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Mailbag: Term limits would mitigate influence

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After embarrassing themselves by letting slide the obviously unconstitutional Texas abortion ban, and prior to hearing several controversial cases, many of the Supreme Court justices clambered for microphones in an attempt to restore the public’s trust.

The most galling of those was Amy Coney Barrett, who tried to convince the audience at the University of Louisville that she (and the other justices) weren’t political hacks. What made her attempt so spit-take worthy is that her existence on the court is entirely due to obscene partisan rule-bending.

Faith in the court, however, will be hard to restore, especially by judges appointed on single issues or from those whose decisions we can predict far before the first legal arguments are heard. It is doubtful that we will ever again have a balanced court, at least one lasting more than an election cycle, unless we do something to restore this institution before it slips into irrelevance.

Term limits of 15 to 18 years, rather than lifetime appointments, would go a long way to mitigate political influence and prevent the disproportionate influence of a single president, regardless of party.

David Reinert

Corvallis

 

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