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Barreling Toward the First Monday in October: What We Been Up To This Summer

Here are some updates on our work as we head toward the start of OT19:

Term limits
Since we started the Campaign for Supreme Court Term Limits three months ago, we’ve been privileged to work with legal scholars on proposals that would, by statute, ensure that the next generation of justices won’t serve for 35 or 40 years. Kermit Roosevelt and Ruth-Helen Vassilas have this op-ed on that discusses why an 18-year term limit, created by statute, is the best solution to a polarized court and a polarized confirmation process. And it’s constitutional.

Judicial misconduct
In a rare public rebuke, the Judicial Council of the Tenth Circuit concluded on Monday that District of Kansas Judge Carlos Murguia “committed […] misconduct.” But it’s worse than it sounds: the Council found that Murguia sexually harassed judiciary employees, engaged in an extramarital relationship with a felon and was frequently late for court proceedings. Yet instead of these findings being referred to the Judicial Conference as the next step toward impeachment proceedings, Murguia will be back on the bench this Mon., Oct. 7.

FTC’s view: Future litigants, as well as court staff, should not be subjected to a judge proven to be incapable of upholding the basic ethical requirements of the office. Such a judge should no longer be “in office.” Murguia should be impeached and removed.

Live audio
The Supreme Court has denied a request from Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and 30 media organizations for same-day audio for the Oct. 8 Title VII arguments and the Nov. 12 DACA arguments.

What’s to come
The idea of Supreme Court term limits is not flash-in-the-pan. It’s been debated for more than 200 years, and we have the receipts, coming in an op-ed next week. The House Judiciary’s Courts Committee will take what they learned at last Thursday’s hearing on broadcast and PACER and push the judiciary to modernize via letters, legislation and other pressure. And several never-before-introduced bills on various “fixes” are now just weeks away from dropping.

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