In the wake of national uproar against the Supreme Court, much of which has been fueled by the media, a group of Democrat representatives led by Representative Hank Johnson of Georgia has produced a bill that would introduce term limits for Supreme Court justices.
The group of House Democrats includes Representatives Ro Khanna, California; Karen Bass, California; Sheila Jackson Lee, Texas; Steve Cohen, Tennessee; David Cicilline, Rhode Island; and Jerry Nadler, New York.
The legislation is presented under the name “Supreme Court Tenure Establishment and Retirement Modernization Act,” and it presents dramatically shorter terms for Supreme Court justices.
Under this legislation, presidents would have the authority to replace a Supreme Court justice every two years, or during the first and third years of their presidential term.
Assuming that all presidents follow through on this power every two years, then no justice would sit on the bench for longer than 18 years, as, eventually, the ninth justice would be replaced.
The legislation does not appear to include any language that would permit court packing, which is a relief to conservatives who fear Court packing efforts in the wake of the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
The total number of Supreme Court justices has been nine since 1869, a longstanding element of American history.
However, several House Democrats view the system of a lifetime appointment as obsolete, as well as one that needs change in the twenty-first century.
These views have amplified in light of the Court’s current political setup: three liberal justices and six conservative justices, which in turn have influenced the outcome of several decisions.
Furthermore, Trump’s connection to the Court, in particular his nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, which incited a media witch hunt, has also amplified calls for term limits.
“Five of the six conservative justices on the bench were appointed by presidents who lost the popular vote,” Johnson declared, “and they are now racing to impose their out-of-touch agenda on the American people, who do not want it.”