Judicial Reform: Is it time for term limits rather than lifetime appointments?

Why should judges be the only position where regardless of health, temperament or ethics, you get to keep your job in a lifetime appointment without any recourse for unacceptable behavior? Hardly seems just in a group dedicated to justice, does it?

We trust our jurists from the lowers courts to the Supreme Court level to protect the US Constitution and ensure our laws follow that framework for our governance. Apolitical should be a given when people look to judges for remedies in civil cases and criminal redemption. There should never be a question to a judge’s character or integrity. Their job is simple, succinct and imperative in our society where individual and states’ rights are tandem to the country’s existence.

Disturbing trends have surfaced ever since Marshall Thurgood. The first black Supreme Court justice blatantly used his position to exact what’s called Judicial Activism. As discussed here before, this type of behavior is unacceptable for judges to partake as the US Constitution is not a political document but a governance one, which separates powers. Judicial is no where near responsible for legislation creation; therefore, should never see itself as such.

The US Constitution is not a living document nor is it one where its passages are fluid. And it should be mandatory for all judges that not only do they follow it, but respect it in total or not be a jurist. It’s really that simple.

Looking at this quote from jurist Ruth Ginsburg, begs for a serious discussion whether it is good to continue lifetime appointments to the bench on any level. Her truculence and political motivations have been more and more demonstrative through her off-color statements about our chosen President. This leads one to believe she should be recused by the other judges because her input on the bench is suspect at best.

Surely, at one point, she may have been a expert legal mind; however, in the last decade, Ginsburg is no stranger to controversy. She is notorious for falling asleep during proceedings and hearings, as well as the above rants about President Trump. However, this quote solidifies any doubt one may have as to her incompetence to continue as a Supreme Court judge.

It’s abundantly  clear she has no respect for our Constitution and doesn’t feel any desire to uphold its sacred guidelines. Look to recent snafus like the Affordable Healthcare case where the premise of government mandating the purchase of anything is strictly unconstitutional, yet the court wordsmith it and called it a ‘tax.’ Hence, she (and those like her) exemplifies why its imperative we visit the idea of term limits for judges before even representatives in Congress and the Senate.

Some reasons why term limits or at least a way to remove judges easier than impeachment for criminal wrongdoing are obvious. The framers held an assumption those who sat on the High Court would naturally have a respect for the Law. However, as we’ve seen in recent cases with President Trump’s travel ban, the law is often usurped by politics and not all judges are of good character.

First, a staunch dedication to our Constitution and rule of law should be required of all judges on all levels without exception. If one is not going to uphold both then they have no reason to be on the bench at all.

Second, we must ask ourselves honestly, if this is the time we visit this question and then set forth to create markers for which judges can be removed. This quote by Ginsburg would provide an excellent argument why she should no longer serve, but many of her other actions also warrant her removal, like inserting herself in an election.

It was never Ginsburg’s place (or scope of conduct as per the court) to weigh in on candidates in an election. It’s clear when a jurist is so biased against a president (or other official), it’s human nature to find a way to go against them, regardless of legality or constitutionality. Their hatred (as we’ve seen from the press) overrides their sense of objectivity and causes them to rebuke and reject anything the person tries to achieve regardless of whether its good for the people or what the people voted for in the first place.

Third, it’s clear from the multiple images of her napping during cases, Ginsburg is physically unfit for the court. Falling asleep during proceedings on any other level is immediate grounds for a mistrial; therefore, it should be unacceptable for the Supreme Court level considering those justices are all we’ve got. There is no change of venue. There are no be-backs. Therefore, it’s imperative when looking at obvious health issues impeding someone’s ability to properly hear cases, immediate removal should be entertained.

And fourth, there should be rules for re-entry into the private practice as well as judges coming back to the bench. Once out, judges should be barred from reinsertion on the bench, even on a substitute basis because there’s too many ties to attorneys, which can cause their impartiality to be questioned.

While these are not the only reasons, they are the more blatant common sense ones that everyone should contemplate. Lifetime appointments are much too risky in today’s political environment to play Legal Roulette with our Justice System. The system will only be as strong as the people working within it, and if judges are subpar, then they should be removed immediately without fanfare. This way, we have a chance at restore true justice in our jurisprudence rather than continuing this judicial activism which has hampered our rights guaranteed to us through our Constitution.

And while our judicial system was created by our forefathers to be a check and balance to the other two branches of government, in recent years particularly, it’s proven itself to be highly suspect and politically charged. We cannot allow this egregious miscarriage of justice to continue when there’s too many extreme attacks on our Rule of Law and America’s governance.

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