limits Act."

Polling has shown that two-thirds of Americans support term limits for Supreme Court justices and this bill lays out an orderly process for achieving just that. This is what the bill would do:

• Establish terms of 18 years in regular active service for Supreme Court justices, after which justices who retain the office will assume senior status;

• Establish regular appointments of Supreme Court justices in the first and third years following a presidential election as the sole means of Supreme Court appointments;

• Require current justices to assume senior status in order of length of service on the Court as regularly appointed justices receive their commissions;

• Preserve life tenure by ensuring that senior justices retired from regular active service continue to hold the office of Supreme Court justice, including official duties and compensation; and

• Require the Supreme Court justice who most recently assumed senior status to fill in on the Court if the number of justices in regular active service falls below nine.

The sponsors have said that their bill will “restore legitimacy and independence to the nation’s highest court… Five of the six conservative justices on the bench were appointed by presidents who lost the popular vote, and they are now racing to impose their out-of-touch agenda on the American people, who do not want it. Term limits are a necessary step toward restoring balance to this radical, unrestrained majority on the court.”



Jul 28, 2022

barrem01 sparked a thought.

It occurs to me that the problem with the supreme court is just another symptom of the generally shitholiness of the usa. And THAT can be traced back to one and only one factor: americans are dumber than shit and vote stupidly.

Because the supremes are nominated by the ruling unitary (confirmation being close to a rubber stamp with the only exceptions I can remember being bork and the pussy 'merrick garland'), the shittiness of the court is a direct result in the shittiness of our politics and political parties... which are both consequences of americans being dumber than shit (and a third or so being pure evil cruel motherfuckers).

In short, there is no way…

Replying to

Well voters were never geniuses, myself included. But they used to spend more of their attention on government and less of it on entertainment and outrage porn. A far greater percentage of the population used to have experience with direct democracy, and the process of "we have to come to a group decision on how we will address this problem" In an August 12, 1986 news conference President Reagan quipped: “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the Government, and I’m here to help.” This joke solidified in the mindset of many Republicans, two false facts: 1) Anything the government attempts will fail, and 2) The government is a "them" not an "us". I don't know ho…


I'm not a big fan of term limits in general. I'd rather see each president (no matter how many terms she or he gets) appoint one supreme court justice in her or his third year of office. Then let the court itself decide whether there are too many members. This might provide a small pressure on individual justices to retire (or relieve somewhat the pressure to not retire) without just forcing the oldest off the bench. It would also take some randomness out of the appointment process. It might also encourage more younger appointments, though the Republicans have already gamed that parameter pretty well.


Jul 27, 2022

1) democrap party "messaging". No such bill can pass because even democraps don't want it. The money doesn't want it.

2) And it won't help anyway because anyt mythical bill that passes won't apply to anyone currently serving a "lifetime" appointment.

3) And the first time the supremes get a challenge to the law, they'll declare it unconstitutional... and they'd be pretty close to correct.

4) one word: filibuster. the democraps won't flush it. the nazis will use it.

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