January 26, 2012 § Leave a comment
In this weeks edition of the New Yorker, Hendrik Hertzberg gave a compelling commentary on Rick Perry’s views on the Supreme Court. Though Perry is no longer a contender for the 2012 presidential race, his proposal for the future of the Supreme Court is an interesting subject matter, and one that Perry can find support for from all members of the vast political spectrum.
Hertzberg quotes Perry’s website as proposing:
A Constitutional Amendment creating 18-year terms staggered every two years, so that each of the nine Justices would be replaced in order of seniority every other year. This would be a prospective proposal, and would be applied to future judges only. Doing this would move the court closer to the people by ensuring every President would have the opportunity to replace two Justices per term, and that no court could stretch its ideology over multiple generations. Further, the reform would maintain judicial independence, but instill regularity in the nomination process, discourage Justices from choosing a retirement date based on politics, and will stop the ever-increasing tenure of Justices.
Out of all the ideas Perry put forward throughout his short campaign, this was one of his best. As Hertzberg mentioned, this idea has been tossed around in legal circles for years and has support from both liberals and conservatives. This is one area where the Federalist Society and the American Constitution Society can be found in agreement.
For Hertzberg’s full article (which I recommend):