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Term limiting Supreme Court
https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/...lth-224014

Good discussion of the impact of limits on Supreme Court terms. Discusses age limits, review panels for impairment and 18 year terms.

I think the benefits of an 18 year term significantly outweighs the negatives. I don't consider the frequency of confirmation fights a negative as the author does.

"...The severity of Ginsburg’s current health condition pales in comparison with the ailments that have afflicted many of her predecessors on the bench—and unlike them, there is no sign that she has lost any of her intellectual edge. The fact that the court has faced, and survived, the much more serious impairment of several of its members suggests that the problem of judicial disability, while undeniable, is also manageable. In comparison with presidential incapacity, the threat of which prompted the 25th Amendment, the incapacity of Supreme Court justices is both more common and less dangerous. Fixed terms, age caps, and forced retirement are all strong medicine for the problem of judicial disability. In light of the flaws inherent in each, the better course of treatment is none at all."
01-19-2019 11:30 AM
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RE: Term limiting Supreme Court
I am not a fan of term limiting the SCt. I frankly wish Ginsburg were gone, but not enough to open Pandora’s box.
01-19-2019 03:31 PM
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RE: Term limiting Supreme Court
We have term limits in another major institution that is supposed to be nonpolitical: the Federal Reserve.

The seven members of the Board of Governors have 14-year term limits. However, in practice, there have only ever been 7 people who have served their entire term.

The reason? Once you put the title "member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors" on your resume, you can make a TON of money in the private sector.

I think the same thing would happen to the Supreme Court. Part of the aura of the Supreme Court is that there aren't any ex-Supreme Court justices running for office or arguing political cases before the court. We risk losing that if we impose term limits.
01-21-2019 05:23 PM
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RE: Term limiting Supreme Court
(01-19-2019 11:30 AM)bullet Wrote:  https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/...lth-224014

Good discussion of the impact of limits on Supreme Court terms. Discusses age limits, review panels for impairment and 18 year terms.

I think the benefits of an 18 year term significantly outweighs the negatives. I don't consider the frequency of confirmation fights a negative as the author does.

"...The severity of Ginsburg’s current health condition pales in comparison with the ailments that have afflicted many of her predecessors on the bench—and unlike them, there is no sign that she has lost any of her intellectual edge. The fact that the court has faced, and survived, the much more serious impairment of several of its members suggests that the problem of judicial disability, while undeniable, is also manageable. In comparison with presidential incapacity, the threat of which prompted the 25th Amendment, the incapacity of Supreme Court justices is both more common and less dangerous. Fixed terms, age caps, and forced retirement are all strong medicine for the problem of judicial disability. In light of the flaws inherent in each, the better course of treatment is none at all."

I think the frequency of hearings IS a negative.

Here's why: we currently have 2 open seats on the Federal Reserve Board (out of 7). Last summer, 4 of the 7 seats were open. Going back to the Clinton era, we've had 2 or more open seats more often than we've had a full 7 governors.

Both currently open seats have had candidates nominated by Trump, but they have been vacant for over a year. One of them was nominated in November 2017! The guy is obviously "qualified" (a monetary economist who is a chaired professor at Carnegie Mellon and spent 12 years working at the Fed's Richmond branch as the head of research).

Even though this is one of the 40 most powerful positions in the country, it's just not a priority for a Senate which has to approve nominations for over 1,200 positions.
01-21-2019 05:51 PM
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RE: Term limiting Supreme Court
18-year term limits is plenty of insulation from politics. I would hope that the terms are staggered enough so that you don't have too many opening in one presidential term.
01-23-2019 08:51 PM
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RE: Term limiting Supreme Court
(01-21-2019 05:23 PM)Captain Bearcat Wrote:  I think the same thing would happen to the Supreme Court. Part of the aura of the Supreme Court is that there aren't any ex-Supreme Court justices running for office or arguing political cases before the court. We risk losing that if we impose term limits.

Personally I think that cases like Taft becoming Chief Justice, Andrew Johnson briefly getting into the Senate before dying shortly into his term, and John Quincy Adams spending years in the House after their presidencies are really interesting. A little different however, and a much different time in DC.

Generally, I think your point is generally correct. We've seen scores of ex-congressmen making livings as lobbyists and such after getting out. And if we thought that SCOTUS politics were heavily involved in 2016, just wait until a justice or two passes around the same time a term expires, eighteen years later you'd basically have an election cycle dominated by two or three seats you know for certain will be opening. Plus Senate elections two or four years before that as well.
01-23-2019 09:41 PM
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RE: Term limiting Supreme Court
Much as I'd like to see Ginsburg gone, I don't like the idea of Supreme Court terms. I just see too many potential abuses and problems.
01-23-2019 09:46 PM
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RE: Term limiting Supreme Court
There is a concern with lobbying, but most of the retirees will be well past 65.

There are a lot of concerns with the current system.

1. They get out of touch with the real world. See Taney's court and Dred Scott for one from the past. That case may have very well been the one thing that made the Civil War inevitable.
2. They get arrogant.
3. People 55 and up are excluded from being seated since they want people to be on there as long as possible.
4. They do start to lose faculties. I think Ginsburg's extreme public hostility to President Trump and to Southerners in general already indicate some senility.
5. The confirmation fights are over 18 years, not 30 or 40.
01-24-2019 04:36 PM
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RE: Term limiting Supreme Court
(01-21-2019 05:23 PM)Captain Bearcat Wrote:  We have term limits in another major institution that is supposed to be nonpolitical: the Federal Reserve.

The seven members of the Board of Governors have 14-year term limits. However, in practice, there have only ever been 7 people who have served their entire term.

The reason? Once you put the title "member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors" on your resume, you can make a TON of money in the private sector.

I think the same thing would happen to the Supreme Court. Part of the aura of the Supreme Court is that there aren't any ex-Supreme Court justices running for office or arguing political cases before the court. We risk losing that if we impose term limits.

Exactly. Your term is up in four years unless you resign. A major issue is before the court that can make or break an industry. You have four more years of making $206,000 and based on your 14 years on the court will have no problem walking out the door and getting at least a $100,000 raise. But if you happen to rule a certain way, you could resign and end up on the board of directors of a major industry player and make your Court salary for attending a few meetings in addition to whatever the big firms would pay you to put your name on the door.
01-24-2019 04:56 PM
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RE: Term limiting Supreme Court
(01-24-2019 04:56 PM)arkstfan Wrote:  
(01-21-2019 05:23 PM)Captain Bearcat Wrote:  We have term limits in another major institution that is supposed to be nonpolitical: the Federal Reserve.

The seven members of the Board of Governors have 14-year term limits. However, in practice, there have only ever been 7 people who have served their entire term.

The reason? Once you put the title "member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors" on your resume, you can make a TON of money in the private sector.

I think the same thing would happen to the Supreme Court. Part of the aura of the Supreme Court is that there aren't any ex-Supreme Court justices running for office or arguing political cases before the court. We risk losing that if we impose term limits.

Exactly. Your term is up in four years unless you resign. A major issue is before the court that can make or break an industry. You have four more years of making $206,000 and based on your 14 years on the court will have no problem walking out the door and getting at least a $100,000 raise. But if you happen to rule a certain way, you could resign and end up on the board of directors of a major industry player and make your Court salary for attending a few meetings in addition to whatever the big firms would pay you to put your name on the door.

What is to stop that now?
01-24-2019 11:04 PM
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RE: Term limiting Supreme Court
(01-24-2019 11:04 PM)bullet Wrote:  
(01-24-2019 04:56 PM)arkstfan Wrote:  
(01-21-2019 05:23 PM)Captain Bearcat Wrote:  We have term limits in another major institution that is supposed to be nonpolitical: the Federal Reserve.

The seven members of the Board of Governors have 14-year term limits. However, in practice, there have only ever been 7 people who have served their entire term.

The reason? Once you put the title "member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors" on your resume, you can make a TON of money in the private sector.

I think the same thing would happen to the Supreme Court. Part of the aura of the Supreme Court is that there aren't any ex-Supreme Court justices running for office or arguing political cases before the court. We risk losing that if we impose term limits.

Exactly. Your term is up in four years unless you resign. A major issue is before the court that can make or break an industry. You have four more years of making $206,000 and based on your 14 years on the court will have no problem walking out the door and getting at least a $100,000 raise. But if you happen to rule a certain way, you could resign and end up on the board of directors of a major industry player and make your Court salary for attending a few meetings in addition to whatever the big firms would pay you to put your name on the door.

What is to stop that now?

The tradition of serving for life or as long as able. Justices Thomas and Alito may be the only members of the Court making the most money of their career adjusted for inflation.

The norm is for Justices to have had successful private practice or academia experience with publishing contracts and guest lecture income taking a cut in pay to serve in prominent political roles which would lead to higher income after service getting a nomination to a district court or appeals court or directly leaving a lucrative situation. In return they get lifetime tenure and membership in a private club of 856 members

I know one district judge and his former law partner said he was foregoing more than $4 million in lifetime earnings.

When you change the system from lifetime tenure to time’s up find other work you change who comes in.

Since term limits came to Arkansas we’ve had a rash of high paying jobs being created at state universities and agencies which become the landing spot of former legislators. Businesses have been hiring them regularly. Four out of the last five speakers of the house have landed six figure state jobs the other works for a major bank that benefitted from regulatory changes. I know one former legislator who was making $10 an hour when was elected. So he got a $10,000 raise by leaving that job and becoming a state representative. Halfway through his first term he was hired to teach a three hour college course for $20,000 a year. When he left the legislature he was hired at a reported $95,000 by a small insurance company

I don’t see a benefit in having judges looking for their next job.
01-25-2019 01:06 AM
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RE: Term limiting Supreme Court
(01-25-2019 01:06 AM)arkstfan Wrote:  
(01-24-2019 11:04 PM)bullet Wrote:  
(01-24-2019 04:56 PM)arkstfan Wrote:  
(01-21-2019 05:23 PM)Captain Bearcat Wrote:  We have term limits in another major institution that is supposed to be nonpolitical: the Federal Reserve.

The seven members of the Board of Governors have 14-year term limits. However, in practice, there have only ever been 7 people who have served their entire term.

The reason? Once you put the title "member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors" on your resume, you can make a TON of money in the private sector.

I think the same thing would happen to the Supreme Court. Part of the aura of the Supreme Court is that there aren't any ex-Supreme Court justices running for office or arguing political cases before the court. We risk losing that if we impose term limits.

Exactly. Your term is up in four years unless you resign. A major issue is before the court that can make or break an industry. You have four more years of making $206,000 and based on your 14 years on the court will have no problem walking out the door and getting at least a $100,000 raise. But if you happen to rule a certain way, you could resign and end up on the board of directors of a major industry player and make your Court salary for attending a few meetings in addition to whatever the big firms would pay you to put your name on the door.

What is to stop that now?

The tradition of serving for life or as long as able. Justices Thomas and Alito may be the only members of the Court making the most money of their career adjusted for inflation.

The norm is for Justices to have had successful private practice or academia experience with publishing contracts and guest lecture income taking a cut in pay to serve in prominent political roles which would lead to higher income after service getting a nomination to a district court or appeals court or directly leaving a lucrative situation. In return they get lifetime tenure and membership in a private club of 856 members

I know one district judge and his former law partner said he was foregoing more than $4 million in lifetime earnings.

When you change the system from lifetime tenure to time’s up find other work you change who comes in.

Since term limits came to Arkansas we’ve had a rash of high paying jobs being created at state universities and agencies which become the landing spot of former legislators. Businesses have been hiring them regularly. Four out of the last five speakers of the house have landed six figure state jobs the other works for a major bank that benefitted from regulatory changes. I know one former legislator who was making $10 an hour when was elected. So he got a $10,000 raise by leaving that job and becoming a state representative. Halfway through his first term he was hired to teach a three hour college course for $20,000 a year. When he left the legislature he was hired at a reported $95,000 by a small insurance company

I don’t see a benefit in having judges looking for their next job.

As I noted, they would still almost all be well over retirement age. No longer being a life appointment means older judges would be appointed.
01-25-2019 10:58 AM
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RE: Term limiting Supreme Court
The Supreme Court, like the Senate, is supposed to be breaks on the runaway House or Executive. Senators and Justices are supposed to be old curmudgeons ruining the young folks' dumb*** plans to destroy the Republic.
(This post was last modified: 01-28-2019 09:43 AM by 49RFootballNow.)
01-28-2019 09:43 AM
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RE: Term limiting Supreme Court
(01-28-2019 09:43 AM)49RFootballNow Wrote:  The Supreme Court, like the Senate, is supposed to be breaks on the runaway House or Executive. Senators and Justices are supposed to be old curmudgeons ruining the young folks' dumb*** plans to destroy the Republic.

They also didn't expect these people to live healthy into their 70s, 80s and 90s.

A quick look and I found life expectancy back to 1850. A 40 year old was expected to live to 68, 50 to 72 and 60 to 76.
(This post was last modified: 01-28-2019 10:35 AM by bullet.)
01-28-2019 10:33 AM
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RE: Term limiting Supreme Court
(01-28-2019 10:33 AM)bullet Wrote:  
(01-28-2019 09:43 AM)49RFootballNow Wrote:  The Supreme Court, like the Senate, is supposed to be breaks on the runaway House or Executive. Senators and Justices are supposed to be old curmudgeons ruining the young folks' dumb*** plans to destroy the Republic.

They also didn't expect these people to live healthy into their 70s, 80s and 90s.

A quick look and I found life expectancy back to 1850. A 40 year old was expected to live to 68, 50 to 72 and 60 to 76.

If you want to discuss removal for incapacity that is one thing. The other is just age discrimination. Lots of elderly have perfectly well-functioning minds and a lot to contribute to society.
01-28-2019 11:47 AM
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RE: Term limiting Supreme Court
I really don't think term limiting them is a good idea. The temptation to buy the votes of lame duck judges wit sweetheart job offers is just too great.

I don't know how many military officers have been induced to sway procurement decisions by lucrative post-retirement job offers. I don't know how much money we have wasted on toys that were basically overpriced and useless. And I don't know how many soldiers and sailors and airmen have lost lives or limbs when those toys failed to perform. But I don't think the number is zero in any case.

And I would hate to have justice for sale.
01-28-2019 12:09 PM
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