House Democrats introduced new legislation to end lifetime appointments to the nation’s highest federal court.
The Democratic Party is cracking down on justices who intend to spend the rest of their working lives serving the U.S. Supreme Court.
The new bill will limit Supreme Court justice tenures to just 18 years and prevent the president from nominating more than two justices each four-year term. Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) claims the changes will help end partisan fighting over which side of politics should replace an outgoing judge.
“It would save the country a lot of agony and help lower the temperature over fights for the court that go to the fault lines of cultural issues and is one of the primary things tearing at our social fabric,” he said, according to Reuters.
Many Supreme Court justices serve an average of more than 25 years due to rising life expectancies. Some legal academics would rather see a higher turnover of justices, according to the newswire agency.
Khanna’s solution is to declare justices “senior” after they finish an 18-year term and allow them to continue working in lower courts.
“That is perfectly consistent with their judicial independence and having a lifetime salary and a lifetime appointment,” he said.
The remarks came after President Donald Trump revealed he intended to replace the late U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the upcoming election on Nov. 3.
“I will be announcing my Supreme Court nominee on Saturday at the White House,” he said on Twitter. “[The] exact time [is] to be announced.”
The decision has displeased the Democrats, who responded with threats to “pack the court” and undermine Congress if the president proceeds as planned.
Khanna, Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.), and Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) are co-sponsoring the bill due to be introduced in Congress on Sept. 29.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) recently introduced a “two-hour rule” for the maximum length of time allowed for committee meetings.
As a result, committees and subcommittees cannot meet after the Senate has already been in session for two hours or anytime after 2 p.m. It could also delay a national security briefing and the confirmation hearing for acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf.
“Because the Senate Republicans have no respect for the institution, we will not have business as usual here in the Senate,” Schumer said on Twitter.
He justified his extraordinary move to fight Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) “every step of the way” by claiming he was honoring Ginsburg’s dying wish for the next president to choose her replacement.
However, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) believes the two-hour rule is just another example of the Democrats trying to change Election Day’s outcome.
“Sen. Schumer had a temper tantrum over SupCt & used procedural move to cancel it,” he said on Twitter.