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Dr. Rashad Richey

National TV Political Analyst, Talk Radio Host, Univ. Prof.

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Opinion

Politicians and Supreme Court justices must have term limits

May 17

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Dr. Rashad Richey

National TV Political Analyst, Talk Radio Host, Univ. Prof.

Share

When the founders of the early American republic designed the Constitution, they envisioned a powerful judiciary separated from the influences of the legislative and executive branches. To try to reach that goal, the United States offers lifetime appointments to its federal Supreme Court justices.

In recent decades, however, Americans have raised a variety of arguments against these lifelong appointments. In 2024, 68% of Americans now say that they support term limits for Supreme Court justices, and the United States is the only advanced democracy in the world that still offers lifelong appointments to its senior-most federal justices.

Watch the above video as Straight Arrow News contributor Dr. Rashad Richey argues in favor of implementing term limits for United States Supreme Court justices and for U.S. politicians at all levels of government.


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The following is an excerpt of the above video:

You see, if you have someone in for a limited amount of time, more likely, they’re going to try to utilize that time in order to get stuff done, protect their legacy, honor their word, remember their commitment.

But when someone has been there forever, when someone has been there 10, 20, 30 years, they know it’s going to be very difficult to ever lose in a primary or a general election. They get reelected by name recognition alone. And they stop serving the community. They start serving special interests, they start serving their corporate friends, they start serving the leader of this, and the committee chairman of that, rather than you.

And the only way to destroy that kind of system is to have term limits. I think it is time to also have the conversation of term limits as it relates to the U.S. Supreme Court. You see, if they did it the way let’s say the FBI director is done, which is basically a 10-year term, which means they still can be fired, the Supreme Court would not have that same element, 10 years, but they can be reaffirmed every 10 years. How would that help?

That means the decisions would not be so political. Because if they make a decision today, because they favor a particular, let’s say, president, they don’t know who will be president 10 years from that day, which means they may be more willing to make decisions based on congruence to law, rather than to their political ideology.

Okay, I think it’s time we have a conversation about term limits. I’m not just talking about term limits for politicians, I’m talking about term limits for everybody, including the United States Supreme Court, hear me out term limits, would do a few things. I know there are pros and cons to it. And I guarantee you, there are arguments in both parties to keep unlimited terms going on and on and on. Remember, the people who are telling you this are the ones that are currently serving in political office, you see, the foundation of this country was not built on the principle that said, politicians should be a professional industry. In other words, the idea that a politician is simply a politician was never the idea. In America, it was an idea that citizens, everyday people should be able to manage the affairs of the nation and be elected as a representative from their district. Okay. So if that’s the dynamic, we have significantly left that model a long time ago. You see, there are politicians that have been politicians longer than they’ve been anything else. They’re politicians who have been in office for 30 or 40 years, that’s a professional politician. How does that hurt you? How does that hurt communities? How does that create an adverse effect, here’s how, when you have that kind of colleague ship, for so many years, so many decades, all of a sudden this system sets in, we call it the good ol boy system, where votes are being done. By way of relationship, then by way of sentiment from the voter, the voters that put the person in power.

All of a sudden, this is a scratch my back, I scratch yours, rather than representing the best interest of the district. You see, this only happens when there’s this longevity, a culture sets in and then it, it crystallizes to where people say, There’s no way to uproot that system, there’s no way to come against that system. Well, there is what’s called term limits. You see, if you have someone in for a limited amount of time, more likely, they’re going to try to utilize that time in order to get stuff done, protect their legacy, honor their word, remember their commitment.

But when someone has been there forever, when someone has been there 1020 30 years, they know it’s going to be very difficult to ever lose in a primary, or a general election. They get reelected, reelected by name recognition alone. And they stop serving the community. They start serving special interests, they start serving their corporate friends, they start serving the leader of this, and the committee chairman of that rather than you. And the only way to destroy that kind of system is to have term limits. I think it is time to also have the conversation of term limits as it relates to the US Supreme Court. You see if they did it the way let’s say the FBI director is done, which is basically a 10 year term, which means they still can be fired. The Supreme Court would not have that same element, 10 years, 10 years, but they can be reaffirmed every 10 years, how would that help?

That means the decisions would not be so political. Because if they make a decision today, because they favor a particular, let’s say, President, they don’t know who will be president 10 years from that day, which means they may be more willing to make decisions, decisions based on congruence to law, rather than to their political ideology. Just a thought

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