(AmericanPoliticalDaily.com)- Enraged by the announcement that President Donald Trump will nominate a successor to the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Congressional Democrats are preparing legislation that would limit the terms of SCOTUS justices. The move follows controversy about the possibility of a future Democrat president packing the court to remove what they consider a “conservative” bias.
The new legislation, which will be introduced next week in the House of Representatives, would bypass any controversy surrounding packing the courts and simply force judges they don’t like to retire even when they don’t need to. The bill, should it pass, would bypass the Constitutional lifetime appointment and force judges to retire after a single 18-year-term.
Reuters, who obtained a copy of the bill, reported that the legislation would limit presidents to nominating two justices for every four-year term.
Rep. Ro Khanna of California claimed that the Supreme Court Term Limits and Regular Appointments Act would stop partisanship.
“It would save the country a lot of agony and help lower the temperature over fights for the court that go to the fault lines of cultural issues and is one of the primary things tearing our social fabric,” Khanna said.
Khanna failed to acknowledge, however, that almost every time a president has nominated a new Supreme Court justice in the final year of his term, the justice has been approved if the Senate was controlled by his party. Not only is this common and entirely normal, the rules dictating nominations and appointments to the Supreme Court are dictated by the Constitution.
What’s more partisan, abiding by the Constitution, or seeking to overrule the Constitution to stop your political opponents getting their way?
The bill is expected to be introduced on Tuesday. Rep. Khanna will be joined by Rep. Don Beyer of Virginia and Rep. Joe Kennedy III of Massachusetts.
Not only will the bill need to be passed, however, but there would also need to be a Constitutional amendment – something the Supreme Court would have to sign off on.
Michael Meltsner, a Northeastern law professor, said back in 2018 that lifetime appointments “insulate justices from partisan politics.”
Meltsner explained that the lifetime appointment was “put into the Constitution to preserve the total independence of the judiciary” and that “once a justice is confirmed and takes a season on the court, they’re not beholden to anybody.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, one of the most left-wing Democratic representatives in the country, argued that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was wrong not to honor the “dying wish” of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who reportedly told her granddaughter that she wishes to be replaced after a new president was elected.
The Constitution, however, does not allow judges to nominate their successors.