View Poll Results: Should we continue to appoint SC Justices for life?

Voters
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  • Yes, our present system works as intended.

    15 45.45%
  • No, they should have limited terms, then replaced.

    7 21.21%
  • No, they should have limited terms, but be allowed to be re-confirmed.

    9 27.27%
  • No, "unlimited" terms, but an easier process for removal.

    0 0%
  • No, just no. (Please elaborate)

    1 3.03%
  • Not sure.

    1 3.03%
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Thread: Should we continue to appoint SC Justices for life?

  1. #11
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    Re: Should we continue to appoint SC Justices for life?

    I say yes because resent events show it is working as intended. I mean lets see DOMA cast down and states rights for voting laws reasserted. The system is working.
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  2. #12
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    Re: Should we continue to appoint SC Justices for life?

    Quote Originally Posted by CanadaJohn View Post
    The current system is fine - the only alternative is to leave it to a vote of the electorate which would be a popularity disaster.
    the people elect them as it is since they're picked by the politicians they elect, and they're picked along partisan lines ... now and then there's a surprise ... but I would limit there terms, say 10 years ... 20? ... no one should have that kind of power for that long ... Thomas may end up serving on the Court for 50 years ...

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    Re: Should we continue to appoint SC Justices for life?

    If human longevity is ever significantly extended, this question will have to be revisited.

  4. #14
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    Re: Should we continue to appoint SC Justices for life?

    Quote Originally Posted by windowdressing View Post
    the people elect them as it is since they're picked by the politicians they elect, and they're picked along partisan lines ... now and then there's a surprise ... but I would limit there terms, say 10 years ... 20? ... no one should have that kind of power for that long ... Thomas may end up serving on the Court for 50 years ...
    I don't see Supreme Court Justices as having all that much power - their positions and decisions have great consequence, but not much in the way of power unless you consider the respect and perks that go with the job being power. You just have to look at the frustration Scalia frequently exert in his dissents to see he's a man who lacks the kind of power he may wish he had. The greatest power a Justice has is the power of persuasion and character, being able to convince your colleagues of the validity and rationality of your position.

    There is a lot of what the media calls "partisan" decisions, but that could just be a reflection of the partisan laws they're tasked with reviewing and passing judgement on. If you look at the two most controversial rulings of this last session or DOMA and state's rights related to voting, one could easily argue that DOMA was a partisan act of congress on the right and the voting bill was a partisan act of congress on the left - it's only natural, when a partisan bill is overturned, the partisans will cheer or boo along ideological lines.
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  5. #15
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    Re: Should we continue to appoint SC Justices for life?

    While I wouldn't care if they had lifetime terms, our current system, where both sides are trying desperately to stack the court, needs to be stopped. I also think that the Supremes need to review their job description because there are far too many of them who are ruling by their own personal opinions and convictions and not paying any attention whatsoever to the Constitution.
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  6. #16
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    Re: Should we continue to appoint SC Justices for life?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anagram View Post
    Not necessarily the only alternative. You could have their terms expire and just have the executive appoint the replacement. I'm not sure that's any better than the current system either though.
    I disagree. SCOTUS rulings need continuity in order to determine the actual effect on our constitutional liberties. Appointments for life guarantee that the Justice will not be affected by mere changes in popular opinion.

    Allowing a term to expire followed by a new political appointment by whichever party is currently in power would create an impetus to challenge "unpopular" decisions over and over again leading to destabilization of law.

    I dont always agree with SCOTUS rulings, but history has shown that even the worst decisions are eventually dealt with over time under the current process. Meanwhile, people can feel secure, despite disagreements, in the law.

  7. #17
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    Re: Should we continue to appoint SC Justices for life?

    I can see the merits of both positions actually.

    I do think that some justices should probably retire before they do because of age factors, and I think that having a supreme court made up of mostly older justices can skew their opinions away from the average of the country.

    On the other hand though, as much as it would be great if supreme court justices were apolitical, that's never going to be a reality, so the next best thing is to keep a near equal balance of conservative and liberal justices. I think having unlimited terms can help with that, since justices can (and usually do) wait until a president that matches their affiliation is in office to retire so that the balance will remain the same. Having term limits would make it more likely that you'd get larger majorities from one party or the other on the court, and I don't think that's a good thing.
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  8. #18
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    Re: Should we continue to appoint SC Justices for life?

    Quote Originally Posted by CanadaJohn View Post
    I don't see Supreme Court Justices as having all that much power - their positions and decisions have great consequence, but not much in the way of power unless you consider the respect and perks that go with the job being power. You just have to look at the frustration Scalia frequently exert in his dissents to see he's a man who lacks the kind of power he may wish he had. The greatest power a Justice has is the power of persuasion and character, being able to convince your colleagues of the validity and rationality of your position.

    There is a lot of what the media calls "partisan" decisions, but that could just be a reflection of the partisan laws they're tasked with reviewing and passing judgement on. If you look at the two most controversial rulings of this last session or DOMA and state's rights related to voting, one could easily argue that DOMA was a partisan act of congress on the right and the voting bill was a partisan act of congress on the left - it's only natural, when a partisan bill is overturned, the partisans will cheer or boo along ideological lines.
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  9. #19
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    Re: Should we continue to appoint SC Justices for life?

    I'm not largely discontent with the current justice system, other than the fact that they are passing unreasonable, and unconstitutional bills. However, unlimited terms make me itch a little. I selected "No, they should have limited terms, but be allowed to be re-confirmed." My reasoning for this is: If they get into the Supreme Court and start passing unconstitutional bills, rather then getting to stay there and encroach on our rights they can be pushed off the stand, or if they are doing a good job they can be re-confirmed. However, on the other side: If you get an extremely communist/fascist president and there's a Supreme Court justice who is desperately trying to stop him, he could lose his seat. So it's really a toss-up for me.

  10. #20
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    Re: Should we continue to appoint SC Justices for life?

    Three terms of four years and move on ! Just my opinion.


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