Skip to comments.Perry wants term limits on high court [favors change in Constitution]
Posted on 09/02/2011 11:50:24 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
WASHINGTON Rick Perry, like other conservatives, has lots of complaints about the Supreme Court: The justices, he says, have meddled in social policy, stepped on state power and generally run amok.
One solution the governor embraces is to end lifetime tenure - a cornerstone of the Constitution, whose drafters worried far less about activist or senile judges than about meddling tyrants and political pressure.
The idea isn't original, and it's not limited to conservatives. Some scholars on the left have also embraced the idea as a correction for judges serving too long.
It began to percolate in the 1980s and '90s after a series of bruising Senate confirmation fights, although it's never gained much traction. A handful of bills and proposed constitutional amendments have been filed in Congress in recent years to little effect. But Perry's embrace of the idea, combined with his states' rights principles, may demonstrate how he would push as president to change the balance of power in the federal government.
Perry, in his anti-Washington book "Fed Up!," derides the high court as "nine oligarchs in robes" and writes: "We should take steps to restrict the unlimited power of the courts to rule over us with no accountability."
Perry devotes an entire chapter to his indictment of the judiciary. The proposal to eliminate life tenure is barely a footnote, but that's enough to inspire sharp passions.
"Most lawyers would be against this," said Laurel Bellows, president-elect of the American Bar Association. "If you are a strict constructionalist - which apparently the governor isn't because he's looking to amend the Constitution - you would have respect for the wisdom of the Framers."
Perry's stance is remarkable in the sense that presidents have long viewed the power to shape the judiciary as one of the prizes that comes with winning the White House.
That's why the stakes are so high and the fights so fierce when a rare Supreme Court vacancy arises. It's a key reason President George W. Bush picked a 50-year-old conservative, John Roberts, as chief justice, planting seeds of a legacy that could persist for decades longer than his own presidency. And it's unclear if more frequent confirmation fights would insulate the judiciary or make it even more politicized.
At Alliance for Justice, a liberal advocacy group, president Nan Aron noted that five of nine current justices were appointed by Republicans.
Railing against the judiciary is an effective way for Perry to attract conservative voters, she said, but "I don't know that he's fully thought that through. ... He would want his judges to serve for life."
Paul Carrington, a Duke University law professor and former dean who has led the effort to impose term limits, agreed that the current system breeds arrogance.
He called it "nuts" to let octogenarians run the country. "It's ridiculous to have a person sitting in a position of that much power for 30 or 40 years," he said.
I agree with you in spirit, but let’s be frank. The bar ain’t all that high these days. It began with a blue dress and only went downhill.
Well, one could argue it began with “I am not a crook.”
How about this?
Once a year, toss each justice down the marble front steps of the supreme court building. If they break a hip, they’re off the court.
Isn't it a shame we have so few (or is that true) principled conservative legal minds?
Mandatory retirement age? Like 80 or somehting?
I dunno about that
take the last line of the article.."it's ridiculous to ahve octogenarians runnign the country..in power for 30-40 years>"..and complete it..
AND THEN, LIKE BRENNAN, RETIRE WHEN THEY CHOOSE SO A PRESIDENT THEY LIKE CAN APPOINT THEIR SUCCESSORS..
Brennan and Souter BOTH waited for a Democrat in the WH before resigning...had McCain won, they'd BOTH still be on the Court..
Would we want to deprive ourselves of another 5-10 years of Scalia, or THomas..I think not...
Did Perry mention his idea for number of terms, and number of years for each term?
Persoanlly, I believe the problem is in the district courts..where advocacy groups forum show..to find a federal district judge who is inclined to hold with their view, and issue the desired ruling and/or injunction..
Hey Slick Rick. All the red meat you throw at conservatives is pretty clever, but now I want you to face a real challenge, OK? If you are elected, will you absolutely close the border? Will you send all the illegals home, however many millions there are? Will you quit subsidizing them and their anchor babies at taxpayers’ expense? (No, because we already know your record on that in TX.) What is your position on “free trade” with China? What is your position on intervention in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Libya, etc.? We haven’t heard a whimper from you on that, and that’s what being President is about, not hiding behind your “10th Amendment” rhetoric while the Left steals our country.
I’m with you.
He also wants to be able to overturn SC decisions by a 2/3 vote of Congress. Thats a two edged sword. I’d leave it be.
Three page pdf:
I’d like to be on the pinglist please. Thank you in advance!
Slick Rick was a happy, contented Demonrat while the SCOTUS judges appointed by his party destroyed the Constitution. Do you think we’re all a bunch of fools, Rick? Go back to Paint Creek, phony.
I could maybe get behind that. I dunno. Like another said, I’d sure hate to lose Thomas due to mandatory reqirements of any kind.
There should be a mandatory retirement age of 80 for all three branches.
“All the red meat you throw at conservatives is pretty clever, but now I want you to face a real challenge, OK?”
Best said. As another poster pointed out, Conservatives want to preserve the Constitution, rather than continually change it. The problem is that so many people (quasi-conservative), are so disenchanted with the system, that they’re all for laws regulating much (or everything) that they personally don’t like. The problem (as other posters have alluded to on this thread), is that the shoe is frequently on the other foot.
Fixing the stupidly low number in the house of Representatives and removing/repealing the 17th amendment would be a good start at restoring the Constitutional Republic. Then impeachments could start rolling.
There are a whole lot of issues more important than this change (this aspect btw is NOT broken, in my opinion, the fact that no one gets impeached, including presidents, is the issue), and to focus on it is merely to inspire joy joy feelings in those who want to see a change to the way things are (not necessarily the system). To quote Mary Poppins, it’s a pie crust promise, “Easily made, easily broken.”
If a branch gets to have the final say, I would rather it be Congress. It makes sense that 2/3 of Congress should be able to overturn five justices.
I'm against it. A Supreme Court justice could always be removed via Impeachment if there was some kind of compelling reason which the Congress felt existed.
Barring that, I'm against term limits for Supreme Court Justices.
God bless, and protect, these four!
Slick Rick Perry has been in govt. for 27 years. He really had no other way of achieving the kind of power and wealth he has reached in politics. Now he wants to move up to the big leagues; that’s all. He knows that pretending to be a conservative will get him there. Are we foolish enough to give him what he wants? That’s the question.
I don’t see a real need for it at the moment
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