Debate over Supreme Court Term Limits Heats Up

After the recent health scare involving the oldest justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg it has renewed the interest of the age-old debate over whether there should be term limits for the Supreme Court.

It’s an idea that’s been floated before, but senators on both sides of the aisle now say it’s one that’s worth discussing in public. “I would sure love to have the debate,” Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), 67, told reporters last week.

“I don’t know exactly how I would come down, but it’s certainly worth talking about.” Fellow Judiciary Committee member Sen. Richard Blumenthal  said he’s intrigued by the idea.

“The institutional stalwart inside me says no way, but, you know, we’re living in a different world, literally, than the Framers ever envisioned and maybe we need to think about it,” he said. “I haven’t reached any conclusions yet.” Lawmakers say they are open to exploring the topic, even though they don’t have term limits of their own.

Court watchers and legal experts, including Steven Calabresi, chairman of The Federalist Society, have recommended that justices serve 18-year, staggered, nonrenewable terms.

In a 2005 law review article, Calabresi and fellow Northwestern University law professor James Lindgren wrote that “the terms would be structured so that the turnover of justices occurs during the first and third year of a president’s four-year term such that there will be little possibility of a Supreme Court appointment being held up by Senate confirmation in a way that deprives the president of the ability to nominate either of his two justices.”

Time will tell if this debate will go anywhere as many speculate that President Trump will have 1 or maybe even 2 appointments pithing the next 6 years he is in office.

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