The Limitless Supreme Court

Is getting politicians more involved the way to get politics out of an institution? I’m probably missing something, but that seems to be what the director of legal progress at the Center for American Progress is saying in an essay posted last week.

The topic was whether U.S. Supreme Court justices should have term limits since they’re living too darn long and there’s a huge political brouhaha every time one of them finally kicks off.

Here’s part of the essay’s conclusion: “Lifelong appointments for justices are resulting in increasingly longer terms, with significant implications for the politicization of the court. … It is therefore vital that the makeup of that court not be determined by happenstance but rather by Americans’ support for those policymakers tasked with selecting and confirming judges.”

Aren’t those policymakers politicians? Consider who the policymakers are these days and how they got elected.

The Supreme Court does have a lot of power and we can argue about their decisions, but will term limits really make a difference — especially when the popular proposal is a term limit of 18 years? That seems like a long time.

And the proposed booting of two justices for new ones every presidential term seems like an awful lot of politicization.

I’m not convinced there’s a real problem here but let’s suppose for a moment that something needs to be done. I think there are better alternatives.

For example, instead of unseating two justices every four years, just let every president add two more. There are lots of cases to go around. They could use the extra personnel. Imagine the fun they could have at Supreme Court conventions once a couple of hundred of justices are on the court.

Cut the politicians out of the appointment process completely. Administer a law, basic reasoning and sanity exam to all federal judges and anyone else who wants to apply. Highest scorers get to be on the Supreme Court.

Just abolish the Supreme Court and allow Circuit Courts to rule over their fiefdoms. Do we really need all those appeals?

Or make 70 the minimum age for appointment to the Supreme Court. Term limits will come naturally.

Staring into the abyss. Some images cry out for a caption contest.

The Missouri Bar last week tweeted out the photo below along with an announcement that the Bar’s Family Law Conference was “in full swing.”

Imagine what half swing would look like.

I don’t have any prizes to give away for the contest, so you may want to do the contest with your friends on Zoom.

My entries: “Abandon all hope.”

“Will lunch never come?”

Family law can be pretty darn bleak.

Passing thought. If TikTok gets sold to an American company so that the Chinese government can’t get personal information on Americans, does that mean the American government will get the information?

Perry Mason,” episode 7. Hamilton Burger is gay too!

Again, nothing wrong with that but, again, it seems to have nothing to do with the plot.

This may be the strangest episode yet. There’s an inexplicable riot in a cemetery, there’s an inexplicable smoke bomb attack in a courtroom, there’s inexplicable time off for Paul Drake so he can suddenly do detective work.

But the highlight is: The Sashay.

For some reason — or nonreason — Della Street’s girlfriend gets to sashay down a courtroom aisle with a box of evidence while we watch her swaying rear end.

It’s magnificent.

No one confessed at the end of the episode.

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