SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – Bay Area Rep. Ro Khanna said he would introduce legislation in Congress that would place term limits on future Supreme Court justices.
The legislation, simply called the “Supreme Court Term Limits Act,” would establish an 18-year term limit for new justices. Once the term is up, the justices would be allowed to serve on lower courts.
Those currently on the high court can still serve out their lifetime appointments.
Along with term limits, the measure would establish a process where the president would be allowed to appoint a new justice to the Supreme Court during odd numbered years.
The measure would also require the Senate to take a confirmation vote within 120 days of nomination or the nominee will be seated on the court, preventing the situation that took place in 2016 when former President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland to the court, but the Republican-led Senate did not hold confirmation hearings.
“We can’t face a national crisis every time a vacancy occurs on the Supreme Court,” said Khanna (D-San Jose). “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.”
The proposal comes a week after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and what is expected to be a contentious fight for her seat in the closing days of the 2020 campaign. President Donald Trump is reportedly planning to nominate Amy Coney Barrett, a judge on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Khanna said he would the measure in the House of Representatives next week.