From overturning Roe v. Wade to supporting the Second Amendment and maintaining religious liberty, the Supreme Court’s recent decisions have put the left in a sour mood. No longer satisfied with just plotting for the destruction of the Court, Democrats have unleashed plan to do just that.
In late July, Democrat Congressman Hank Johnson of Georgia introduced the Supreme Court Tenure Establishment and Retirement Modernization (TERM) Act, HB 8500. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island introduced the same legislation, S 4706, in the Senate a few days later.
You might remember Johnson from his statement in 2010 in which he said he was fearful that a military buildup in Guam would cause the island to “tip over and capsize.”
Cast as “an effort to restore legitimacy and independence to the nation’s highest court,” the Term Act bills would establish 18-year term limits for Supreme Court justices, after which they would “assume senior status,” a quasi-retirement that drastically reduces their caseload and influence on cases before the court. The president would then be able to fill these “vacancies” by appointing a new justice during the first and third year of his term.
In reality, the TERM Act would undermine both legitimacy and independence by transforming the court from an institution of law, to a panel of politicians. By guaranteeing two new justice nominations each presidential term, candidates and parties would campaign on a pool of favored jurists to appease special interest groups and their supporters thus turning presidential elections into existential contests for control of the Supreme Court and the direction of case law.
SCOTUS would no longer decide cases in accordance with the letter and spirit of the law but in concern for future employment which would undoubtedly sway reason and undermine the Court’s legitimacy as an impartial arbiter of the law.
The 3rd branch of government was created to be the “bulwark” of a limited government. Judges were to keep the government and its constituent parts in their proper spheres of authority and safeguard political minorities against the depredations of the governing class.
Justice Antonin Scalia once explained: “The real key to the distinctiveness of America is the structure of our government.” By this, he meant the separation of powers that serves as the safeguard of freedom by preventing the centralization of government power. The linchpin of this structure is an independent judiciary, the TERM Act endangers our constitutional design and the individual liberty it secures.
If these bills pass, Justice Clarence Thomas would immediately be relegate to senior status, clearing the way for Biden to elevate another progressive to the bench. Such brazenly partisan interference with the court’s composition would further delegitimize and politicize it.
It would give the far-left currently controlling government a perfect excuse to ignore the court and utterly disregard its role in interpreting the law, not that they don’t already. The Court would cease to function as what Hamilton called the “intermediate body between the people and the legislature,” imperiling our “great security against a gradual concentration of the several powers in the same department.”
Their sneaky court-packing scheme endangers the separation of powers and individual liberty. It must be rejected.
They would serve the country better if they were voting for TERM limits for Congress and the Senate.
Source: Democrats’ TERM Act Would Pack the Supreme Court with Politicians in Black Robes by Charles Brandt, Kelliward.com; Any Institution the Left Doesn’t Control They Seek to Destroy by Jarrett Stepman, The Daily Signal;