With thanks to How Appealing, take a moment to read Jeff Jacoby’s piece entitled “Life tenure no longer serves Supreme Court.” The author recycles the argument that Supreme Court Justices should be term-limited. This idea has been around (particularly in academic circles) for quite some time. It has been pushed hard by a variety of people especially including an aging but distinguished law professor by the name of Paul D. Carrington.
Although many others hold Carrington in very high regard, he is not my favorite. I suppose this is because he once publicly threatened to file a judicial conduct complaint against me if I persisted in stating that his idea was stupid.
Anyway, the idea is really, really stupid. Most basically, the idea is dumb because (1) the Supreme Court, on balance, works, and has worked, about as well as can reasonably be expected and (2) there is not the slightest reason to think the proposal would make the Court work any better. In short, we ought not term limit the Justices because of the obsessive compulsive desire of some elites to remake the world in their own very abstract image of what Nirvana would look like if only they could assume the mantle of the Founders.