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Bellelettres Profile
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Re: The United States Supreme Court


Has anyone posted anything about this? I heard about it only today, and the article says Democrats were planning to introduce this bill, but I couldn't find anything saying they HAD introduced it.

House Democrats to introduce bill setting 18-year term limit for Supreme Court justices

By Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN
September 25, 2020

Washington (CNN)House Democrats plan to introduce a bill next week that would limit US Supreme Court justices' lifetime appointments to 18 years, a largely symbolic response to the high-stakes battle in Congress over the Supreme Court vacancy left by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The legislation has no chance of passage in the GOP-led Senate, where Republicans are trying to fast-track a successor to Ginsburg and enshrine a conservative majority for a generation. Democrats have accused the GOP of a power grab and argue that the iconic liberal justice's successor should be picked by the next president, but Republicans say it's the President's constitutional prerogative to fill the empty seat.
 
But under the "Supreme Court Term Limits Act," after a justice serves 18 years on the Supreme Court, they would be allowed to continue serving on a lower court.
 
The legislation would exempt the current justices from the term limits. It would also change the appointment process, making it so every president has the opportunity to appoint only two justices during their four years in office. A president would nominate a new justice in the first and third year of their presidency.
 
Under the measure, justices who serve out their terms would be known as a "senior justice." If a vacancy were to occur because of a death or removal, the "senior justice" would temporarily rejoin the bench until the vacancy is filled. The Senate would also have 120 days to act on a president's nomination or the nominee will be seated on the Supreme Court.
 
The bill's sponsors — Democratic Reps. Ro Khanna, Joe Kennedy III and Don Beyer — plan to formally introduce the legislation in the House on Tuesday.
 
"We can't face a national crisis every time a vacancy occurs on the Supreme Court," Khanna said in a statement Friday. " No justice should feel the weight of an entire country on their shoulders. No president should be able to shift the ideology of our highest judicial body by mere chance."
"Most importantly, our country's top constitutional questions shouldn't be decided by a panel of jurists who are biding their time until a president of their choice is elected," the California Democrat added.
 
Breyer, a Virginia Democrat, argued that the "recent upheaval in the Court has only made it clear how much that reform is needed."
 
By law, Congress can set the number of justices, but terms limits on the justices may require a change to the Constitution, which has been interpreted to give justices life terms. A constitutional amendment would be more difficult to pass than a bill since it requires ratification by three-fourths of the 50 states.
 
Some Republicans have previously expressed support for term limits for justices, including Chief Justice John Roberts early in his career and 2016 GOP presidential candidates, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and current Housing and Urban Development Department Secretary Ben Carson.
 
According to Khanna, this is the first time term limits for Supreme Court justices has been proposed as legislation, rather than a constitutional amendment.
 
https://tinyurl.com/y49oxaxp



10/26/2020, 8:26 am Link to this post PM Bellelettres
 
Miz Robbie Profile
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Re: The United States Supreme Court


Your reporting is the first I've heard of it, Belle. I don't like it. I'd rather see something related to how close to an election does the sitting President get to make a nomination.

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10/26/2020, 9:18 am Link to this post PM Miz Robbie
 
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Re: The United States Supreme Court


I'm for limiting the length of the terms.

I am unalterably opposed to the expansion of the USSC. If the Democrats were able to do that after this election it would be nothing more than a partisan political move.

If both parties got together in a bipartisan manner to do it in order to set up 3 or 5 Judge panels to hear cases with options for the full court to hear appeals from those decisions following a grant of certiorari, I could go along with that, but rots o' ruck on that happening.
10/26/2020, 11:15 am Link to this post PM CooterBrown44
 
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Re: The United States Supreme Court


I’m with you, Cooter. I’m for limiting their terms to, say, 10 or 15 years, with no renewal. That way we aren’t stuck with hyperpartisans like Thomas for life.

God help America.
10/26/2020, 7:43 pm Link to this post PM Birdz
 
Bellelettres Profile
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Re: The United States Supreme Court


I think it's too late, Cooter, to prevent the makeup of the Supreme Court from being based on partisan political moves.
10/27/2020, 4:28 am Link to this post PM Bellelettres
 
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Re: The United States Supreme Court


The rank partisanship of the Republicans in this exercise in the use of their raw political power will inspire retaliation. To ascribe partisanship to the Democrats in whatever response they decide to implement smacks of false equivalency. It doesn’t bode well for a return to comity but it is inevitable in this political environment. And the beat will go on. The Republicans will reap what they have sown, sooner or later. There is no equivalency between the Democrats and Republicans here though. YMMV.
10/27/2020, 6:40 am Link to this post PM bricklayer
 
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You said it much better than I could have said it, Brick!
10/27/2020, 7:07 am Link to this post PM Bellelettres
 
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Absolutely, Brick!

The problem with a term limit is that it would require a constitutional amendment -- and good luck getting 2/3 of Congress and 3/4 of the states to agree to that.

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10/27/2020, 11:37 am Link to this post PM JustLis
 
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Re: The United States Supreme Court


Somebody has to start showing that they are NOT working for their owners or themselves, but for the country and are ready to work with the other party. Keeping retaliating against the ugly opposition is what is killing us. The Trump Party with their present makeup won't.

That leaves it up to the Democrats, but first, they have to rid Pelosi and Schumer of any power. They will simply keep playing the partisan game as they have been.
10/27/2020, 1:18 pm Link to this post PM CooterBrown44
 
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Re: The United States Supreme Court


Who would you replace Pelosi and Schumer with, Cooter? (I feel Dr. Whom creeping up behind me.)
10/27/2020, 1:30 pm Link to this post PM Bellelettres
 
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Re: The United States Supreme Court


The way I see it is that if ever political retribution is warranted this exercise in raw power by the Republicans is it. I agree that the enmity between the Parties must end, but not before righting the imbalance that the Republicans foisted on the country and the Court. This was a travesty. If the Democrats win they should immediately consider how best to right the wrong and set about doing it.
10/27/2020, 3:03 pm Link to this post PM bricklayer
 
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Amen, Brick.

Dems took the high road in 2009, when the Obama team swept into office during the deepest recession since the Great Depression. Their two major focuses were the stimulus package and the Affordable Care Act. They focused on moving forward rather than looking back.

And as a result, Dick Cheney and his minions got away with a TON of crimes.

It's as though the Republicans COUNT on Dems being rule-followers and focusing on the needs of the people rather than retribution or holding the former regime responsible for their actions.

This time we HAVE to make this right before moving on. I have no issue at all to expanding the Court to 13 members. From what I remember of the discussions at the time, Merrick Garland was a centrist. Pick him for his well-deserved seat. Put on three liberals to balance the three conservatives Trump put on the Court, and we're done. 13 isn't unwieldy.

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10/27/2020, 3:13 pm Link to this post PM JustLis
 
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Another issue is saying that we have to balance liberals and conservatives. That's baloney. Then the political visions of the nominees become more important than their experience on the bench, education, and other experience.

I want to look at their opinions, majority ones, concurrences, and dissents. What is the basis for their opinions? Are they well researched? Can they make a coherent argument? Do they allow personal opinions to get into their cases? Do they base decisions on religion? If they belong to a political party are their decisions based on the platforms of that party?

Some of those things are a red flag to a nominee. Not many, but a few. We don't want died in the wool conservatives or liberals on the bench in any capacity.
10/27/2020, 11:15 pm Link to this post PM CooterBrown44
 
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Re: The United States Supreme Court


Amen, Cooter. We don't need idealogues of either side.

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10/28/2020, 12:18 am Link to this post PM Miz Robbie
 
Bellelettres Profile
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Re: The United States Supreme Court


On the other hand, the Warren court (mostly liberals) expanded our civil rights considerably.
10/28/2020, 5:42 am Link to this post PM Bellelettres
 
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Re: The United States Supreme Court


quote:

CooterBrown44 wrote:

Another issue is saying that we have to balance liberals and conservatives. That's baloney. Then the political visions of the nominees become more important than their experience on the bench, education, and other experience.

I want to look at their opinions, majority ones, concurrences, and dissents. What is the basis for their opinions? Are they well researched? Can they make a coherent argument? Do they allow personal opinions to get into their cases? Do they base decisions on religion? If they belong to a political party are their decisions based on the platforms of that party?

Some of those things are a red flag to a nominee. Not many, but a few. We don't want died in the wool conservatives or liberals on the bench in any capacity.



I agree, but, this President appointed three conservative Justices. Their capacity for objectivity was not considered in the nomination process. And now we have an imbalanced court, 6-3. It’s sad that the court has been politicized but it has and this exercise by the Republicans during Trump’s Administration to appoint three ideologues shouldn’t stand unanswered. The people and the Court are being cheated by this rank Republican partisanship.

McConnell refused to consider over 100 Obama nominees to the courts for the last two years of his Administration and then proceeded to ramrod through 170 Trump nominees over the past four years. Talk about packing the Courts! There is no equivalency here.

I approve of Biden’s plan, should he win, to assemble a bipartisan commission to see if anything can be done to make the nomination process viable again and to reassure the people that the Courts are evenhanded arbiters of justice. That is not the case now.

10/28/2020, 6:30 am Link to this post PM bricklayer
 
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It's going to take a LONG time to come back from what they have done to the lower courts.

But don't I remember reading over the years about how badly backed up the federal courts are? What if we created more federal courts to take up the caseload and try to bring more balance back to the judiciary that way?

I heard something VERY interesting from one of the legal guests on one of the MSNBC talk shows. He was discussing Kavanaugh's concurring opinion that referred right back to Bush v Gore, saying that state supreme courts aren't necessarily the final arbiters of state law (in the way that the US Supreme Court ordered an end to the ballot counts in Florida, even when the Florida Supreme Court ordered the counties to keep counting).

He pointed out that we can't count on the Supreme Court to be fair about election and ballot issues, because the whole gang was together again.

What whole gang?

The trio of lawyers who did the yeoman's work for Republicans in Bush vs Gore was.... Roberts, Kavanaugh, Barrett. Damn....

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10/28/2020, 3:36 pm Link to this post PM JustLis
 
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Re: The United States Supreme Court


realistic or not, term limits must be imposed on the supreme court and Congress.

remember that a congressional term is 2 years and some of these old farts have run unopposed for 4+ decades.

I think that congress should have a limit of 3, 2 year terms and then cannot be elected to congress again.

I think that the Supreme court should have the same thing. There is a large pool of judges and lawyers that would make good candidates, but they should rotate in and out, also, it should be made certain that the supreme court is in balance at all times. a 6-3 majority along general party lines, should be impeachable.

There should be an intelligence and competence test for office....that would immediately remove so many in congress right now (I'm looking at you Louis Gommert).

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10/28/2020, 5:38 pm Link to this post PM Lucas P
 
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Kavanaugh's an idiot and Vermont's Secretary of State is calling him out.

VT’s Election Chief Asks SCOTUS To Correct Error In Kavanaugh Opinion
By Tierney Sneed - Talking Points Memo
October 28, 2020

Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos (D) formally requested, via a letter to the clerk of the Supreme Court, that a Justice Brett Kavanaugh opinion that mischaracterized the state’s plans for the election be corrected.

In his concurrence explaining why he was voting in favor of a requirement that Wisconsin absentee ballots be received by Election Day, Kavanuagh argued that courts should defer to state legislatures when it came to adjusting election rules for the pandemic.

Kavanaugh pointed specifically to Vermont as a state that has “decided not to make changes to their ordinary election rules, including to the election-day deadline for receipt of absentee ballots.”

That assertion was wrong, as Condos’ letter Wednesday pointed out. Vermont made two major changes, because of the pandemic, to how it was handling the election. Its legislature approved the proactive sending of mail ballots to all active registered voters. And Condos additionally okayed a policy that will allow local election officials to begin processing absentee ballots 30 days before the election.

“These two actions factored significantly in our decision to hold to existing law requiring the election day receipt of mailed ballots rather than extending returns beyond election day based on postmark,” Condos said.

Beyond just noting the factual error, Condos’ letter argued that the election changes that Vermont embraced made it a poor comparison point for Wisconsin, where the legislature has pointedly refused to let the processing of absentee ballots begin earlier or pass other laws that would help absentee voters get their ballots in sooner.

(Another argument Kavanaugh made in the concurrence is that states were justified in adopting policies that would provide a quick turnaround of results; Wisconsin’s refusal to move back its processing timeline undercuts that point).

“Since the state of Wisconsin neither changed its ordinary elections rules this year to mail each of its active registered voters a ballot nor authorized its Local Election Officials to process ballots early, Vermont is not an accurate comparison for the assertion Justice Kavanaugh has made,” Condos said. “I respectfully ask that the record is corrected to reflect that.”

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10/29/2020, 7:10 am Link to this post PM streamline2001
 
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Re: The United States Supreme Court


Good for Condos. Imagine, a Supreme Court Justice basing his opinion on a false premise. I agree, Peter, Kavanaugh is an idiot, obviously a dangerous one.
10/29/2020, 7:23 am Link to this post PM bricklayer
 


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