Associate Supreme Court Justices Should Have 10 Year Terms

Discussion in 'The Red Room' started by Dayton3, Jan 20, 2017.

  1. Dayton3

    Dayton3 Wonderful, Loving Husband & Father

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    I've never cared for the whole lifetime appointment thing for all the justices on the Supreme Court. I think the whole thing about entrusting control of the High Court to the hands of fate is ridiculous.

    I would have the 8 associate justices have 10-year terms each. Staggered so that one Supreme Court position opens every two years (odd numbered preferably). This would ensure that even a one term president gets to appoint two Supreme Court justices while a two-term president would appoint four.

    The Chief Justice (tie breaker) position would remain a lifetime appointment.

    If a Justice died or stepped down before their 10 year term was up a new justice would be appointed to serve our the remainder of their time on the court.

    There would be no limit on service A justice could be reappointed after their 10-year term was up but would have to be reconfirmed by the Senate.
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  2. Kilometres O'Brien

    Kilometres O'Brien Keiko makes me wear it

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    Cool story
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  3. Federal Farmer

    Federal Farmer Member of Species 5618

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    I think senators, reps and SCOTUS should all be 12 years.
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  4. Dayton3

    Dayton3 Wonderful, Loving Husband & Father

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    I think this is a viable idea worth pursuing. Note that I suggested 10 year terms for Associate Justices, I DID NOT say they could not be reappointed after a 10 year term had expired.

    So if you have a really good Supreme Court justice that everyone thought was doing a good job there is no reason they couldn't be reappointed for a 2nd or 3rd 10 year term.
  5. RickDeckard

    RickDeckard Libertarian Socialist

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    And thereby centralising yet more power in the executive branch.

    Kick them into line, eh Dayton?
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017
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  6. Dayton3

    Dayton3 Wonderful, Loving Husband & Father

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    Power that is shared with the legislative branch.
    You do know that one thing Thomas Jefferson feared most was the power of the judiciary.
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  7. Paladin

    Paladin Gunner Joe

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    Here's a left field idea.

    Each state gets a Supreme Court justice (maybe lifetime appointment, maybe not, doesn't matter), so 50 total justices.

    For every case taken up by SCOTUS, 9 judges to hear the case are picked at random from that pool of 50.
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  8. Dayton3

    Dayton3 Wonderful, Loving Husband & Father

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    I've charted my idea so I can finally visualize it. My ten year terms for associate justices of the Supreme Court wouldn't work out as I had planned.

    Eight year or 16 year terms perhaps.
  9. RickDeckard

    RickDeckard Libertarian Socialist

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    And what if, by chance, 9 judges from the bible belt are chosen to hear a case?
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  10. Dayton3

    Dayton3 Wonderful, Loving Husband & Father

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    Aren't you showing a regional/religious bias?

    That said you could make such system "not so random". For example divide the U.S. into say 9 geographic regions and once a judge was chosen from one region, all remaining judges in that region were no longer eligible for selection.
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  11. Federal Farmer

    Federal Farmer Member of Species 5618

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    That's exactly what I was going to say.
  12. RickDeckard

    RickDeckard Libertarian Socialist

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    No, I'm saying that Paladin's proposal could be. But pick any other region or special interest and it could be biased that way too.
  13. Federal Farmer

    Federal Farmer Member of Species 5618

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    So it's basically a circuit for SCOTUS.
  14. Paladin

    Paladin Gunner Joe

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    What if 9 judges of any X political persuasion were chosen? That's the chance you'd take. You wouldn't have any certainty about the ideological leanings of the judges before you took a case there.
  15. Mobius 01

    Mobius 01 Shattered Skies

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    Even better. Make it nine random citizens, like how a jury is chosen. No legal qualifications required. Let's just Russian roulette that shit.
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  16. tafkats

    tafkats So much goddess Moderator

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    So there could be yet another way in which we give disproportionate advantages to rural, mostly conservative states, at the expense of the places where people actually live?
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  17. Kilometres O'Brien

    Kilometres O'Brien Keiko makes me wear it

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    That would be quite chaotic, and vaguely European.
  18. Dayton3

    Dayton3 Wonderful, Loving Husband & Father

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    Seriously, I thought lots of progressives thought the U.S. should adopt more "European" ideas.
  19. tafkats

    tafkats So much goddess Moderator

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    Meanwhile, in response to the original idea: Our independent judiciary has been responsible for most of the positive social changes in our country's history, from desegregation and ending the ban on interracial marriage to the more recent strides on marriage equality. So I guess it's no surprise that a social conservative would want to undermine it, since they've been on the wrong side of basically every single issue in our country's history.
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  20. Order2Chaos

    Order2Chaos Ultimate... Immortal Administrator

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    The Federalist no. 78 gives an explanation of why we have lifetime appointments:

    TLDR: less legislative encroachment, not a power problem because the judiciary is weakest of the three branches, supreme judging is hard and temporary terms discourage those best at it.

    To that I'd add conflicts of interest. Of course justices have conflicts of interest going in, but we don't want their plans going out to inform their judging either. Plus I wonder if this wouldn't make the judiciary less de facto independent, not terribly well-separated from the executive branch.
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  21. Paladin

    Paladin Gunner Joe

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    Yes, but every state would get a representative in the court, and cases would have to be more solid to go to the court because neither side could count on the prevailing ideology of the court.
  22. Faceman

    Faceman Making Wordforge Great Again

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    Why should North Dakota get as many judges as California?
  23. Paladin

    Paladin Gunner Joe

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    Federalism. And federal courts decide federal issues. Each state gets one justice that (ideally) represents the views of its people.

    With just 9 justices, a minimum of 41 states (more if some justices have the same home state) get no representation in the court at all.
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  24. Faceman

    Faceman Making Wordforge Great Again

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    Don't pretend the states are equal. They're not. They have wildly divergent population and socio economic structure. 1 judge per state would not be just representation.
  25. Paladin

    Paladin Gunner Joe

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    In federalism, they are. There are no lesser and greater states. They all interact and exchange with one another and are all subject to the same federal laws.
    It would not be just democratic representation. It's perfectly just federalist representation.
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  26. Dayton3

    Dayton3 Wonderful, Loving Husband & Father

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    What would you suggest?
  27. Faceman

    Faceman Making Wordforge Great Again

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    One judge per electoral vote each state is assigned since the EC elects the president and the president appoints SC justices.
  28. Dayton3

    Dayton3 Wonderful, Loving Husband & Father

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    .

    Fine

    Though you do know that would still have a disproportional number of judges from lesser populated states.
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  29. Quest

    Quest labour in the very fire Staff Member Administrator

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    I would suggest not attempting to fix what ain't broke. :shrug:
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  30. Paladin

    Paladin Gunner Joe

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    If each district could somehow select their own judge, perhaps. It wouldn't be fair or just if California's governor or legislature, for instance, got to pick the justices, since almost half the state would be ignored.
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