Upper Left Coast

Thoughts on politics, faith, sports and other random topics from a red state sympathizer in indigo-blue Portland, Oregon.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Judicial term limits?

Jack Kelly, columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, writes on his blog that the time has come to consider abolishing lifetime judicial appointments.

I like this idea is some ways, as it would lend some accountability to an institution that has absolutely zero accountability at the moment, and that has led to a situation where we're force-fed a series of rediculous decisions without much recourse.

The main problem I have with this solution is that the current climate of the Senate would guarantee even more gridlock on judges. If a conservative judge came up for renewal, the liberals would deny that renewal by whatever means was possible, regardless of qualifications and past performance. (And I'm not so sure the climate would be any better with a liberal judge against senate conservatives.)

All this means the number of judicial hearings would increase as old ones were "term-limited" out. Pretty soon, nothing would be accomplished.

And this doesn't even take into account the fact that such a change, as I understand it, would require a constitutional amendment. This means 67 senators and 290 representatives would have to vote for the amendment just to forward it to the states, and then it would have to be approved by 38 state legislatures. With the kool-aid drinking and blind loyalty to "the party" on both sides of the aisle, I don't see that happening. Ever.


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