At the most recent court reform committee meeting, term limits became a popular proposal


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On Tuesday, before President Joe Biden’s court reform committee, panelists testified through Zoom.

The Presidential Committee of the Supreme Court reconvened on Tuesday to hear the opinions of a new group of experts on various ideas for the reform of the Supreme Court.Such as Last meeting, Various legal experts testified in a series of groups distributed throughout the day and answered questions raised by committee members.President Joe Biden 36-member committee appointed Write a report on various court reform programs.

Key topics include confirmation procedures, term limits, transparency and disclosure, expansion of court size, and the role of courts in constitutional government. The topic of most interest to panel members and committee members is term limitations, although there is some interest, especially in early panels, to adopt formal judge ethics guidelines.

The committee members first heard the opinions of Mayer Brown partner Kenneth Geller and Latham & Watkins partner Maureen Mahoney, who represented a group of lawyers who regularly practice before the Supreme Court. In their view, most popular reform proposals are unnecessary, will be challenged by the constitution, or should be formulated by the court’s own internal procedures, if any. For example, they believe that the proposal to expand the court represents “an escalation of the problem, not a solution.” But the organization does support a constitutional amendment that provides for an 18-year term limit and allows each current president to fill two seats every four years, even though the organization believes that the term limit imposed by the statute will cause the constitution problem.

Gabe Roth, the executive director of Fix the Court, put forward a different point. He said that the political climate for various judicial reforms has matured-including term limits, and his organization believes that it can be implemented through regulations without violating the Constitution. He said that these and other reform efforts are currently “very welcome”, with 70% of people supporting permanent live broadcast of oral debates and ending their lifetime tenures.

When it comes to judicial confirmation, the panel members and committee members basically agreed that the confirmation process has been one of the driving forces that have increased the political temperature in recent years and created the perception of Supreme Court judges as party actors. Commissioner David Strauss, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School, mentioned that one of the things he believes is an “unhealthy relationship” is that at the Senate confirmation hearing, each nominee has a “team.” Strauss said it was natural to feel that the nominee’s guerrillas were on one side of them, and the other side was their opponent. Jeff Peck, a member of the managing partner group of Tiber Creek Group, agreed with this view and went on to explain that the celebration after the confirmation hearing also seemed out of place, giving the impression that the nominee was like a client of the White House and could be used as Political tools for specific management.

Term limits have become the main reform proposal, and committee members seem interested in fine-tuning how they will deal with this topic in the report to the president this fall. Commissioner Rick Pildes, a professor at the New York University School of Law, praised the idea of ??term limits and mentioned that it seemed to “get a lot of support”. Although practitioners seemed to resist many ideas, most people The time limit is considered acceptable.

Many group discussions spent a lot of time discussing how to implement term limits. One consideration is the specific duration. The 18-year term limit means one new judge every two years — or two appointments by each president. Other possible time frames include 12 or 16 years. But as Vicki Jackson, professor of constitutional science at Harvard Law School, explained, 12 years may be too short to allow a two-term president to appoint six of the nine justices.

Another consideration is the appropriate method of implementing deadline limits. The committee members are interested in whether this change can be achieved through regulations or whether a constitutional amendment is necessary. Responses to this topic have been mixed. Although everyone agrees that a constitutional amendment is sufficient, the amendment is very difficult and requires broad support from both parties. On the other hand, regulations will be easier to implement, but it may raise constitutional issues, because Article 3 states that federal judges “shall serve when they are in good conduct.”

When asked about the feasibility of the regulations stipulating term limits, Jackson explained that the regulations may not be “obviously unconstitutional,” but there are “major refutations.” For example, the abolition of lifetime tenure may damage the independence of judges. Other considerations include how and when it is appropriate to implement term limits with current judges. As Tom Ginsberg, a professor of international law and political science at the University of Chicago, explained, once a lifetime term is cancelled, recall and appointment must be considered.

Michal Waldman, chairman and commissioner of the Brennan Judicial Center, said that “as members of the committee, we are shocked” to the extent of support for term limits in the political field. The solutions proposed by the introduction of term limits include less gimmicks when judges choose replacements, more predictability of replacement and appointment, and less motivation to appoint young judges to ensure a firm foothold on the bench. As Margaret Marshall, the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Justice of Massachusetts said, the limited tenure reduces the motivation to appoint young judges with 40-50 years of service; however, she emphasized that “the key is always A long term so that when the judges make a decision, they will not find themselves unemployed in the next job.”

You can find records of previous meetings and group members’ information and their corresponding written testimony Here. Public comment posted HereThe last three meetings are scheduled for October 1, October 15 and November 10. The report will be submitted to Biden and made public on November 14.



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