Gavel and Declaration of Independence

Judicial Independence, pt. 4: Term Limits

The Constitution specifies that once federal judges are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate, they can hold their office “during good behavior,” in other words for life — unless they’ve misbehaved, that is. But the average American today lives a lot longer today than in 1789, when President George Washington signed the Judiciary Act, establishing America’s court system. In a time when justices may live into their eighties and even nineties, sometimes facing ill-health, advocates of Supreme Court reform maintain there may be constitutional ways to institute term limits. 

In part four of our look at the judiciary, we consider the addition of an independent body to pick cases for the Supreme Court, the role of The Federalist Society and the impact that a lack of diversity in life experience has on our federal judiciary.