More than two dozen constitutional law experts on Friday voiced support for a bill that would establish 18-year term limits for Supreme Court justices, adding scholarly backing to one of several court reform proposals that have gained traction in recent weeks.
The endorsement comes a day after Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said he would form a bipartisan group to study and recommend court reform options in the first year of a Biden administration.
In a letter released Friday, 30 scholars threw their support behind a term-limit bill that was introduced last month by Democratic Reps. Ro Khanna of California, Don Beyer of Virginia and Joe Kennedy III of Massachusetts.
The legislation would set up 18-year terms for Supreme Court justices. To avoid clashing with the Constitution’s grant of life tenure to federal judges, justices would be given the option to continue serving on lower federal courts after their Supreme Court term expired.
“We are pleased that a formal legislative proposal to limit future justices to 18 years of high court service has been introduced and is advancing public discourse on court reform,” the scholars wrote.
“Though the bill is not perfect,” they added, “we believe it to be a critical piece in prescribing how our country’s leaders can work to depoliticize the Supreme Court and its confirmation process.”