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   The Supreme Court

  Term Limits for Justices
“Supreme Court justices hold office too long now simply because life spans are much longer than when the Constitution was written. This has reduced the justices’ accountability, increased the court’s power and embittered the partisan battles over increasingly rare appointments" notes Duke University law professor,   Paul Carrington.

Under the U.S. Constitution, justices are appointed to serve during "good behavior." This phrase does not, as commonly believed, mandate life tenure.  Its true purpose is actually to preserve  the independence of federal judges from undue political influence.  Over time,  life tenure has raised the ideological stakes for appointments as increasing longevity has decreased court turnover. "The Founders likely never contemplated the improvements in health care that have substantially increased longevity, or the strong staff support that helps reduce workloads for aging justices, he said. Retirement is frequently an unattractive option; as a result, justices stay on the bench far too long", Carrington said.

So he and Cornell University law professor, Roger Cramton, have proposed "The Supreme Court Renewal Act of 2005".  The legislation would require the appointment of a new justice in every two-year Congressional term, replacing all of the court's nine justices in 18 years. Each justice would serve for a maximum of 18 years. In order to satisy other constitutional requirements, the act would not apply to the current justices.  The legislation has been endorsed by many noted Constitutional scholars and other lawyers.

http://zfacts.com/p/96.html | 01/18/12 07:16 GMT
Modified: Mon, 17 Apr 2006 18:32:58 GMT
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 "Active Liberty" by Justice Stephen Breyer, describes the intent of the writers of the constitution as enabling the people govern themselves. Justice Breyer writes that the document is not a set of rules set for all time when they were written, but a means to assist citizens in gaining the knowledge and power they need to influence government policy.
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