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House Democrat to introduce bill imposing term limits on Supreme Court justices

September 25, 2020
In The News

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), the first vice chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, is spearheading efforts on a bill to impose term limits on Supreme Court justices.

According to a draft copy of the legislation, justices would be capped to an 18-year tenure versus the lifetime appointment currently outlined in the Constitution. Current justices would be grandfathered in and would not have to step down from their roles.

The bill would have the president select nominees during the first and third year of their term and the nominee would then be approved by the upper chamber.

The legislation comes as both parties spar over President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) vowing to move forward with the confirmation process to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ahead of the election.

While Republicans argue that proceeding with the process is their constitutional duty, Democrats have accused McConnell and Senate GOP lawmakers of hypocrisy for blocking a hearing on former President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016.

Proponents of the bill argue it would alleviate partisan tensions in appointing judges to the high court.

“We can’t face a national crisis every time there's a SCOTUS vacancy. I’m introducing a bill to impose 18yr term limits on future Justices. Long enough to influence judicial trends but not so entrenched. Every president appoints 2 per term. Thoughts?” Khanna tweeted on Friday.

Many legal experts believe the change would require a constitutional amendment.