Amid calls for significant changes to the Supreme Court and Senate, Democrats are set to introduce a bill next week that would set Supreme Court term limits at 18 years.
Term Limits For SCOTUS
The Supreme Court Term Limits and Regular Appointments Act, according to Reuters, will be introduced by Democrats next Tuesday.
It would set term limits for the Supreme Court at 18 years, and allow every President to appoint to nominate two justices per term.
“It would save the country a lot of agony and help lower the temperature over fights for the court that go to the fault lines of cultural issues and is one of the primary things tearing at our social fabric,” said Democrat Representative Ro Khanna.
Khanna will introduce the bill along with Representatives Joe Kennedy III and Don Beyer.
The bill would exempt current justices from the rules. Justices who finish their term would retire from the Supreme Court and then rotate to lower courts.
“That’s perfectly consistent with their judicial independence and having a lifetime salary and a lifetime appointment,” Khanna argued.
Democrats Demand Court Packing
This is not the only thing that Democrats have been demanding regarding the Supreme Court.
Representative Kennedy wrote on Twitter that if President Trump and the Republicans held a vote for his Supreme Court nominee this year, they would simply pack the court in 2021.
If he holds a vote in 2020, we pack the court in 2021.
It’s that simple.
— Rep. Joe Kennedy III (@RepJoeKennedy) September 19, 2020
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This sentiment has been echoed by other Democrats. “Mitch McConnell set the precedent,” Senate candidate Ed Markey tweeted.
“No Supreme Court vacancies filled in an election year. If he violates it… we must abolish the filibuster and expand the Supreme Court.”
Mitch McConnell set the precedent. No Supreme Court vacancies filled in an election year. If he violates it, when Democrats control the Senate in the next Congress, we must abolish the filibuster and expand the Supreme Court.
— Ed Markey (@EdMarkey) September 19, 2020
Representative Jerry Nadler joined the calls.
If McConnell “were to force through a nominee during the lame duck session—before a new Senate and President can take office—then the incoming Senate should immediately move to expand the Supreme Court,” Nadler wrote.
Filling the SCOTUS vacancy during a lame duck session, after the American people have voted for new leadership, is undemocratic and a clear violation of the public trust in elected officials. Congress would have to act and expanding the court would be the right place to start.
— Rep. Nadler (@RepJerryNadler) September 19, 2020
Schumer: “Nothing Is Off The Table”
Democrats are fuming that President Trump and Mitch McConnell have the gall to use their constitutional powers to nominate and confirm a replacement for Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
It’s not the first time that there has been a nominee in an election year, and it won’t be the last.
They forget that Merrick Garland was not voted on because the Senate and Presidency were split. That is not the case this time.
Some legal scholars argue that a constitutional amendment is needed to set term limits for Supreme Court justices.
It is unclear from the Reuters article whether or not Representative Khanna has been challenged about the issue.
Senator Chuck Schumer said that “nothing was off the table.” I believe him.
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