Some people strongly favor term limits for governmental officials. The U.S. practice regarding this issue differs among the three branches of government. There are term limits on the presidency, for instance, but none for members of Congress. For the Supreme Court, there are no term limits on justices, and they are never required to win election or re-election. Once appointed by the president, justices may serve for life. Thurgood Marshall, the great Supreme Court justice, was 81 years old when a reporter asked him when he planned to retire. Marshall responded, “I have a lifetime appointment and I intend to serve it. I expect to die at 110 . . .”
In this Discussion, you will analyze strengths and weaknesses of lifetime appointments of Supreme Court justices and whether or not you believe lifetime appointments have a positive impact on American democracy.
To prepare for this Discussion:
- Review the Interactive Units from this week’s Learning Resources.
- Review the article on term limits for judges in the Learning Resources.
- Consider how Supreme Court justices are chosen, including the specific role of the president and Congress.
- Reflect on why Supreme Court justices have lifetime appointments.
- Consider how lifetime appointments aid or deter the decisions of Supreme Court justices and why.
- What are the risks of not providing lifetime appointments?
- How does the makeup of the Supreme Court affect its group decision making?
- Include at least one reference and citation from the course readings and one reference and citation from an article found in the Walden Library to support your rationale.
With these thoughts in mind:
By Day 3
Post a 2- to 3-paragraph analysis of two strengths and two weaknesses of lifetime appointments for Supreme Court justices. Be sure to include a rationale for why the Supreme Court justices should or should not have lifetime appointments.
Be sure to support your ideas by connecting them to the week’s Learning Resources, or something you have read, heard, seen, or experienced.
Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.