Lifetime Tenure for Supreme Court Justices

Powerful Essays
The Honorable Jonathan Yates, former deputy general counsel for the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight of the U. S. House of Representatives, writes, “This lifetime term now enjoyed by justices not only contravenes the spirit of the Constitution, it counters the role intended for the court as a minor player in the equal judiciary branch of government. Term limits are needed to adjust the part of the court to the intent of the founding fathers” (Np). Judge Yates explains that the greatest powers of the Supreme Court did not originate from the Constitution or Congress, but from their own rulings (Np). The most prominent of which, was being Marbury v. Madison, in which the court granted itself judicial review, or the power to determine the constitutionality of legislation (Yates). Furthermore, the intended role of the court by the founding fathers was so small, that it did not have a home, or meet to hear any cases (Yates). An amendment to the Constitution removing the lifetime tenure of U.S. Supreme Court judges needs consideration by Congress. Lifetime tenure on the U.S. Supreme Court has led to four points that could not have been foreseen by the creators of the Constitution. The first problem resulting from the Supreme Court’s tenure policy is that judges’ are holding on to their seats, disregarding debilitating health issues. The second issue that has arisen from lifetime tenure is the use of strategic retirement by sitting judges to ensure a like-minded replacement. The third development resulting from lifetime tenure is the steady decrease in case decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court. The fourth and final effect lifetime tenure has had on the Supreme Court is an increase in celebrity status of the judges, which has le... ... middle of paper ... .... 21 Nov. 2013. Jacoby, Jeff. “Supreme Court Term Limits.” The Boston Globe. Boston Globe Media Partners, 2013. Web. 21 Nov. 2013. McBride, Alex. “Bush v Gore.” The Supreme Court. Thirteen/WNET New York, Dec. 2006. Web. 5 Dec. 2013. Segall, Eric J. "Supreme Court Justices: The Case for Hanging It Up." Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 24 Feb. 2013. Web. 21 Nov. 2013. Taylor Jr., Stuart. "Life Tenure is Too Long for Supreme Court Justices." National Journal 37.26 (2005): 2033. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 21 Nov. 2013. Teitelbaum, Joshua. "Age, Tenure, and Productivity of the US Supreme Court: Are Term Limits Necessary?" Florida State University Law Review 34.1 (2006): 161-181. Google Scholar. Web. 21 Nov. 2013. Yates, Jonathan. “Law Professor Makes Compelling Argument for Term Limits for Supreme Court.” Buffalo News, 1 June 2009. Web. 21 Nov. 2013.
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