Dems Bring Legislation to Impose Term Limits on Supreme Court Justices

House Democrats have introduced a new bill that aims to limit the terms of the Supreme Court justices.

If passed, conservative Justice Clarence Thomas will be most vulnerable to early retirement, paving the way for Biden to pack the court with another liberal justice.

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Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Rep. Hank Johnson, introduced a new bill, the Supreme Court Tenure Establishment and Retirement Modernization Act.

Johnson’s legislation will bind the president to appoint new judges after every two years.

Likewise, the top court justices will only be allowed to serve the country for an 18-year term. After that, they will get senior status, which is equal to the semi-retirement of judges.

Justice Thomas has been serving the court for 31 years; so he will be the first judge to obtain senior status, which will push him to take semi-retirement.

However, justices with senior status will still hold their office and be entitled to their duties and pay. Though they will only be qualified for the nine-member bench if any serving justice is unable to join the case.

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While describing the need for the legislation, Johnson noted the Supreme Court is “facing a legitimacy crisis.”

According to Johnson, five justices in the current Supreme Court were appointed by those presidents who were unable to win the popular vote in their elections, so they are not the true representatives of Americans.

He was referring to the judges appointed by George W. Bush and Donald Trump, both of whom lost the popular vote in their presidential races.

Johnson suggested that allowing the president to appoint new judges after every two years would reflect the will of recently elected public representatives. 

This radical bill of Johnson is in line with the recommendations of the panel, which was constructed by President Biden last year to discuss Supreme Court reforms.

According to the panel, imposing term limits on the justices will not only strengthen the judiciary, but also make Supreme Court nominees an issue to be discussed in every presidential race.

Other House Democrats who co-sponsored the bill included Sheila Jackson Lee, Jerry Nadler, Karen Bass, Ro Khanna, Steve Cohen, and David Cicilline.

Johnson also revealed that Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is preparing the same sort of legislation for the upper chamber of Congress as well.

Democrats have been decrying the construction of the Supreme Court for a long time. House lawmakers introduced a separate bill earlier this month, which sought to increase the number of Supreme Court justices to 13.

The calls for judiciary reforms intensified in the aftermath of the Roe v. Wade verdict when the top court restricted the federal government’s authority to craft abortion regulations.

Last month, Thomas noted the Supreme Court should even reconsider the decision on same-sex marriage. This prompted House Democrats to pass a bill that makes same-sex marriage federal law.

This article appeared in The State Today and has been published here with permission.