House Democrats reintroduced a bill today that would end life tenure for future Supreme Court justices and bring tenure lengths back down to their historic averages.
The Supreme Court Term Limits and Regular Appointments Act would require future justices to take senior status after 18-year terms, after which they could fill in when there are recusals or unexpected vacancies, sit on lower courts or retire.
From the nation’s founding to 1970, justices served 15 years on average. That number has nearly doubled in the last few decades, as the power the Court has abrogated to itself has also increased exponentially.
More than two-thirds of Americans support ending life tenure at the Supreme Court.
Under the plan, each president would appoint a justice every two years, making the appointment process more predictable and less politicized.
FTC has endorsed the bill.
“No one in a democracy should possess unchecked power for life, yet that’s exactly what the nine justices have today,” FTC’s Gabe Roth said. “I’m pleased to support Rep. Khanna’s work to establish fundamental guardrails for the most powerful, least accountable part of our government.”