Thursday, February 2, 2017

SCOTUS articles

Yes, SCOTUS is, of course, the top news story these days, so you don't need SCAN to update you on that front. But there are some articles in today's DJ to check out. First, attorney David DeGroot urges confirmation of Judge Gorsuch in 2 Views of the Supreme Court, where he writes:
Conservatives believe that the Supreme Court should not be a permanently seated de facto constitutional convention where five people can announce new and previously undiscovered rights and federal powers that are not found in the text of the Constitution but just happen to align with the beliefs of 85 percent of people who attend the American Bar Association convention or a typical TED talk.
Conservatives think that courts should go where the carefully analyzed words of the Constitution and statutes lead. Thankfully for the rule of law, this is what happens in most cases. During the October 2015 term, for example, Justices Alito and Elena Kagan agreed on 82 percent of the court's decisions. Gorsuch is probably going to align with Alito more than Kagan on the other 18 percent. That will not shake the republic to its foundations.

Next, Southwestern Professor Warren Grimes offers Time to end lifelong tenure on the Supreme Court, in which he notes:
The Supreme Court has become an unelected gerontocracy. Justice John Paul Stevens served until he was 90. Chief Justice William Rehnquist died in office at 80; Scalia died at 78. Today, four of the eight sitting justices are 68 or older (Clarence Thomas is 68, Stephen Breyer is 78, Anthony Kennedy is 80, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 83). In Germany, where the standard retirement age for judges is 67, each would have been forced to retire. The United States is unique among developed nations in having neither term nor age limits on members of its highest Court. Indeed, with the exception of Rhode Island, none of the 50 states allow life tenure for state judges. One legal scholar has called life tenure "the stupidest provision of the 1787 Constitution that has any impact today." 

He urges:
Image result for 18 againA more productive strategy for the court and the country would be to seek a pledge from any future Supreme Court nominee to step down no later than 18 years after appointment.