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.
Term limits will cure nothing. The problem is in the philosophy of the people selected. “A wise Latina,” “ I want to make a difference,” “power and pleasure,” “a corrupt body selecting the court members,” “the poor boy he was raised in the ghetto no wonder he robbed, raped and killed people!”
There is no Constitutional life term for a Justice. And there is no need to amend the Constitution. Congress can simply set a age limit.
Just rotate the Supreme Court position through the judges on the Circuit Courts of Appeals ~ and severely restrict the court's jurisdiction>
One way to do that is to have ONLY ONE JUDGE (which explains my grammar above) with NO CLERKS.
The Romans gave each Consul a 1 year term, with 2 Consuls elected ~ and each had a veto power over the other.
The Roman office was a bit restrictive since the 2 switched jobs every month, with one leading the army in war and the other sitting around sipping lattes with the Senators (or some such ~ there were disputes).
The thing is if it's advantageous to rein in the Court, then DO IT by reducing the number of judges and how long they serve.
Now, about the Circuit Courts ~ elect them on a schedule that never conflicts with a federal election for Congress or President. A 7 year term would probably work.
There are a variety of schemes out there to figure out how we would want to elect them ~ maybe proportional representation, party list voting, by states, by regions of the country ~ whatever. FUR SHUR don't let lawyers pick them. That hasn't been working out lately. In fact, we could PROHIBIT lawyers from participating in these elections.
Agreed. The idea that term limits fix anything, is, in my opinion, untrue. The problem is an ignorant populace, and that is NOT fixed by a term limit on one moron over his/her successor. And there are a whole slew of “burn the house on the way out” actions people take when their term is expiring. One can argue that we no longer need to wait two months before the seats become filled, and if the argument is that there are hiccups in some jurisdictions (with recounts and all), simply don’t let congress pass any edicts from on high until the next congress is seated, with the recount seats abstaining from the vote. Good heavens, the Congress can make both those rules themselves (not the date of the seating change, per say, but the last two).
They won’t because they are a corrupt set of thugs, but that comes to the correcting of the artifically low number of representatives and repeal of the 17th amendment, alluded to in my previous post.
I wonder how many of these justices (liberal and conservative) hang on (staff doing work) until they get “relieved” by the right president.
The Appellate Courts are over ruling everything that comes down the pike. They’re making everything “unconstitutional.” Overruling everything their party tells them to “fix.”
Our vote has been tossed out the door.
Our representatives have no voice.
“The separation of powers is a myth”
It is the foundation of our republic and was observed until FDR. We are fast headed for tyranny because we the people have let judges make law, allowed Congress to assign lawmaking to unelected bureaucrats who make, execute and adjudicate “law” via Presidential diktats.
No thanks. If five justices uphold our Second Amendment rights and then you have a Congress like the last one smack them down you would be mighty sorry you supported such a notion.
Yes, but you can vote Congress out of office and undo what the earlier one did, a lot quicker than you can get a new and different Supreme Court.
I would support term limits for district and appellate judges, but not for SCOTUS.................
Shut up Rick. If you want people to vote for you don’t mess with the Constitution. If it needs to be changed, WE’LL let YOU know. Mkay?
I honestly don’t know what to do.
The judges do need to be in a position to not be swayed by politics but on the other hand there needs to be some way of keeping them from just making up laws like they did in Roe V. Wade.
That goes for all federal judges, not just the Supreme Court.
No term limits.
In favor of a constitutional amendment that extends grounds for judicial impeachment to judicial activism. period.
“We are fast headed for tyranny because we the people have let judges make law, allowed Congress to assign lawmaking to unelected bureaucrats who make, execute and adjudicate law via Presidential diktats.”
And an arbitrarilly low number of Representatives that are neither accountable to their constituents, nor care about anything other than living in “Club Congress.” Fix the Representation, or there can NEVER be a checks and balances system. On my wish list too is the moving of the U.S. Capital to the middle of the country, and eliminating the need for travel to Washington. There is no reason AT ALL that Congress critters cannot meet virtually and stay in their offices back in their districts. This is not the 1790’s. State constitutions have been TELEGRAPHED in for admittance to the Union, mind you, and that’s been 150 years!
Fix Representaion, clean out the Aegean Stables, and we can get the ball rolling!
Lord, Perry can’t have an opinion on anything without a hit piece being tossed at him.
The concept is interesting and looking at the potential for a single idiot President and wimp Congress to appoint an entire court there is logic there.
I already see the organized attacks forming to either say Perry isn’t a pure enough Constitutionalist or that he is merely a trying to subvert the will of the people or that this is not the time for this discussion because it interferes with what “I” think should be the central issues. Perhaps this merits discussion maybe not at the top of the agenda, but a couple of safeguards against a runaway President and congress might actually have merit.
Chapter 3: What Happened to the Founders Vision?
Perry says the tipping point the period when the federal government began to over-assert its authority was the dawn of the so-called Progressive movement. Ever since, liberals have used every opportunity to wage a gradual war on the U.S. Constitution. The Supreme Court has become a policy maker rather than an interpreter of the Constitution. Passage of the 16th Amendment (allowing Congress to collect an income take without apportioning it among the states) and 17th Amendment (allowing for the direct election of U.S. senators, rather than by state legislatures) further reduced the power of the states. FDRs New Deal set the standard for federal power abuse. Congress interpretation of the Commerce Clause to allow for a wide variety of federal intrusions, including President Obamas health care reform, has been the nail in the coffin of the proper balance between the feds and the states.
This idea will not help him.
I don’t care for it, and I’m sure I’m not alone. :)
Silly! Of course it goes to the people. Any problem talking about it? Putting things on the table? Not hiding what your thoughts are until after you're elected? You know?? all that "hopey-changey" bs that goes out the door?
Perry wants us to THINK!
To remember that it's, "WE THE PEOPLE!"
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