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L.A. Times Endorses Our Term Limits Plan

Nation’s fifth-largest newspaper the latest group to endorse 18-year term limits

By Dylan Hosmer-Quint, FTC research associate

In an editorial published Aug. 9, the Los Angeles Times endorsed Fix the Court’s proposed 18-year term limits for future Supreme Court justices.

Read the op-ed here.

The ed board joins the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Center for American Progress as groups that have endorsed Supreme Court term limits in recent months.

After acknowledging other routes to depoliticizing the Supreme Court, including restoring the filibuster to encourage bipartisan nominees, and objecting to others, like adding justices, the ed board settles on term limits.

“A proposal for 18-year terms favored by the reform group Fix the Court would allow a president to make two Supreme Court nominations during a four-year term,” they write. “Staggered appointments would prevent any given president from exercising disproportionate influence on the court by taking advantage of a windfall of vacancies.”

The editorial concludes:

“Fixed terms, combined with regular appointments to the court, would be the surest way to restore both the image and the reality of a nonpartisan court, while protecting judicial independence. Eighteen is enough.”

The board is not prescriptive on how to accomplish term limits, writing that an act of Congress could be sufficient to establish 18-year term limits, but a constitutional amendment might be necessary.

Fix the Court advocates for a statutory solution whereby justices would serve in the judiciary for life but on the Supreme Court for only 18 years.

Amending the Constitution is an arduous process, unlikely to occur in the foreseeable future.

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