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FTC Responds to Justice Stevens' Interview Mentioning Term Limits

Following retired Justice John Paul Stevens’ interview with TIME magazine this week, in which he stated his opposition to term limits for Supreme Court justices, FTC’s Gabe Roth released the following statement:

Of course one of the longest serving justices in American history would tell the press that he’s not a supporter of ending life tenure on the Supreme Court.

Justice Stevens’ own career underscores the need for defined terms for the justices, as it’s clear he kept his position throughout the Bush presidency, when he was in his 80s, until he could be replaced by a Democratic president, which occurred soon after Stevens’ 90th birthday.

If the third branch wants to see itself as comprising politically disinterested public servants, maybe the tradition of holding one’s seat until a like-minded individual is in the Oval Office – as Stevens and Justices Scalia and Ginsburg did or are still doing – should end in favor of a new practice that promotes humility and circumspection over the aggregation of power in the hands of a select few.

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