The Policy Consequences of Term Limits on the U.S. Supreme Court
34 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2017
Date Written: 2016
For decades, the question of whether United States Supreme Court justices should be subject to term limits has been persistently raised by legal scholars, commentators, and politicians alike. For the most part, these debates have been normative, centering around whether term limits are an appropriate way to reform the country’s most powerful and unelected institution. This project seeks to provide an empirical perspective to this debate. Using what political scientists know about the patterns in the nomination and confirmation process, we present data on how term limits might have altered the composition of the Court during the last half-century. We then consider how a policy of term limits would have impacted the nature of legal policy established by the Court during the same time period.
Keywords: Supreme Court, Judicial Politics
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